Former Megadeth Drummer Nick Menza Has Died at the Age of 51
Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza has died at the age of 51. MetalAddicts.com, the first site with the report, says that Menza died from heart failure “while performing with his band” Ohm at The Baked Potato in LA last night.
Tweets and Facebook posts by Dave Mustaine, Dave’s son Justis and the The Baked Potato (posted below) have since confirmed the report. Menza’s Wikipedia page has been updated to include the date of his passing as May 21, 2016.
TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato. #nickmenzarip
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) May 22, 2016
Menza played drums in Megadeth from 1989 through 1998 and recorded on four albums — Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings — and was considered by most fans to be a crucial part of the classic and best ‘Deth lineup along with Mustaine, Marty Friedman and Dave Ellefson. The son of a jazz drummer, he also played drums on three of Friedman’s solo albums, played in Orphaned to Hate from 2006-2010, spent time with Deltanaut and, most recently, Ohm, along with former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (and also for a time former Megadeth bassist James Lomenzo).
There were strong rumors that Menza might return to Megadeth following Shawn Drover’s departure in 2014, but according to Menza the two sides were never able to work out the finances after Menza was “offered a very unfair deal that was so wrong.”
Menza’s passing might not be of the same media-grabbing profile as the recent deaths of Lemmy, Weiland, Bowie, Prince, etc., but to anyone who listened to metal at all in the past 30 years this is a huge blow — Menza played on some of the most important metal albums of all time, and his sound made an indelible mark on the genre’s history. On behalf of everyone at MetalSucks, we wish Menza’s family, friends and bandmates (current and former) all the best. And though it’s certainly no consolation, at last there is this: he died doing what he loved.
Below, watch Menza performing with Ohm this past January at The Baked Potato, the same venue at which he’d give his final performance four months later.