Nick Menza (1964, Munich, Germany) was born as the son of famed jazz saxophone player Don Menza. Little Nick began playing drums at the age of two.
It was then Nick performed at his first public concert when during the intermission someone sat him down on Jack De Johnette's drums and he proceeded to play. Nick was nurtured around the tutelage of such notables as Buddy Rich, Steve Gadd, Nick Ceroli, Jeff Porcaro and Louis Bellson.
Beginning his professional musical career at the age of eighteen drumming in the band Rhodes featuring singer Kelly Rhoads, brother of the late Randy, Nick released his first record with Rhoads called "Into The Future" in Europe. The band hit the road with Foghat for a short time.
Moving on to session playing including styles ranging from R&B to Gospel, Funk and Heavy Metal recording with the likes of John Fogerty, Nick caught the attention of then Megadeth drummer Chuck Behler and became his tech.
When Megadeth needed a drummer, Nick Menza was asked to join the band. In July 1989 Nick Menza was hired as Megadeth's drummer. He replaced previous skinsman Chuck Behler who had played with Megadeth since early 1987.
With Menza on drums the band release albums like "Youthanasia" (1994) and was featured on several soundtracks of motion pictures and computer games.
Nick Menza would stay until July 1998, when Jimmy DeGrasso joined the band as his replacement.
During his stint in Megadeth, Nick also played drums on his bandmate Marty Friedman's three solo albums Scenes (1992), Introduction (1994), and True Obsessions (1996).
By the summer of 1998, while the band was still touring in support of Cryptic Writings, Menza was having knee problems and sought medical advice. He was informed he had a tumor, which was later found to be benign, and had it removed. As a result, Megadeth hired a temporary replacement by Jimmy DeGrasso rather than cancel any dates. When the time came to record a follow-up album, Menza was not asked back and Jimmy DeGrasso became the band's official drummer. Nick Menza has said in several interviews that, while in the hospital recovering from knee surgery, he received a phone call from Mustaine that simply said "Your services are not needed anymore".
After his departure, he began work on solo album 'Menza: Life After Deth' in 2001.
Following the reissue of the entire Megadeth catalog, Nick Menza was invited to reunite with Megadeth in 2004. Days after a reunion was announced Menza was fired after rehearsals and replaced with Shawn Drover (Eidolon). Dave Mustaine said that this was because Nick "just wasn't prepared" for a full scale US tour, physically.
In April 2006, Menza joined the Los Angeles-based metal band Orphaned to Hatred.
In March 2011, Menza appeared in a music video for Mindstreem's We Up Next.
Around thye same time, Nick Menza played in California-based progressive rock band Deltanaut.
Nick Menza passed away on May 21, 2016 after succumbing to heart failure while performing with his band, OHM, in Los Angeles.