MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine 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.
Mustaine said: "There was talk of a reunion, but I didn't want that, as much as the fans might want that, and the management that we just fired wanted it. The two guys that left were, I believe, unfairly treated by management: they didn't even say goodbye to me — that's how badly they were spoken to — and for that I'm sad. We spent a lot of years together and I wish them well."
He continued: "The thing with Nick and Marty wasn't meant to be. We did meet with them for dinner after the NAMM show [California's music trade exhibition, held in January] and it was really tense, I just didn't feel it. When you play music with somebody, it should be fun and smiles and high-fives, and I wasn't getting that. I don't want to talk bad about them, but they're just not part of the plan anymore."
Mustaine eventually decided to make the new MEGADETH album with LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.
"When the reunion idea didn't work out, I was kinda relieved," Mustaine said. 'I'd spoken to Chris [Adler] about playing on the album, but he thought I was winding him up. I got back in touch and said, 'Let's do this.' Finding a guitarist was more difficult, but my new management gave me a list and Kiko was on it. He has a great signature sound which ties in with the MEGADETH sound. We had him put down some guitar on a bass and drum track, and everyone in the studio was like, 'Fuck, this is really cool."'
Songtitles set to appear on MEGADETH's new album, which is being produced by Mustaine and Toby Wright (ALICE IN CHAINS, KORN), include "The Emperor Has No Clothes", "Tyranocide" and "Poisonous Shadows". The latter track features piano playing from Kiko as well as orchestration from famed Nashville arranger Ronn Huff, the father of former MEGADETH producer Dann Huff. MEGADETH also recorded two cover versions during the sessions for the new CD: "Melt The Ice Away" by BUDGIE and "Foreign Policy" by FEAR.
Menza explained to the "The Sick Room" podcast why his return to MEGADETH failed to materialize. He said: "I went out there [to Dave Mustaine's studio] and jammed with [Mustaine and David Ellefson]. We played for, like, a weekend — like, three days — and on the third day, we were working on new songs. And everything was cool. They were telling me, 'You're back in the band. We'll do a press release.' And I'm, like, 'I don't wanna say anything until I have an agreement, a contract in writing of what's gonna happen.' And then they send me this ridiculous proposal stating that, 'You're not gonna paid anything until the touring starts.' So, basically, I was gonna work for nothing, doing the record. Which I was still kind of ready to bend in that direction anyway. But I'm, like, 'You know what?! I'm not gonna break or sell myself short with something that's gonna be huge. They've gotta realize the longevity of it.' And then they were kind of coming back at me the same way. So the whole thing was silly. I didn't even get a chance to negotiate with them about anything. They just put it off and said, 'That's it.' And I couldn't get hold of anybody."
He added: "Believe me, I wish I was doing it, but, hey, it's not meant to be, obviously."