We’re beyond saddened to report that famed drummer Nick Menza, who played a pivotal role behind the kits for Megadeth from 1989-1998. Menza was also a member of the group OHM, founded by former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland. It was with this group that Menza would spend his final moments, as the band was performing at their local spot, The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, CA, when the 51-year-old drummer collapsed behind the kit.
As a member of Megadeth, Menza was present for four of the band’s most acclaimed albums: Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings. Though Menza left the group for health reasons in 1998, he would return for rehearsals when the band planned a reunion in 2004. Unfortunately, Menza and Dave Mustaine could not come to an agreement, and Mustaine reported that Menza wasn’t prepared for the demands of a national tour.
Still, that never kept Menza off the stage. He performed with groups like Orphaned to Hatred, Mindstreem, and, of course, OHM. Fans from the jam scene will remember that OHM has collaborated on and off with Umphrey’s McGee since 2008 as OHMphrey, though Menza was not a part of that project.
Reports from last night indicate that OHM was on stage at their regularly-frequented spot, The Baked Potato, when Menza collapsed during the show. He was reportedly rushed to the hospital, with a possible heart failure. While no official report has been released, a number of Menza’s peers and collaborators have expressed their condolences for the lost drummer.
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
— Anabella Poland (@AnabellaPoland) May 22, 2016
We’ll play you off with a video shared by OHM, capturing Menza on the 10th anniversary of Soultone Cymbals. RIP Nick Menza.