David Ellefson Compares Dave Mustaine To Ted Nugent

In a recent episode of ‘The Garza Podcast,’ former Megadeth members David Ellefson and Jeff Young shared their past experiences in the band. At one point, Ellefson compared his former bandmate Dave Mustaine to Ted Nugent and Yngwie Malmsteen.

When asked about what it was like to be in a group with Mustaine, the bassist shared:

“There’s obviously a wonderful side to his musicianship, his musicality, his ability to sell an idea. You know what I learned from him? Maybe there’s four other guys in the room, [and] their ideas were as good or better than Dave’s, but Dave had a way to convince you that his was the best. And I think that was what was required.”

Likening this side of the vocalist to Malmsteen, he went on:

“And Yngwie has that same thing. Yngwie has a way, obviously, aside from his incredible skill and a unique skill at the time that no one had — we hadn’t heard that sound before. And probably with Dave — it was a new sound, Metallica and all that stuff, that it was new. It was, like, ‘Wow, I haven’t heard this before.’ That’s what I felt when I met Dave.”

Mustaine And Ted Nugent Carry Similar Qualities, He Says

During his time with Megadeth, Ellefson played in twelve albums, including ‘Rust In Peace’ and ‘Countdown To Extinction,’ and performed in countless shows. Reflecting on his long career in the band, the bassist described Mustaine’s impact:

“It was, like, ‘I have not heard this before. This is brand new. This is a great sound.’ But he had a conviction in how he would get you on board with his idea, and he was such a good salesman with it that you believed it. And that was a big part of it. You read it in his interviews. When he’s on stage, there’s a conviction.”

Saying the frontman’s stage presence was similar to that of Nugent, he added:

“Ted Nugent was like this. When Ted’s in the room, you feel like he’s in control. And I always felt it standing on the stage with Dave. I would always say, it’s, like, ‘I’m glad I’m standing behind him,’ because he had control. If some guy heckled him, man, he would shut that f**king place down. 60,000 people would just go, ‘Whoa.’ He just had that ability to do it. So, I mean, look, that’s why he’s a rock star.”

There Was Tension Between The Former Bandmates

Megadeth fired David Ellefson after his sexual messages and explicit video made the headlines in 2021. Although he denied the accusations of grooming an underage fan during that period, the band decided to part ways with him due to this incident and existing tensions within the group.

Commenting on this reaction from his ex-bandmates in a recent chat with Metal Hammer, the bassist shared:

“Dave, his manager, and his lawyer [called me after the scandal]. There was a sentiment from one of them saying, ‘Let’s step back, let Ellefson deal with it. It leaves the door open for him to come back.’ Dave didn’t want that. He made his decision, and it is what it is.”

In 2024, Ellefson and Megadeth have their separate tour plans. The bassist will kick off his ‘Bass Warrior Tour’ in February, while the band will hit the road in April with a performance in Peru.