Dave Mustaine pays tribute to former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza

Menza, who was with the band for nearly 10 years, died unexpectedly at the weekend

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has written a moving tribute for his former bandmate Nick Menza, who died unexpectedly last weekend aged just 51.

Menza, whom Mustaine described as a “brother”, died of heart failure while on stage with his band OHM.

In a moving letter posted on Megadeth’s official site on Sunday, Mustaine wrote: “shocked, devastated, and saddened don’t begin to describe my feelings.”

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Menza had originally been a tech for the band, Mustaine explained, but he “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,” he continued. “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… We, like all brothers, would disagree at times, but our bond was strong throughout.”

He spoke of Menza’s “powerful jazzy flair, unpredictable and always entertaining”, writing “as great a drummer as he was, the time spent with him as a person, a bandmate, and a friend was even more fun”.

Mustaine revealed that they’d discussed a return to the band, following a parting of the ways in 1997, but, he said “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,” said Mustaine, who also promised “an initiative to help Nick’s children”.