David Ellefson Explains How He Made Peace With Dave Mustaine After Suing Him For $18.5 Million

In an interview with Groove – The No Treble Podcast, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson opened up about the time he sued his bandmate, Dave Mustaine, by claiming he still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties and explained how they managed to reconcile by simply communicating better.

The legendary heavy metal band Megadeth was formed by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson back in 1983. The band, which has a sound featuring complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, gained their first major success with the release of their second studio album, ‘Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?.’

Later in 2004, David Ellefson started working on his solo album, ‘The System Has Failed,’ however, he had to release the album under Megadeth’s name due to contractual obligations. The album’s release was followed by a disagreement between Mustaine and Ellefson over royalties and rights to Megadeth’s name. The case was dismissed in court in 2005, and the two iconic musicians decided to leave the past behind. Later in 2010, Ellefson rejoined Megadeth.

During the recent interview he joined, David Ellefson looked back to the time he sued Dave Mustaine for $18.5 million. Ellefson mentioned that they actually ended up in a disagreement like that mostly because they weren’t communicating directly, instead, they were using the legal theme to handle the case. However, according to David, the new manager, new lawyer, and a new team of people made things worse between him and Mustaine.

Additionally, Ellefson stated that when they let go of these people, he and Dave had the chance to talk about it directly and reconcile. Apparently, when they met again they both told each other to get their guitar and jam to forget all about the unnecessary fight.

Here is what David Ellefson stated about the lawsuit against Dave Mustaine:

“There was a new manager, a new lawyer, a new team of people, and they were all trying to impress the client, so they were just, ‘Well, we’re just doing whatever the boss tells us to do.’ And it’s, like, wait a minute — your job is to manage and counsel and direct your client, and — in my opinion — avoid litigation, avoid these things.

Those people are no longer here — they’ve all been let go, thank God — and once most of them were let go was when Dave and I had an opportunity to come back and reconcile. And as soon as Dave and I get in a room, it’s, like, ‘What the hell are we fighting over? Get your guitar. Let’s play. Let’s jam.’

And then it becomes about the music, and there it is. So when we keep it on that level, it goes well. When the business people and the lawyers and the people come in and they try to sort of put logic around it, that’s when the trouble begins.”

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