David Ellefson says that he and Dave Mustaine tried “everything” to make a reunion of MEGADETH‘s “Rust In Peace” lineup work.
David Ellefson spoke about Menza during a nearly hourlong, free-range discussion with current MEGADETH guitarist Kiko Loureiro.
Saying that Nick was in MEGADETH for about a decade, David described their time together as “fun, “big,” “productive” and “financially very profitable years.”
“We grew up as young kids, basically learning how to grow up into men in the public eye. [We went through] addictions, financial windfalls… I mean, sometimes the only thing worse than a band that has no money is a band who starts to make too much money because now you have to learn how to deal with that. And that changes people — money can change people — and we don’t always know how to deal with it. And also you’ve got sort of the public eye on you.”
Ellefson recalls getting a call from Dave Mustaine when Nick Menza passed away. He said:
“Dave was devastated. And I was, like, ‘What the hell happened?’ And it turns out Nick had passed on stage, playing with another one of our MEGADETH alumni, Chris Poland. Chris and I didn’t get a chance to talk for several months after that, and we’ve now since reconnected, which is great.”
David said that he and Nick got “the opportunity to revisit a reunion” when they played together more than four years ago. “And although it didn’t work out for us to continue on as bandmates, we tried it, and we let the fans know,” he explained.
“So I think Dave and I felt good, as MEGADETH, to go, ‘We did try it. We gave it everything we had to try to make it work, and it just was not meant to be.’ So we could kind of put that away. And so with Nick passing, it wasn’t this sadness of, ‘Oh, God, I wish we would have tried that. Oh, man, I wish we would have picked up the phone and made the call.’ We had tried it. So I think there was a lot of peace in our world about that Nick had moved on.”
He further added:
“Nick, he used to joke about this. He [would go], ‘Ah, I just wanna die onstage. And he would kind of joke, almost to get a shock out of people. But it’s interesting — he even talked about it in his book, when I read it; he said something like, ‘I hope I just die onstage playing my drums.’ And talking to his son, I knew he was at peace — Nick was very much at peace in his life when he left. I remember when my dad passed, he and I had a great talk. He had called a lot of his friends. He was at peace, it seems when he left the planet. So it’s nice to know when people are sort of at peace with the people and the things in their life when it’s time to leave earth. And I know Nick was.
“I’m, like, ‘The son of a b*tch got to go out onstage, just like he wanted.’ The final laugh was with Nick. And that’s not to make light of his passing, but I’m also of the belief that this isn’t all there is — this life on earth is just a moment. And there are other things that we have a life beyond this. So, to me, it’s kind of, like, he passed through, got to rock it, blow sh*t up and then he got to move on.”