Ex-Megadeth Guitarist Chris Poland On Dave Mustaine: ‘You Know What You’re Getting’
Former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland sat down earlier this month for a two-part appearance on the podcast As The Story Grows where he talked about his time in the band and relationship with Dave Mustaine, among other topics.
"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."
Poland, who has been in the instrumental/jazz fusion outfit OHM since 1997, was the guitarist in Megadeth from 1984 to 1987. He returned for a brief stint in 2004 to do session guitar work on The System Has Failed, but later that year had a falling out with Mustaine over a reissue of Rust in Peace which featured his playing on some unreleased demos; Poland claimed he wasn't compensated fairly when they came out as bonus tracks.
"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."
Mustaine said it was a "nuisance suit" in a tweet he sent out this past December, adding, "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."
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