Megadeth 2019
The News

Megadeth’s David Ellefson: Dave Mustaine’s Health Is The Band’s “Number One Priority”

In a new interview, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson opens up about his frontman’s throat cancer diagnosis.

On Monday, the metal world was shocked and saddened to learn that Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine had been diagnosed with throat cancer. The guitarist and vocalist got out in front of the news by announcing it himself via Facebook. Now, longtime Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has spoken out about Dave’s diagnosis and the band’s plans to cancel all upcoming shows.

In an interview with The Classic Metal Show, David said, “We were bracing for the bomb today, knowing that we had to get an announcement out. Thoughts and prayers are always welcome. Dave has started his treatment. We’ve been in Nashville for the last month and a half working on the album, so we were watching this all unfold before us.”

David went on to defend the band’s decision to cancel all of their upcoming dates, save this year’s Megacruise. “Dave has begun treatment,” he said, “so things are moving forward. It just became a reality where it was, like, ‘Look, in order to do this treatment properly, follow the doctor’s orders, Dave can’t be undergoing treatment for cancer and be out playing big rock concerts.’ So we had to say, ‘We’ve got to just stop. We’ve got to clear the decks and put this as the number one priority,’ which is what the announcement was — just addressing it and giving everybody a heads up that some shows are going to have to go away until this all gets worked out.”

That said, the bassist isn’t letting the diagnosis get to his head, and is instead focusing on staying positive and being there for his friend. “Dave and I have been through our share of the shitshows ups and downs, drug addictions, breakups and makeups and everything else in between. This is another one.

We’re optimistic about the treatments and the success rate is usually pretty good on this one, so I think there’s a lot of optimism at the end of this whole thing.

“Dave’s a warrior,” added Ellefson. “He’s a fighter, and he’s got pretty good sensibilities about when to hit the gas and when to hit the brake. So it’s what it needs to be right at this exact time.”

Everyone at Kerrang! send their best to Dave’s friends, family, bandmates, and loved ones, and wish him a speed recovery.

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Posted on June 19th 2019, 11:49am
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