MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine fears former bass player DAVE ELLEFSON will take months to settle back into the band because he's still damaged and "affected" by his bust-up with the frontman.
The two rockers have patched up their differences and Ellefson has rejoined the band after an eight-year hiatus - but singer Mustaine admits the pair has a long way to go before they're true friends again.
During their years apart, Ellefson sued Mustaine for royalties and claimed the frontman backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth over to him when the band broke up in 2002.
But, after years of bitterness, the two born-again Christians have agreed to try to forgive and forget the past.
Mustaine tells WENN, "We had dinner and he said, 'Sorry,' and I said, 'I forgive you.' We've got that history. He's the best bass player for Megadeth and he's been there since the beginning. The time without him was difficult for me. He was my partner and one of my best friends.
"I asked him to forgive me too, and that's really important too because I realised that I had made a lot of mistakes in my leadership. I was a kid when we met and, granted, I was an adult when we parted ways, but I made a lot of mistakes along the way that affected him. We're still working through all this stuff and talking about the future.
"I did a lot of things that were mistakes, but I never intentionally screwed Dave. I have always loved him and always wanted to protect him. In fact, I think that is the beauty of why we're even able to do this because he knows my intentions. He also knows my desire to clear stuff up. If something had happened I can tell you right now it was unintentional and my heart is open to making everything right."
And now Mustaine is keen to get the old Dave and Dave partnership up and running again: "There were a lot of times I'm sure where I was close to death... and Dave helped keep me alive.
"In the old days we lived together, we were homeless together on the street. There was a time some guy was gonna kick Dave's a** and I have multiple black belts, so I told the guy to leave Dave alone and of course he didn't, and so I beat the s**t out of him. That's the Dave and Dave that I know; he's my little brother and I'll defend him no matter what.
"If there's something that happened to him, especially if it's by my hand, I want to clear it up. I think we're in a really great place right now. We've come to a level playing field and are open to talking about stuff."