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DAVE MUSTAINE: MEGADETH went through touchy period following ELLEFSON's sex video scandal

03-08-2022

During an appearance on Full Metal Jackie’s nationally syndicated radio show, Dave Mustaine discussed his decision to hire TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio to lay down the bass tracks on the new MEGADETH album, “The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!”, which will be released on September 2 via UMe. Just months after DiGiorgio recorded his parts for the effort, former MEGADETH bassist James LoMenzo rejoined the band in time for the summer 2021 leg of “The Metal Tour Of The Year”.

Asked what he appreciates most about DiGiorgio and LoMenzo musically and as people, Mustaine said: “I think that both of them are really fun people to be around. Although I didn’t know Steve DiGiorgio as much as I know James LoMenzo, I found him to be just as enjoyable to be around as James was.”

Referencing the fact that MEGADETH’s longtime bassist David Ellefson was fired from the band in May 2021, just days after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving the bassist were posted on TwitterMustaine said: “I think the band and everybody that’s associated with us, that period that we went through was a little touchy. So we wanted to do the right thing. And trying to find the replacement for anybody, I think, wasn’t the right thing to do at the time because nobody really knew all the facts and I certainly didn’t want to poach anybody. Not from TESTAMENT — they’re my friends — and I don’t think from anybody.”

Mustaine, who was a member of METALLICA for 11 months before being fired in 1983, continued: “As great as Steve is, I remember what it felt like when we (METALLICA) went up and poached Cliff Burton from TRAUMA. I mean, granted, the band TRAUMA wasn’t that good, but there are still guys in the band and their lives were changed when that happened.

“I tend to believe that… You’ve gotta ask yourself, ‘Did he jump or was he pushed?’ And I like to make sure, if I was gonna hire somebody, that I wasn’t stealing him from anybody.”

DiGiorgio is widely renowned as a pioneer on the fretless bass in heavy metal music, having played with TESTAMENTDEATH and SADUS, among others. Within his genre, Steve is respected for his playing skills, versatility and incredible technique. He has more than 40 studio album recordings and over 20 years of touring the world.

LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group’s studio albums, 2007’s “United Abominations” and 2009’s “Endgame”. He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with Ellefson, who was in MEGADETH from the band’s inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.

LoMenzo played his first show with MEGADETH in nearly 12 years in August 2021 in Austin, Texas.

Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH’s sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. A short time later, he raved about his performance on the record, telling the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program “Wired In The Empire” that his musical chemistry with MEGADETH drummer Dirk Verbeuren was comparable to the interplay between Geddy Lee and Neil Peart on classic RUSH albums. “I feel like on the new MEGADETH record, me and Dirk have those same moments,” he said. “It’s MEGADETH — it’s not RUSH, obviously — but in the field of what we do, there were these moments that I was just going, ‘Oh, my God.’ This is me as a kid going, ‘This is my Geddy/Neil moment right here.'”

In July 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program “The Dave Mustaine Show” that Ellefson’s bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.

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