Yesterday it was revealed that Megadeth frontman and founder Dave Mustaine was diagnosed with throat cancer. Mustaine said he and his team of doctors "mapped out a treatment plan which they feel has a 90% success rate", and love began pouring in from throughout the metal community.
Now in a rather lengthy interview with The Classic Metal Show, bassist David Ellefson voices his support of Dave and confidence that he'll pull through. Ellefson says "I think, at this point, we're optimistic about the treatments. Other cases have shown that it's… throat cancer is treatable. It's at a place where it's certainly, I don't think, beyond a point of repair."
He also discusses knowing the news was coming, and how the new album will continue on.
"We were kind of bracing for the bomb today, knowing that we had to get an announcement out about it. Prayers from everybody… Thoughts and prayers are always welcome. Dave has started his treatment. We've been in Nashville for the last almost month and a half working on the album, so we were sort of watching this all unfold before us. And Dave, he has begun treatment, so things are moving forward with that. 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, 'All right. We've gotta just stop. We've gotta clear the deck and put this as the number one priority,' which is what the announcement was today — just addressing it and giving everybody a heads up that some shows are gonna have to go away until this all gets worked out.
"We are keeping the [Megacruise]. The cruise, I think, is a beast of a different nature, because it's so many people on it, and we're kind of trying to figure out, and we may not totally know Megadeth's full participation in that until we see where Dave is at with healing after all the treatments and everything by that point. But we're optimistic that on some level, the band or band members, or who knows, maybe even the whole band, maybe we can have a participation on that. In the meantime, we've been working hard on the new album and it's coming along well. I think us getting down there back in May, last month, when we all convened at the studio there — it's like a house that we rented that we're working in. It's nice, 'cause me and Dirk and Kiko sleep there, and we wake up and all the stacks and gear and Pro Tools and everything's right there in the living room. So you can make music until you go to bed and make music as soon as you wake up or wake up one day and say, 'I don't wanna make any music at all. I'm gonna go stare at the cows on the pasture,' you can do that too. So it's a really good situation there. But we've made a lot of progress on the album, and I think that's something we can continue to do. If Dave hits a wall and needs to take a break just to get off the clock, then we'll do that. But at least we can be working productively and getting some stuff done on the album right now."
We wish Mustaine all the best in his fight against cancer.