MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine spoke to Revolver magazine about the band's new lineup — featuring founding members Mustaine (guitar, vocals) and David Ellefson (bass) alongside LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA. He said: "Ellefson was saying to me just the other day, 'This is the best the band has ever played together, and this is the best we've ever gotten along.' And I was thinking about it — we've had lineups where we've all been really friendly with one another, and then there were other times when there were guys with us that were super, super-talented, but you couldn't get close with them. But Kiko's got everything Marty [Friedman] and Chris Poland had, rolled into one, and he's very, very enjoyable to be around. And man, if we could clone Adler so that we could have him and LAMB OF GOD could have him, boy, Christmas would come early for Dave!"
Mustaine previously told The Irish Sun that Kiko made significant contributions to MEGADETH's new album, "Dystopia". He said: "A lot of times guitarists won't know how to add to something — they'll put something in there that's kind of like tits on a bull, unnecessary. Kiko came in and immediately started making some really good suggestions that we applied [to 'Dystopia']. When he first came in, I knew he had the ability but I didn't know if the songwriting technique and talent was going to show up this early on."
He continued: "What was great about the suggestions that Kiko made was that they weren't just guitar ones — he made a bass part in a song called 'Me Hate You' [that made it] really come along. In fact, that was one of the songs where he made a huge melodic contribution in the chorus and I said, 'Man, this sounds like something.'"
According to Dave, Kiko possesses all the elements that are required to become part of a legendary metal act like MEGADETH.
"For me — really simply stated — if you want to be a musician, that's one thing. If you want to be a rock star, that's another," Mustaine said. "But if you want to be legendary, you need to have three very important components: you need to have ability, you need to have appearance, and you need to have attitude. Without all three of those things, it's kind of like trying to have a three-legged milk stool without three legs — it's just not going to work."
He continued: "I found with Kiko, his ability was astronomical, with his attitude he was very confident in what he did — there's a difference between confidence and arrogance. In appearance, he was very classy and very subdued on the street, but up on stage he totally takes command of his performance. When he came up to Nashville to visit with me, I didn't even have him play for the majority of the day he was there. I just wanted to hang out with him and it's been a really long time since I hung out with a guitar player before I hired him. Usually I would listen to how he played and then I'd go, 'OK, we'll work it out.' I didn't want to do that again. Hanging out with Kiko, and having lunch and kicking back and talking music was all I needed — I knew he was the right guy."
Mustaine told MetalIreland.com about his friendship and working relationship with Adler: "LAMB OF GOD and MEGADETH had toured together many years ago — we did Gigantour together. And I got to know Chris and really liked him. I had no idea how much he looked up to me, and to MEGADETH. And especially with Gar [Samuelson, late MEGADETH drummer], he was very impressed by Gar's playing. So we became incredibly close, in a short period of time."
He continued: "There is no drummer, other than Gar, that I've gotten that close to. Honestly! There was Chuck [Behler], there was Nick [Menza], there was Jimmy DeGrasso, there was Vinnie Colaiuta, there was Shawn Drover — and they're all talented, but in terms of being close with someone and really enjoying being in their company and calling someone up and saying, 'Hey, where are you? Wanna do something?' That's where we're at right now."