Chris Poland Recalls Megadeth Years: “I Had No Idea I Was Going to Be Part of Something Iconic”
Most former members of Megadeth have some form of resentment or an issue with notoriously difficult-to-work-with bandleader Dave Mustaine, but not Chris Poland. Poland, who played on two of Megadeth’s early, seminal works—Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! and Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?—recently spoke to Guitar World about a variety of topics and, naturally, his time in Megadeth was brought up.
The guitarist mentions that Mustaine wasn’t a fan of his tendency to improvise, but Poland acknowledges that the differences made that iteration of Megadeth special.
“Yeah, I guess that’s true. I came from a different place than Dave. But I guess that was the beauty of our incarnation of Megadeth. The differing opinions probably made the music as good as it was.”
In fact, he goes out of his way to clarify that he isn’t angry about his firing from Megadeth and says that he’s only become more proud of albums like Peace Sells since then.
“People think I’m angry about what happened, but I’m not. I look back on what we did with a lot of fondness. And as far as the guitar goes, I’m a better player now. My instincts are sharper. But I still do what I’ve always done – fly by the seat of my pants [laughs]. And, yeah, I still sometimes struggle to re-learn things. But, man, I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of those Megadeth records and how humbled I am to have been a part of it all.
“I mean… Peace Sells… [But Who’s Buying?] was a serious record, dude. It was a serious record; I didn’t even know it until years later. When I first heard the mix, all I could do was compare it to Metallica’s Master of Puppets, and I was so bummed out. I never listened to it again after that.
“But then it got remastered years later, and I went back and listened, and that’s when I realized I’d been a part of a genius record. So, all credit to Dave Mustaine; he probably knew. To me, we were just playing music. I had no idea I was going to be part of something iconic. But I’m glad I was.”
Peace Sells… is not only one of Megadeth’s best albums but it’s one of the best thrash albums ever recorded. Glad Poland is aware of it. Poland and Mustaine played live together in 2019, so they must be on at least semi-decent terms these days.