To some, the abrupt exits of Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover from Megadeth came as a surprise. To others, not so much. For Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, the announcements, which came mere hours apart, were a bit of both.

He tells USA Today, "I was surprised but not surprised." The rocker explained that the constant rumors about reuniting the band's Rust in Peace lineup may have played a role in Broderick and Drover deciding to move on. "Everybody was talking about it and they quit," says Mustaine. "I would have, too." As we now know, a Rust in Peace lineup reunion was at least discussed once Broderick and Drover exited, but ultimately Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson did not move forward with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza.

Though Mustaine has repeatedly praised new additions Kiko Loureiro and Chris Adler not only as players but for the personalities they brought to the band, he still has positive things to say about Broderick and Drover. "I got to this point in my life where I realized that you don't have to put somebody down to make somebody else look great," says the frontman. "I've got nothing bad to say about Shawn and Chris. I miss the friendship. I wish we had gotten the chance to say goodbye."

Drover and Broderick continued their working relationship after leaving Megadeth, starting the band Act of Defiance and delivering their debut disc Birth and the Burial last year. Meanwhile, Megadeth called upon Loureiro and Adler to fill out their lineup as they recorded the Dystopia album that's due this Friday (Jan. 22).

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Discusses Dystopia Songwriting and Inspirations

See Where Dave Mustaine Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time