DEATH ANGEL guitarist Rob Cavestany has revealed to The National Student that he was in talks with Neck Menza about forming a new project together prior to the former MEGADETH drummer's death.
Rob said: "This is actually the first time I'm going to tell this story in public whatsoever: while we were about to go into the studio to record [DEATH ANGEL's brand new album] 'The Evil Divide' — somewhere around September/October — Nick Menza contacted me personally. And I'd never known him personally before.
"He contacted me about doing a project: he and [ex-MEGADETH guitarist] Chris Poland wanted to do a project with me and they wanted to write with me. I was just blown away, I was shocked, I was, like, 'Holy shit!'
"I was having these conversations with Nick, but the thing is that we were right about to go into the studio to do the album and I was like ‘Man, this just isn't good timing, I need all my focus on DEATH ANGEL. I cannot compromise a moment of it.'
"And they wanted to wait for me. He was sending me demos of music that they were writing and they wanted me to contribute to it and I had to say, 'I just can't right now.'
"He was persistent to the point where it was, like, 'Well, just come down to L.A. so we can jam together!' I was insanely honored and flattered that he wanted to work with me, but I couldn't do it at that time. I was in pre-production, I couldn't come off that course.
"And that was it. It just never happened."
He continued: ""We're not going on tour 'till September, so I planned to see what was going on with those guys. So when I heard that news, on multiple levels, it was heartbreaking for me. Thinking about the conversations with Nick and what we were gonna do, it's such a confusing and emotional thing for me. It's very sad.
"And no one knew! I barely even told the guys in my band because I didn't want them to trip out and start thinking that I was getting side-tracked. I've hardly told anyone about that because it was just between us: me and Nick and Chris Poland.
"It was quite intimidating, because those guys are insane musicians and Chris Poland's guitar playing is just insanity! So I'm, like, 'Me?! I'm not even in your caliber of musicianship!' But they seemed to think so and they wanted me in there, contributing to the writing. It was just a huge honor and I'll always treasure that. I'm just devastated I never had the chance to see what was up with that."
Nick collapsed after suffering a heart attack after the third song of OHM:'s set on May 21 at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital. He was 51 years old.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said Menza died of natural causes. The cause of Menza's death was listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Menza had reportedly dabbled with drugs in the earlier part of his career but had been completely sober for eight years.
Menza joined MEGADETH for the 1989 recording "Rust In Peace" and for the next nine years became associated with the band's "classic" and most profitable era.