Back in 2002, Megadeth disbanded for a period of time, leaving the future of bassist Dave Ellefson in doubt. The musician recently opened up about how he was offered to play with Alice Cooper and Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the time but declined.

Ellefson reveals he was approached by then-Megadeth guitarist Al Pitrelli to play with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He turned the gig down and learned a valuable lesson. In an interview with Boise, Idaho radio station 96.9 The Eagle, Ellefson says, “Al is really a linchpin character in my life. (As I wrote) in the book ("More Life With Deth"), he is the one who told me when Megadeth ended in 2002, he called me up in his thick Brooklyn accent, he goes, ‘Hey, yo not for nothing, but here’s how you do this: from here on out you say yes to everything.’”

Ellefson continues, “He had a lot of experience with that. I’d been in Megadeth since I was 18. It had been my sole vocation, job, hobby, singular focus in my life and here I am in 2002, 38 years old, middle of my life, suddenly my job comes to an end, the band is over.”

At the time Ellefson was also approached to play with Alice Cooper and then Pitrelli asked him to play bass on tour with TSO. He thought Megadeth would be soon gathering to record a new album, which never happened. “It was a very weird moment, and I learned thanks to Al Pitrelli to say yes. Say yes to life, say yes to opportunity," recalls Ellefson. "It’s better to start to clear a couple things off the plate than to have nothing on it.”

Dave Ellefson rejoined Megadeth in 2010. In May, Dave Mustaine was diagnosed with throat cancer and is still undergoing treatment. But that hasn’t stopped the band from working on new music. In the interview below, Ellefson also shares that Megadeth have begun pre-production on a new album. He was in Nashville in May and June working on new music with the band.

While most of the group’s tour dates have been canceled, the band's self-curated Megacruise will set sail from Oct. 13 -19 and the band will be part of the event in one form or another.

Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Bassists of All-Time