In a new interview with the "Real Music With Gary Stuckey" podcast, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked about the band's secret to longevity. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think there's a couple of things. One, I think [fans] look to Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH guitarist/vocalist] as their hero, their leader. And Dave's a fighter, and he's a survivor. I mean, look — he's gone through being fired [from METALLICA], kicked out, kicked down. He just went through cancer. The guy, he's a tireless warrior, and I think that's a big part of the MEGADETH story. And that's worldwide; that's global. And then, behind that, of course, there's this brotherhood between me and him that, as much as Dave's the fighter — Dave's the fighting one, and I'm the friendly one. So there's a chemistry there that people like. They're, like, 'Okay, as long as Ellefson's in the room, we feel safe.' So there's a dynamic that works. And I think, look, musically, the material's always been exceptionally well done, well played. These songs have stood the test of time, so they fall in the 'timeless' category. And there's been a consistency; the MEGADETH style has been very consistent over the years. And I think those are kind of the four components — four or five components — that make it work."
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.
Mustaine reformed MEGADETH 17 years ago. Originally setting out to record a solo album, Mustaine enlisted studio musicians to play on what ultimately became MEGADETH's 2004 "The System Has Failed" comeback album, subsequently recruiting former ICED EARTH bassist James MacDonough to take Ellefeson's place for the album's touring cycle.
In 2004, Ellefson filed an $18.5-million lawsuit against Mustaine, alleging the frontman shortchanged him on profits and backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth Inc. over to him when the band broke up in 2002. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed and Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH in 2010.
In his first memoir, "My Life With Deth", Ellefson admitted that he became a salaried employee upon his return to MEGADETH 11 years ago.
In addition to Mustaine and Ellefson, MEGADETH's current lineup includes former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with ANGRA.
MEGADETH's latest album, "Dystopia", was released in January 2016.