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Dave Mustaine on Megadeth Drummer Nick Menza's Death: 'Immediately My Heart Sank'

"We loved and cared so much for each other," says the metal legend of Menza

On Saturday, May 21, Megadeth alum Nick Menza died shortly after collapsing onstage early into a gig. The 51-year-old drummer was performing with his band, OHM; his cause of death, according to management, was "a massive heart attack."

At the Rock 'N Derby Festival in Schaghticoke, N.Y., Fuse spoke to Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, who co-founded the thrash act together in 1983. Menza was their drummer from 1989 to 1998, appearing on classic LPs like Rust in Peace and Youthanasia. They played together again briefly in late 2014.

Ellefson told Fuse the news was "pretty rough" and that Menza was an "integral part of the big thrust of our legacy." Mustaine, upon learning the news from his son at 4 a.m., said, "Immediately my heart sank." Despite a rocky history together, Mustaine said "we loved and cared so much for each other" and that they wrote "stuff that changed the world."

Mustaine now hopes to "abolish this whole talk about us not liking each other. Metal is so passionate and your love for one another is just as deep and just as real as when you have dislike for someone, too."

The band is currently figuring out a way to pay tribute to Menza and help his wife and two sons. Meanwhile, remember the drummer with this truly spectacular 1990 concert footage:

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