NICK MENZA Documentary Is Being Edited, Says Ex-MEGADETH Bassist DAVID ELLEFSON
November 3, 2022
In September 2021, Screaming Butterfly Entertainment announced a partnership with former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and his Ellefson Films on the upcoming feature-length documentary "This Was My Life: The Story Of Nick Menza". Ellefson signed on as a co-producer of the film, and also will provide narration to guide the viewer through the exploration of the late MEGADETH drummer's life. The "This Was My Life" soundtrack will consist of eight or nine songs built around Nick's unearthed and previously unreleased drum riffs that Menza recorded for a project he started working on between 2013 and 2015. Ellefson played bass on a few of the tracks and is also serving as the project's executive producer.
Asked in a new interview with Dr. Music what the status of the Menza documentary is right now, Ellefson said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're editing the video component of it now, so getting the movie part edited. The soundtrack, in fact, almost daily we're still [touching up] a few things, trying to get the last couple of tracks done, 'cause we've got some terrific music on here. And trying to get that wrapped up, so that we can get the soundtrack [completed]."
He continued: "I didn't wanna commit to saying, 'We've got 15 songs [for the soundtrack],' cause what if we only get five that are awesome? Or why say five if you get 15? So I said, 'Let's just let it flow. Let's see what we come up with. Let's see who the collaborators are.' 'Cause, again, we wanna hear Nick play. What I like about the soundtrack is there's some Nick stuff that he… I was surprised how much stuff he did after MEGADETH. There was some modern stuff, some very kind of almost industrial tracks that he had that were available. So there was a lot of other stuff. And then, of course, there's just some good old Nick wide-open-in-the-room, room-mics-up banging on the ride cymbal, playing as we would have known him from the MEGADETH days — that type of playing, some tracks that he had that were available."
Ellefson added: "My idea was, 'Let's collaborate around Nick, since he's not with us. We'll take some tracks that were available and we could use and then compose around that. And like I told people, I said, 'Look, we could chop these up. It doesn't have to be exactly as it is. We can chop it up. We can do things with digital and analog technology. And let's write a song, and let's write a good song. Let's make it something good.' I didn't play on everything; I played on a few things. It doesn't have to just be about me and Nick. It's about Nick and his thing. And we're gonna take the money from it — any of the co-writes; Nick is a co-writer on all of it — so that way the money goes back to his family and to his kids. And it's a nice way to kind of send something back to the family."
Menza, who was a member of MEGADETH from 1989 to 1998 and appeared on four of the band's studio albums, suffered a heart attack and collapsed during a concert with Chris Poland and Robertino "Pag" Pagliari in their band OHM: in May 2016 at the Baked Potato in Studio City, California and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said Menza died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
"This Was My Life" will be the first-ever film to memorialize Menza's legacy and celebrate his life exactly how it was. It is described in a press release as "an unflinching exploration into the life of one of the most successful thrash-metal drummers of all time, authorized by the Menza family. From his childhood all the way through to the end of his life, including a true blow-by-blow account of the repeated failed attempts of the classic 'Rust In Peace' lineup."
"This Was My Life" will feature rare and never-before-seen photos and video footage from Nick's archived VHS tape collection, personally filmed by Menza himself from 1988 through 1991. Included will be exclusive content showcasing Nick working at the studio, personal home movies, casual time and party time with his fellow bandmembers, as well as other well-known artists of the era that Nick toured with.
The cover photo for the film was shot by Los Angeles music photographer Alex Solca and designed by Brazilian artwork designer Alcides Burn of Burn Artworks.
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