MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson says that he was “shocked” to learn of drummer Shawn Drover‘s departure from the band, but refuses to comment on persistent rumors that MEGADETH is trying to stage a reunion of its classic “Rust In Peace” lineup.

Only hours after Drover announced his exit from MEGADETH on November 25, 2014 to “to pursue [his] own musical interests,” guitarist Chris Broderick revealed he also quit the legendary metal band, saying that he was leaving the group “due to artistic and musical differences.”

Speaking to about MEGADETH‘s latest personnel shuffles, Ellefson said: “Well, you know, there were some things leading up to it that I certainly was in tune with, and paying attention to.

Actually, I swear the day it happened I was shocked. Actually, it’s funny, a friend of mine sent me a text. He goes, ‘Hey, I just heard Shawn Drover quit MEGADETH.’ And I was, like, ‘That’s odd,’ and the next thing you know my phone started just blowing up. So I called Shawn. I said, ‘What’s going on man?’ He said, ‘Yeah, dude, it was time.’ And I was, like, ‘All right,’ you know. So we just had a conversation about it.

He continued: “Shawn is … I consider Shawn, definitely a good friend. I mean, he really helped open the door for me to come back to MEGADETH. I mean, he and Dave‘s [Mustaine] guitar tech, Willie G, they really got it. They knew when there was going to be a lineup change five years ago. They’re, like, ‘Dude, please call David Ellefson.’ And, of course, I was ready for it; the timing was right. But Shawn has really been a tremendous friend to MEGADETH, to the fans. He knew how to keep his head down and avoid trouble, yet at the same time when he knew he had to stand up for things, he does. So, I have great respect for Shawn, and I’m very thankful for my time being able to work with him in MEGADETH.

Asked about rumors that drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman — who left MEGADETH in 1998 and 2000, respectively — might be coming back to the band, Ellefson said: “Well, I can comment that there’s rumors. I can’t comment on anything beyond that. Certainly they’re a favored line up of MEGADETH‘s past, for sure. Obviously we’re aware of that. Our fans don’t let us forget it, believe me — let me put it that way. But, yeah, that’s … I can’t comment anymore on that!