Nick Menza, a former drummer for metal band Megadeth, died Saturday night (May 21) during a show with his latest band, the progressive rock and jazz fusion group OHM. He was 51.
OHM, which also includes former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland and bassist Robertino Pagliari, was performing at the Baked Potato, a small Los Angeles jazz club.
“Nick collapsed during the third song into a set with his band OHM. Earliest reports indicate he suffered a massive heart attack and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital,” Menza’s management told The Guardian.
As a member of Megadeth, Menza contributed to albums including Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia, and Cryptic Writings. He also released one album as a solo artist, Life After Deth, and three albums with OHM.
Megadeth lead singer and co-founder Dave Mustaine reacted with shock. “TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE,” he tweeted after hearing the news in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman remembered Menza on Facebook: