Original Megadeth Guitarist Chris Poland Comments On Relationship with Dave Mustaine

Back in the mid-1980’s, Megadeth had appeared as the creation that stemmed from the firing of guitarist and vocalist Dave Mustaine from his time in Metallica. It was then that Mustaine built a beast that in some ways may not have risen to the rank that Metallica had, but his own fiery vengeance was flamed on a symphony of destruction.

During the building blocks of Megadeth, Mustaine recruited the likes of jazz fusion wizard Chris Poland to compliment his shredding thrashy style to what would later give birth to Megadeth’s debut album, Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! That album would later build a following and traction to fame that Mustaine had hoping of gaining with Metallica. From there, it spawned more rapid fire on their sophomore album, Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

These two albums would be the only albums that Poland would find himself recording for Megadeth as a full fledged member. As the years went on, Poland later found his playing on a couple of session tracks within the bands most popular record, Rust In Peace, as well as The System Has Failed.

Since his time with Megadeth, Poland has continued to follow his jazz roots, forming his jazz fusion band, OHM in 1997. Earlier this month, Poland was featured on a podcast entitled As The Story Grows, in which Poland talks about his time in Megadeth with Mustaine, and his relationship with him.

“Here’s the thing with Dave – he knows what he wants, and as long as he’s not crazy drunk, he’s a great guy,” Poland says. “When we did The System Has Failed, it was awesome, man – it was fun. It was a learning experience; I met Ralph Patlan, who helped me mix my next record. The thing about Dave Mustaine, you know what you’re getting. He doesn’t hide anything. It’s not, like, a mystery.”

“When I did The System Has Failed, [Mustaine] was working on adding the demos to a re-release of Rust In Peace,” Poland says. “And I wasn’t going to get paid, but I didn’t realize that until it came out. I was like, ‘Wait a minute – I’m not getting paid for this.’ And I tried to call Dave at least a dozen times, and I never heard back from him. Then I called Dave’s manager a dozen times, and he wouldn’t get back to me. The last time I called him, I said, ‘Hey, man. If you don’t call me back, I’m going to call [my lawyer], and we’re going to have to get into it.’ [Mustaine’s manager] calls me back and totally insults me, saying, ‘You played a couple solos. So what?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean, ‘So what?” ‘Well, Dave thought that you would do it for the fans.’ I said, ‘Okay. Is everybody else that played on that demo doing it for the fans? Are they getting paid?’ He said, ‘Chris, that’s not the point.’ I said, ‘Listen man, we have to do something here. I’m not just going to walk away. I love the fans, but I’m just not going to do it. If everybody else is getting a performance royalty for this, I want one.’ I want everybody to know that it wasn’t a nuisance suit, it wasn’t anything like that. I made every attempt to work it out, and they just ignored me.”

In response to this nuisance suit, Mustaine tweeted out, stating, “Chris sued me for $9,500 bcuz I put the demos I paid for on the RIP reissue. It’s called a nuisance suit and he sold out our friendship for four figures. I’ll always appreciate him being in Megadeth, but not as much as I do him NOT being in Megadeth.”

JT “Doc” Berry \m/

@doctoberberry