Speaking to Detroit's WRIF radio station, Ellefson was asked if he and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine were paying attention to what Metallica was doing in Megadeth's early years. Of course, Mustaine was famously kicked out of Metallica and then went on to form Megadeth with Ellefson.
Ellefson responded: "Oh, of course. I mean, look, we are all just a branch off the Metallica family tree. I mean, let's face it. Especially Megadeth, with Dave being there, and then me being a branch off of Dave with Megadeth. So, I mean, look, we owe everything to Metallica. Those guys broke down the doors for every one of us — Anthrax, Slayer. Bands today — Lamb of God, Pantera — none of this would have happened without Metallica being up there as the 800-pound gorilla just carving the path through the jungle that would have never let heavy metal in. The stuff that they able to do and the size and the scope of which they were able to break those doors down, it changed all of our lives — as musicians, as fans, as everything. That's why I think when they did the 'Big Four' [shows] with us in 2010 and '11, that was just such a great olive branch."
Ellefson then shared an anecdote from Scott Ian to explain the situation: "As Scott Ian [Anthrax] said, it's like we're all brothers of the same family, it's just that one of our brothers went off and became Microsoft [laughs], and that was Metallica. It's, like, how the hell did you do that? That's amazing. You changed the world. But the fact that they came back and, again, offered that olive branch to us and just said, 'Hey, we were all in this together. Let's celebrate what we did together so many years ago.' And I think that speaks volumes to just how cool Metallica is."
While very candid, and obviously true, I wonder if Dave Mustaine feels the same way? Mustaine has buried the hatchet with his former bandmates, but there still has to be some resentment there. Mustaine wouldn't sign off on changes to the writing credits of an old Metallica demo, causing it to be scrapped. Mustaine also joked that the reason there are no more Big Four shows is because "Lars is just afraid to play with Megadeth."