Megadeth fans worried about recent defections from the band ranks can rest easy, according to bassist Dave Ellefson. In fact, he predicts the group will release its next album before the end of 2015.

Echoing his earlier assertion that Megadeth are still very much alive no matter what certain former members might think, Ellefson told Spotlight Report that, while it was definitely difficult to carry on after the group's latest lineup changes, they're readying new material.

"It’s a bit like some family members are gone. Especially through the holidays I’ve kinda been a little sad about it, I realize that they wanted to move onto something else and I support them as my friends, but selfishly I’m definitely going to miss them for sure," he admitted. And although he warned that he "can’t say anything" about who might take the missing members' places, he did offer a few hints regarding when fans will be able to hear the results.

"We’re moving forward with writing a new album. Once we get into the studio to record it, then the lineup will naturally evolve around that," he predicted. "It’s supposed to come out later this year."

You Think You Know Megadeth?

Dave Mustaine's and Other Rock Stars' Yearbook Photos