At this past weekend's Rockfest festival in Hyvinkää, Finland, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to Kaaos TV about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. The upcoming effort will mark the group's first release to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who officially joined the band two years ago.
Mustaine said: "I'm looking forward to going into the studio again. There's just a certain kind of magic that happens when Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and David Ellefson [bass] and I get in the room and start playing. And now with Dirk, it's different. We know what it was like with Chris Adler [the LAMB OF GOD drummer who played on 'Dystopia'], but with Dirk, this is all new. And, of course, we've played with Dirk so many times, it's exciting, but it's also, for us… the expectations are so high, 'cause I just wanna go and record with Dirk already and get it over with, because he's such a great player and we're all so excited to see what he can do. 'Cause, you know, when you're playing a song that's already recorded, you're playing something somebody else has already done. And if he gets the chance to do something new, then we get to see a whole brand new thought process with MEGADETH music, which I like."
According to Mustaine, MEGADETH's next record will once again see the band exploring new musical territories. "I try to do that," he said. "If I was stupid or selfish or gutless, I guess, I would make the same record over and over again, but I don't think that's growing, and I don't think that the fans will appreciate that. Certain fans that want bands to make the same record over and over again, they will appreciate if you're like some of the bands from the '80s and '70s that made the same record over and over again. But we don't. I believe MEGADETH has always been more along the lines of when LED ZEPPELIN would put out a new record, you didn't really know what you were getting. MOTÖRHEAD [and] AC/DC, sure, you know what you're getting. And I love MOTÖRHEAD and I love AC/DC, but you see there's a lot of other bands that try and do what they do, and they can't pull it off. It just sounds like a band that is doing something they shouldn't be doing."
Mustaine went on to say that MEGADETH has plenty of ideas to choose from for the upcoming album. "We had so many songs saved over over the years, and we're so far ahead of the game ready right now," he said. "I've already started recording stuff for the new record, the band guys have already started recording stuff for the new record. And I think if we can just make 'Dystopia II', nothing better, if we can make another 'Dystopia', we'll be set. Now, I think we're gonna do better — I think we're gonna do a lot better — because we're closer. This will be Kiko's second record with me.
"As a record producer myself, I learned stuff about musicians in the studio and I learned a lot of really interesting things about Kiko," he continued. "I think I can push him even farther on the next record with his guitar-playing abilities, because he's a monster on guitar; it's just mind-blowing. And because he has this Latin demeanor, I don't know when he's having a good day or not having a good day, so I'm constantly, 'Hey, let's go; let's go; let's go.' And I can tell in his playing, there's a passion and an emotion that I haven't heard in metal for a very long time.
"You hear guys that are really great players that can do a lot of that stuff, but the passion isn't quite there or the note selection. You can go from a major scale to a minor scale, thinking that you're gonna make it into something that's really moody, and all it is is just a fucking scale that went from major to minor and there's nothing to it. You see guys like Yngwie Malmsteen who can do a hundred notes in the time it takes me to do two. I look at somebody like David Gilmour [PINK FLOYD], and I say… to me, Gilmour is… I'm drawn more to his playing style. 'Cause you can think of any PINK FLOYD solo right now. If I said, 'Think of the solo to 'Money''; if I said, 'Think of the solo to 'Comfortably Numb',' you would know those. If I said, 'Think of the solo to 'You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget',' you're gonna go, 'Oh, that's the one with the six-million-note solo.' But Yngwie is such an amazingly talented guy. And for me, it comes down to, with this new record, being kind of like knowing, 'When is David Gilmour enough? When do you need to turn up the notes to make it more like Yngwie?' And I know that now with Kiko. I can say, 'Okay, let's have a little bit of some smokey, sultry, passionate stuff.' 'Okay, now let's just get in your face' — you know, that kind of stuff."
In 2018, MEGADETH is celebrating its 35th anniversary all year long, with special releases, exclusive merchandise items, and one-of-a-kind events and opportunities for fans worldwide.
The band is tentatively scheduled to enter the studio before the end of the year to begin recording its new album for a 2019 release.
"Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first album with Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with ANGRA.