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Mustaine feared Ellefson would leave Megadeth

Bassist Dave was busy working on supergroup side project Metal Allegiance

Dave Mustaine admits that he was afraid bassist David Ellefson would leave Megadeth to commit to Metal Allegiance full-time.

The band stopped touring in 2014 after Mustaine's mother-in-law died and other band members sorted out business affairs. Mustaine says the cracks had begun to show by the time they regrouped to record album no.15 Dystopia last year. The album was released on January 22.

He says Ellefson was dedicating more time to Metal Allegiance – which boasts a rotating all-star line-up including Alex Skolnick of Testament, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Charlie Benante from Anthrax and Slayer's  Gary Holt.

The supergroup released its self-titled debut album in September.

The 54-year-old frontman tells Full Metal Jackie (via Blabbermouth): "You know, at the beginning of 2015, I didn't even have a full band. But I had a vision, and I was determined.

"And now that it was, basically, me by myself, because I didn't know what was up with Ellefson. He was off doing his Metal Allegiance stuff, and I figured, 'Maybe I need to look for a new bass player now too.'"

Despite the frontman's previous concerns, Ellefson recently said that Metal Allegiance actually helps rather than hinders his role in Megadeth.

Mustaine adds: "It was really bizarre the way this all went down, because the writing of these riffs actually started back in around 2013. We had that really abysmal year in 2014, and then started piecing everything together towards the later part of the year, when my family and I moved out to Nashville. And then when 2015 came around, everything kind of started to congeal."

Mustaine recently completed filming the pilot of a reality show documenting the family's move from Los Angeles to Nashville.

Megadeth will launch a North American tour next month with Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodom and Havok.

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