2016 took another one of the greats last night when former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza collapsed onstage three songs into a set with the band Ohm in Los Angeles last night. As the rock and metal community continues to come to terms with the loss of a member of the Big 4, the band’s leader Dave Mustaine has weighed in on his death via a statement on Sunday night:
I woke up this morning to a text message from my son, with the news of Nick Menza’s passing. Shocked, devastated, and saddened don’t begin to describe my feelings.
Originally a tech for the band, Nick soon displayed such talent and personality, it didn’t take long for us to realize he belonged on stage with us, behind the kit. We asked Nick to join Megadeth as our drummer in 1989. At the time, the band already had its first platinum album, which only served to stoke the fire. We all wanted world domination- with so much of our lives and dreams ahead of us. As we navigated through the pitfalls of life and the music business, our first album with Nick, Rust in Peace, and subsequent albums Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia, kept up the momentum. We parted ways after Cryptic Writings. We, like all brothers, would disagree at times, but our bond was strong throughout.
As a player, Nick had a very powerful jazzy flair, unpredictable and always entertaining, And as great a drummer as he was, the time spent with him as a person, a bandmate, and a friend was even more fun. There were several times we discussed him coming back to the band, but for various reasons it never came together. We’ve been in touch all along, he had come out to our shows recently, and he had remained a great friend, a true professional and a larger than life personality.
The Megadeth family take care of each other, and expect to hear soon about an initiative to help Nick’s children. All of us in this community are connected, take care of yourself and your loved ones.
My deepest condolences go out to Nick’s family.
While Mustaine and Menza don’t really seem to have had a great relationship since after he first let the drummer go in 1998, they’ve certainly had a bond regardless with almost ten years, and the frontman has to know what a big part Menza played in the success of the band. Given what he’s been through in the past years, it can’t be easy for him to have suffered another loss. And for those of you playing along at home, that makes Anthrax the only Big 4 band not to have lost a member.