MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to Australian Associated Press about his attempt to reunite the band’s classic “Rust In Peace” lineup, featuring Nick Menza on drums and Marty Friedman on guitar, following last year’s departures of Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick.
“It’s no secret that the whole ‘Rust In Peace’ reunion lineup thing was being attempted,” he said. “I didn’t want that to happen. I know when something’s good and when something’s beyond its usefulness to us because the horse is dead.”
He continued: “In no way is this meant to be offensive to Shawn or Chris, but we’ve definitely upgraded talent-wise, personality-wise, friendship-wise.”
Mustaine also shot down the widely held belief that MEGADETH is a dictatorship, explaining that his goal at the end of the day is just to be a good leader.
“A lot of people think that the way we do things is always my way but it’s not,” he said. “Sometimes I’ve chosen the right way, sometimes the way that I’ve chosen was not the right way. Basically, treat people the way you want to be treated … If you’re a good leader and you love your people, they’ll do it.”
MEGADETH‘s current lineup includes Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA, and LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler.
In a 2014 interview with Loaded Radio, Mustaine spoke about Friedman and Menza coming back to MEGADETH. “That makes as much sense as somebody saying, ‘Put a rotten tooth back in your mouth,'” he explained. “Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve seen stuff that Menza‘s been saying [in interviews and online postings], and it’s unfortunate. And I know that Marty‘s happy doing what he’s doing. And frankly, if I wanted to get them back in the band, I would have worked it out, but I don’t want ’em in the band. I think that Shawn is, all around, if you add all the parts up, is way more what I want in my life and my band, and the same thing with Chris.”
Mustaine was similarly full of praise for Broderick in early 2008, just a couple of months after the guitarist first joined MEGADETH. Mustaine told Metal Edge at the time: “Chris is a phenomenal player… I told him, ‘I feel kinda like Ozzy [Osbourne] felt when he discovered Randy [Rhoads].’ I feel that kind of excitement right now.”
Menza claimed in a recent interview that the attempted reunion of the “Rust In Peace” lineup failed to materialize because Mustaine “didn’t wanna show me any love at all.”
The drummer said that he was approached by Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson to replace Drover last year, and that he had started working out new tracks with the band. But the plan collapsed after he was offered a contract he described as “very unfair.”
Speaking to Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon, Nick said: “I tried to make it happen by all my means and efforts, I tried to make it go down, but they just didn’t wanna show me any love at all, is really what it boils down. You know, I don’t need to do this. I wanted to.”
He went on to say: “We should have done an album this time. I was ready. I was out there recording with Dave, new songs, and we played a bunch of old songs for a weekend in San Diego, and then no agreement was put on the table for me — nothing in writing. I’m, like, ‘Dude, I’m not coming back until you give me a contract and some kind of agreement here.’ And they wouldn’t produce that. So… If you don’t wanna split the profits with me on the tour, forget it. I’ve got other stuff I can do that’s more exciting to me.”
MEGADETH‘s fifteenth studio album, “Dystopia”, will be released on January 22, 2016. The follow-up to 2013’s “Super Collider” was recorded earlier in the year in Nashville, Tennessee and was mixed by Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD, ALL THAT REMAINS and GOJIRA.