DAVE MUSTAINE Says He Cried Onstage After Dedicating Song To Late MEGADETH Drummer NICK MENZA
MEGADETH members Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson were interviewed by Kerrang! magazine at this year's edition of the Download festival, which is being held June 10-12 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about last month's tragic passing of former MEGADETH drummer Nick Menza, Mustaine said: "The loss of [former MEGADETH drummer] Gar Samuelson [in 1999] kind of prepared us for any future losses of bandmembers. And we were really close to Gar; he was like a big brother to us, whereas Nick was more like a friend. He wasn't somebody that was older than us and kind of knew the ropes. So when Gar passed away, that was really hard. Nick passing away was equally as hard, but in a different way."
He continued: "The Nick that I know, at the end, I think that he… he went to heaven doing what he wanted to do: play drums. And I think that instead of us all mourning and shit, we should celebrate his life, celebrate his legacy. He doesn't want people to sit down here and bellyache about that; he wants people to go and buy his pictures. He had some wonderful artwork. He had a lot of music that he's done. He wants his legacy to be remembered, to support his kids. That's the best way to celebrate Nick, I think. And all these people that are saying, 'Oh, bummer. Nick's gone.' Show up."
Mustaine also once again confirmed MEGADETH's intention to play a benefit concert for Menza's family. "We wanna do something, but we know that his family already has something going on with some kind of a GoFundMe page or something like that," he said. "And if they have a calling on their heart to do that, then great. We wanna do something ourselves, if that's what the family wants us to do. And if it's unnecessary, then we'll step back."
According to Mustaine, he didn't realize how much he cared about Menza until he paid tribute to the late drummer during MEGADETH's performance at the inaugural Rock'N Derby festival the day after Nick's death.
"The craziest thing was, when we dedicated a song to Nick on the last tour, I got about halfway through the song and I couldn't sing anymore; I just started crying," he said. "And I tured around and I stood next to the drum riser with my back turned, 'cause I didn't want anybody to see me. But it was heavy."
He added: "With all the stuff that was going on at the end, with Nick talking about me in the press and stuff like that, I had no idea how much I really, really love him. And that was what was evident when I sang about him. And that's the Nick I'll always remember: the guy that made me smile, that made me happy and was a little bit of an annoyance, but somebody that I'll always love."
Nick collapsed after suffering a heart attack after the third song of OHM:'s set on May 21 at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital. He was 51 years old.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said Menza died of natural causes. The cause of Menza's death was listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Menza had reportedly dabbled with drugs in the earlier part of his career but had been completely sober for eight years.
Menza joined MEGADETH for the 1989 recording "Rust In Peace" and for the next nine years became associated with the band's "classic" and most profitable era.