In a new interview with Italy's Poisoned Rock, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke about his musical contributions to the band and the life changes that he went through during his time away from MEGADETH between 2002 and 2010.
He said (see video below): "With MEGADETH, obviously, there were three records I did not perform on [2004's 'The System Has Failed', 2007's 'United Abominations' and 2009's 'Endgame'], and they sound like MEGADETH, 'cause, of course, it's Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] — it's him writing; it's him singing; his guitar style is very defined. There's definitely a chemistry that happens when Dave and I play together, and I think one that is identifiable to the point that that is what the fans want — that's why they want that. And that's why it made sense, obviously, at a certain point, for Dave and I to connect back together. And it was a wonderful moment. Dave and I got to each go our separate ways. He got to have MEGADETH on his own. I went off. I was doing some other things. I was going to college. I was doing some other business things. I was doing some other musical things. And it was really a great moment to come back together. And that was 10 years ago, for the 20th anniversary of 'Rust In Peace' tour that we did."
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.
Ellefson has been open about the fact that he became a salaried employee upon his return to MEGADETH in 2010, something he shared with the world in his latest book, "More Life With Deth".
Six years earlier, Ellefson declined to rejoin MEGADETH upon the band's reformation, citing concerns with the business structure he had in place with Mustaine.
When Ellefson eventually rejoined MEGADETH, he was no longer as involved in the band's composing process and business affairs like he was prior to the group's breakup.