Megadeth bandleader Dave Mustaine has revealed that he prefers his current bassist James Lomenzo to the band's co-founding member, Dave Ellefson. As we all know, Mustaine fired his OG bassist from the band in 2021 after he was embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal, and after enlisting Steve DiGiorgio to play the parts on Megadeth's 2022 LP, the Sick...the Dying...and the Dead!, Mustaine recruited his former bassist James Lomenzo — who served a stint in the band from 2006 to 2010 — to be Ellefson's full-time replacement.
Now, in a newly-published interview with Guitar World, Mustaine said that he doesn't miss having Ellefson around, and actually thinks that Lomenzo is a "significant upgrade" as a player.
In the interview, Mustaine was asked how important Lomenzo and new guitarist Kiko Loureiro have been to "flipping the script" in Megadeth, and after praising Loureiro as "the best guitar player" in Megadeth history, he went on to explain how Lomenzo got drafted and why he's favored over the long-running staple he replaced.
"We still had David Ellefson on bass, but as we know, shit hit the fan," Mustaine explained. "I had to dismiss David from the band, and that left us in the position of needing a bassist. The last thing I wanted was some asshole who would get a brain swell from being in Megadeth. I go back to Kiko, who went from being a guitar player in a band that plays in bars to being in a band that plays in arenas, theaters and stadiums, but he took it in stride.
"That's when it dawned on me to invite James back into the band. James has played with Ozzy and has circulated in our industry at the highest levels. He has been great as a band elder, helping those guys when I'm not there. And if I'm being honest, he's a significant upgrade as a bassist."
Megadeth have a busy 2023 ahead of them, including a spring Canadian leg of their continuing "Crush the World" tour and a summer one-off date with The Original Misfits.