Former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland recently spoke to The Metal Voice and claimed Dave Mustaine collected all the band’s money and paid per diem to each member.
Chris Poland joined Megadeth in 1984 after Gar Samuelson’s suggestion. He then worked with the band until 1987, when the band fired him and Samuelson due to substance abuse. Before getting fired, Poland sold Mustaine’s and Ellefson’s guitar gear to find the money for drugs.
Megadeth released their debut album after Poland’s addition. Titled ‘Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good,’ the album was released on June 12, 1985, on the independent record label Combat Records. Although the album wasn’t a major success, it caught more prominent labels’ attention.
At the beginning of 1985, Combat Records gave Megadeth $8,000 to record and produce their debut album. They allegedly spent all this money on food, drugs, and alcohol. So they had to fire their original producer and handle the production duties alone.
In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, Chris Poland argued that this is a myth, and they only had about $6000 or $8000 for the album. He then said all their money went to Dave Mustaine’s account, and he paid them per diem; 100 dollars a week. According to Poland, their budget for the following album was $26,000, and they had $200 a week.
During the conversation, Chris Poland said the following:
“First of all, when we got any money, it was in Dave Mustaine’s account. We got a per diem, 100 bucks a week. This myth that the first record was spent on drugs is bullsh*t. We only had about $6000 or $8000 to make a record, and we made it in a couple of weeks, and drugs aren’t that expensive.
We weren’t even that far gone then. Also, if it weren’t for Cliff Cultreri, I wouldn’t have gotten solos on the first record. He asked Dave Mustaine to give me solos because I wasn’t going to get a bunch of solos. I thank Cliff for that; rest in peace. Even ‘Peace Sells.’ I think our budget was $26,000, but we were in really nice studios. We still had our $200 a week that we lived on.”
You can watch the rest of the interview below.