Former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson opened up about his current financial status after being fired from the band during his recent appearance on The Jeremy White Show and revealed Megadeth’s payment policy.
As you may recall, David Ellefson was accused of grooming an underage girl after their video, in which the bassist was masturbating, was leaked on social media. Since he was known as a loyal husband and strict Christian, Ellefson was targeted by the band’s fans for pedophilia and infidelity.
Ellefson defended himself, saying that it was an intimate moment between consenting adults, and noted he will file a lawsuit against the person who shared the video. On May 24, 2021, Dave Mustaine released a statement to announce that the bassist was fired from the band due to these recent allegations.
The bassist stated that being fired from Megadeth was funny because he hadn’t been getting any paychecks since 2020. David Ellefson emphasized that they never got weekly payments, and they got paid after they finished the records or tours. Thus, he had to work on his own projects to support himself financially, especially when the band disbanded in 2002.
Ellefson stated in his interview that:
“Well, for the last ten years, I was an employee, and it’s funny to say that I was fired because I hadn’t picked up a paycheck from Megadeth since September 2020 when we did the photoshoot for the album.
So to say I was fired, I think, is a bit dramatic. Again, it’s not like I was on the payroll, getting a paycheck every week. ‘Not rehired for the tour,’ yeah, sure, I’ll go with that. ‘We’re not rehiring you for the tour,’ OK, fair enough. I wasn’t getting a weekly paycheck from the group. When we worked, I got paid. When we didn’t, I didn’t.
Then hence why I did a coffee company and a record company, and all the other things to fill in the blanks and support myself, and build up my own legacy for my family and to have things like that. Certainly, those things, I think, were supported by management. I think they saw that if I wasn’t going to be…”
“You can’t expect someone to be beholden to a company when you’re not getting paid by that company in the off-time. But I don’t think they’ve liked it, but it’s like – royalties by loyalties.
When you’re all in, and you’re getting paid for everything, then hey… Look, for the first 20 years of the band, I never did anything. I wrote a book, and I co-wrote one song on a Flotsam and Jetsam record.
I didn’t do anything because when you’re all in, you’re all in, but when the group disbanded, and it disbanded in 2002, it was not a hiatus, it was not taking time off, it was very clearly a disbanding, and when that happened, we were all left to our own.“
You can watch the interview below.