In a brand new interview with RollingStone.com, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke about his attempt to reunite the band's "Rust In Peace"-era lineup, with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza, following last year's departures of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover.
"Contrary to all the scuttlebutt that's going around, I wish those guys the best," Mustaine said. "But their recollections of the events that led up to it and happened after are considerably different from my recollection. But here's the thing — a lot of people, they either love or hate me. If I tell anybody what happened, it's not gonna change the way they feel about me. But it'll probably change the way they feel about them. And I don't want to hurt anybody. All I can say I think they're both tremendous musicians and talented guys.
Asked if this year's NAMM show in Anaheim, California marked the first time the four of them — Mustaine, Friedman, Menza and bassist David Ellefson — had actually sat down in a room together since the initial dissolution of that lineup some 15 years ago, Mustaine responded: "I think so. After my arm was injured in 2001, if you remember at that time, we had Al Pitrelli playing guitar with us, because Marty had had a nervous breakdown and had left the band. Then my arm got hurt and I said, 'Look, I'm done.' I didn't touch a guitar for 17 months. My arm was so damaged I couldn't even hold a cigarette. But when I decided to come out of retirement, I did reach out to David and Marty and Nick and talked to all of them about doing this again. But it just wasn't meant to happen. I think there was so much bitterness because of the people that were managing us at the time. If you poison the well, you can't expect there to be an area of clean water anywhere. Everyone gets poisoned. Everyone was upset and they looked to me to blame. And I am responsible for a lot of the decisions that we make."
Mustaine also spoke about his decision to enlist LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler to play on the new MEGADETH album, which is currently being recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. He said: "Our hopes were to have a permanent drummer, but the option to do a record with Chris was really exciting to me. So I thought, 'Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. We'll figure out what we're gonna do about live shows, who's gonna take the drum throne.' And we've looked at a lot of people. I talked with my friend [ex-DREAM THEATER drummer] Mike Portnoy, who I think is an amazing talent. I talked to [ex-SLAYER drummer] Dave Lombardo. [Current DREAM THEATER drummer] Mike Mangini's name has come up. But there was just something telling me to pause, saying, 'Really think about who you're gonna play with, Mustaine. Make sure you're going to do something that's really going to excite people and that is not predictable.' But we do have some live shows coming up and we have a drummer committed to our dates so far this year."
He continued: "But one of the things that was great about having Chris come in was he's been a fan for 30 years and he was able to say, 'Well, this is the stuff I like about my MEGADETH.' And it was 'OK, cool.' Because, you know, when we started we were a thrash and speed metal outfit, and as we got more successful and got more critical acclaim melody seeped in. I've always had a melodic content to my songs — it's kind of an innate thing from being brought up with three sisters who listened to Motown. But I think that being forced toward the end of our tenure with Capitol to try and become an alternative band, it muddied the water. And we did turn ourselves inside out a lot during the later Nineties and early part of the 2000s."
Read the entire interview at RollingStone.com.
Menza recently revealed that he was involved in discussions with MEGADETH about rejoining the band following the departure of Drover. Nick told the "The Sick Room" podcast: "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."
Drover quit MEGADETH last November "to pursue [his] own musical interests."
MEGADETH's next album will be the band's first to feature Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.