Now that he is no longer a member of Megadeth, bassist David Ellefson is pretty pumped that he can wear his Metallica shirts again, showering the metal legends with praise in a recent interview on the Mike Nelson Show.

Of course, with the contentious history between Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine and his former band, Metallica, Ellefson was put in a tough spot during his two tenures with the Big 4 thrashers. Wearing a Metallica shirt was surely off limits and he was never eager to tell Mustaine that he had gone out to catch a Metallica show, much less inform him of how great that show was.

Since being terminated from Megadeth in 2021 after a sexually explicit video leak, Ellefson has kept busy with a handful of new projects, including death-thrash metal outfit Dieth, who released their debut album To Hell and Back earlier this year. He's been afforded more opportunity as a songwriter amid these bands, unfettered from Megadeth's more tightly controlled ways.

And that means feeling free to speak about his love for Metallica's music, too.

David Ellefson on Wearing Metallica Shirts

"I almost wore my Metallica shirt today. It's cycled up to the bottom of my — you know the black T-shirt pile we all have? Just cycle down, and you go through the shirts. 'Oh, there's a Metallica shirt. Maybe I should wear this one today.' I'm not in Megadeth. I can finally wear my Metallica shirts again," Ellefson muses during the Mike Nelson Show interview (transcribed by Blabbermouth, video further down the page).

David Ellefson on Why the Metal Scene Needs Metallica

Metallica being one of the biggest bands in the world has been beneficial to the rock and metal community on the whole, a notion that is not at all lost on Ellefson.

"Hey, man, I'm a Metallica fan. I mean, talk about gold standards. They're the one for metal. They have gone on to do the impossible," he enthuses, going on, "I mean, really, when you think about it in the touring business, there's Taylor Swift, there's Metallica, maybe Beyonce, Guns N' Roses. And thank God, man, they're at the top. We need them to be at the top, because if they're at the top, that means all boats rise to that level. So we want Metallica to be fucking Apple computer — we need them to be for our genre."

READ MORE: Some Smartass Used AI to Have Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Sing Metallica's 'Master of Puppets'

David Ellefson on Seeing Metallica Live

The bassist says Metallica's current M72 world tour is "the best they've been since the 'Black Album," and that "they sound great, they play great and the song selection is great," also impressed by how high of a level the band is performing at this far into their career.

Ellefson says he has "always" gone to see Metallica, back when they toured with Raven in support of Kill 'Em All and into the '90s, even ducking out of the recording studio while tracking Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction to go see Metallica in Los Angeles.

"I remember I was kind of shy about letting Dave know that I went down to go see Metallica," Ellefson recalls, relaying that producer Max Norman told him he should tell Mustaine just how great the gig was.

"And I was like, 'Well, you don't have to be in a band every day. You're just making a record with us," the bassist notes, suggesting that telling Mustaine how good Metallica were live may not have gone over well.

Watch the full interview below.

David Ellefson on the Mike Nelson Show

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