Kiko Loureiro spoke to Argentinian journalist Lucas Gordon about what it was like to hook up with MEGADETH in 2015 after spending two decades playing with the Brazilian band ANGRA.
"It was a totally different experience to join a legendary band," the guitarist said (see video below). "With ANGRA, we built the band from scratch, from Brazil, from the beginning — hard work throughout 20 years. And then invitation to join MEGADETH [came]. I was already living in Los Angeles. And I talked to the guys from ANGRA. Everybody said, 'You have to go. You should do it.' So, [it was] a lot of responsibility to join a legendary band, to be working with Dave Mustaine and [David] Ellefson."
According to Kiko, it was natural for him to assume a more background role in the MEGADETH decision-making process.
"In ANGRA, I was really hands-on, doing a lot of stuff, not only playing guitar," he explained. "And that gives me a lot of experience when joining MEGADETH, where they have a great management, 5B, so you don't need to… I mean, in ANGRA, we had a manager too, but I was more hands-on. And MEGADETH has a much bigger structure and a lot of people working for MEGADETH, so, for me, it's really like I need to [focus on playing] guitar. But as I have all this experience, I can bring ideas; I can discuss all this stuff. They're very open to ideas and possibilities. Why not?"
Loureiro made his MEGADETH recording debut on the band's 15th studio album, "Dystopia", which was released in January 2016.
Mustaine told Revolver magazine that finding Loureiro "was really a mind-blower. It was the first time since Marty Friedman joined the band that I was really intimidated as a player," he said. "He's such an amazing talent, and he's been coming in with all of these fresh ideas." Mustaine has also called Loureiro the "best guitarist we've ever had," adding that he was a good fit personality wise. "Chris [Broderick] and I had a good chemistry, but we weren't really as close as I would have wanted us to be," Mustaine explained. "Kiko, I feel like I've known him for years."
In addition to Mustaine, Ellefson and Loureiro, MEGADETH's current lineup includes former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren.
MEGADETH is working on material for the follow-up to "Dystopia" for a tentative 2020 release.