Less than 24 hours after former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza died, his old band is doing something to help his family. Today (May 22), frontman Dave Mustaine said that he's already started talks to perform a benefit concert that will hopefully include as many ex-members of Megadeth as they can get. He also released an official statement on Menza's death, which is reprinted in full below.

Albany, N.Y.'s Q103 spoke to Mustaine prior to their headlining slat at the Rock N' Derby festival at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds in Schaghticoke, N.Y., which is embedded above. Naturally, the conversation started with a discussion about Menza, and Mustaine described how they're planning to remember him. "Tonight we are hoping to do a moment of silence," he said, "and the band has already agreed [to] do a benefit in California. ... We're working out the details. ... We're hoping to leave an open stage for all of the alumni for Megadeth to come there and play with us, so that we can help leave behind something for Nick's children, which I think had been kind of left in a bad way. We wanted to get all that stuff set up and right now the wheels are all turning in our camp.

Menza played with Megadeth from 1989 through 1998. After making his debut on 1990's platinum Rust in Peace, they reached their commercial peak with three Top 10 albums: 1992’s Countdown to Extinction, 1994’s Youthanasia and 1997’s Cryptic Writings. A high-profile reunion in 2004 never got off the ground, which Mustaine said made things seem worse than it really was.

"People think we had this failed reunion attempt," he continued. "There were several times that we tried to reconcile stuff, and it just didn't happen for whatever reason. I don't know why, but it didn't. Now, I think it's the time to remember Nick and his legacy of just great performances."

Noting that the two were "very, very close," Mustaine got philosophical as he explained how the volatility of their relationship was an expression of its depth. "I think when you're that close with somebody," he said, "the temperatures run a lot hotter than in most relationships. So the love is that much more deeper and the anger is so much more hot and the sadness is so much more profound. So, I think that's when you're really in a relationship that matters to you."

Mustaine's statement reads as follows.

I woke up this morning to a text message from my son, with the news of Nick Menza's passing. Shocked, devastated, and saddened don't begin to describe my feelings.

Originally a tech for the band, Nick soon displayed such talent and personality, it didn’t take long for us to realize he belonged on stage with us, behind the kit. We asked Nick to join Megadeth as our drummer in 1989. At the time, the band already had its first platinum album, which only served to stoke the fire. We all wanted world domination -- with so much of our lives and dreams ahead of us. As we navigated through the pitfalls of life and the music business, our first album with Nick, 'Rust in Peace,' and subsequent albums 'Countdown to Extinction' and 'Youthanasia,' kept up the momentum. We parted ways after 'Cryptic Writings.' We, like all brothers, would disagree at times, but our bond was strong throughout.

As a player, Nick had a very powerful jazzy flair, unpredictable and always entertaining, And as great a drummer as he was, the time spent with him as a person, a bandmate, and a friend was even more fun. There were several times we discussed him coming back to the band, but for various reasons it never came together. We've been in touch all along, he had come out to our shows recently, and he had remained a great friend, a true professional and a larger than life personality.

The Megadeth family take care of each other, and expect to hear soon about an initiative to help Nick's children. All of us in this community are connected, take care of yourself and your loved ones.

My deepest condolences go out to Nick's family.

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