During an appearance on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume, MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to the band's "Dystopia" album. When asked if he has commenced work on music for the next MEGADETH disc, Mustaine said: "A little bit. I'm being particular, because I figured if I can at least do as good as 'Dystopia', then we're great. And I believe I can do that.
"Going into the studio now, I'm gonna have Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] come out, and we're gonna start writing," he continued. "And it's gonna be exciting for me, because Kiko's just a wealth of talent as far as guitar playing is concerned. And after Chris [Adler, LAMB OF GOD] got into the studio and inspired me with his modern drumming, Dirk was the drummer that Chris actually recommended for us. Knowing how much Chris is a fan of MEGADETH and how much he wanted to play with us, he knew he couldn't and said that Dirk was the guy. And Dirk definitely is the guy — he's got some talent that I can't wait to unleash in the studio."
Pressed about whether it was a "difficult" decision to make to part ways with Adler after the LAMB OF GOD drummer appeared on "Dystopia" and played some of the early shows in support of the record, Mustaine said: "I don't really think there was a decision to be made. Chris is a part of LAMB OF GOD and that was his first love. And we would have liked to have had him in MEGADETH, but he was a member of LAMB OF GOD. And I'm not a homewrecker; I don't like to break bands up.
"I know when Cliff [Burton] left TRAUMA to join [Mustaine's then-band] METALLICA, that really bothered me 'cause of some of the stuff people said that were TRAUMA fans," he explained. "And they said some nasty stuff about us. And I remember that, and I promised myself I'm never gonna poach people from other people's bands. If there's somebody I wanna play with, I'm gonna make sure that they're not in a band with someone else at the time."
As for when MEGADETH fans can expect to see the band's next album, Mustaine said: "I don't think it's gonna happen this year. Even if we started right now assembling all the parts and stuff, I don't wanna rush it, because… Just the beauty of being able to get in there and play, like I was saying, with Kiko, because he has such a depth of guitar playing. For me, it's really rewarding because I learned so much stuff watching him play."
According to Mustaine, "there was only one time in the studio" that Kiko "kind of threw me for a loop. We filmed it too," Mustaine said. "I was sitting there working on Pro Tools and I was staring at the console. And he looks [at me] and he goes, 'Hey, Dave, I have this idea for this next song.' And he starts playing reggae and I looked at him and I went… And it was just one of those moments where you knew by watching that that we were close, that we had that friendship. And I haven't had that kind of relationship with a guitar player for a very long time. When we were with Glen Drover, I felt that way. When we were with [Chris] Poland, when it was working, it felt that way. And there wasn't really any of the other guys that I was that close with, that I felt like that."
Dave added: "When you're playing music with somebody, when you know the dude's just coming for a paycheck, it really sucks the life out of everything."
Acknowledging that there are "positives and negatives" to having gone through so many different musicians during MEGADETH's three-and-a-half-decade career, Mustaine said: "I think the one thing that was probably the hardest was when you meet somebody and they subscribe to your mentality and they join the club. And then, on down the road, you start finding out that it never was meant to be, whether they were a fraud and that they didn't really wanna be part of this musical scene and that they were just doing it to use it as a launchpad to something else, or if they flat-out were incapable of ever doing it."
In 2018, MEGADETH will celebrate its 35th anniversary all year long, with special releases, exclusive merchandise items, and one-of-a-kind events and opportunities for fans worldwide.
"Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first album with Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.