David Ellefson says that fans will probably have to wait until at least early 2020 to see a new studio album from MEGADETH.
MEGADETH hasn't released any fresh music since 2016's "Dystopia" record, whose title track won a Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" at the 2017 ceremony.
Asked by Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station for an update on the progress of the writing and recording sessions for MEGADETH's next disc, Ellefson said (hear audio below): "We shut down pretty much the end of 2017, was when we wrapped up in South America. And then the intention was 2018 would be writing a new album. Probably our biggest challenge is we don't live in the same cities — Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] are in L.A.; I'm in Scottsdale; Dave's [Mustaine, guitar/vocals] over in Nashville. Nashville is kind of the creative hub of our operation, where we rehearse and we do everything. We did only about eight weeks of shows last year that kind of came up — Europe and Mexico and stuff. But it's funny, we have a Dropbox folder that we all access. But it's organized well, where we keep track of what people are putting in there and contributing."
The bassist continued: "We were obviously planning to do the Ozzy [Osbourne]- MEGADETH tour, and now that that's been pushed back to next year, in a way, probably opens up a perfect window for us to really get in now [and work on the new record]. All things happen for a reason, so I think on the MEGADETH schedule, it's probably maybe good timing, actually, to just go right in, and we're gonna definitely be really hunkering down now to get that going. Because we have some of our own shows in August that have been on the books — there's actually a few more coming in now — there's Rock In Rio, and that's early October, and then there's the [MegaCruise]. As much as we were hoping to have a record out this year, looking at how the 'Dystopia' timeline was where we were working on it early in 2015, we started doing some shows later that year, we put out a heavy track, 'Fatal Illusion', and then the record dropped in early 2016. So, in this case, sometime probably early 2020 is my thought that that's probably when the record will be ready to come out."
MEGADETH's next LP will be the first to feature Verbeuren, who joined the band nearly three years ago.
"Dystopia" was MEGADETH's first album with Loureiro, who was previously best known for his work with the Brazilian metal band ANGRA.
MEGADETH's "Warheads On Foreheads" compilation was released on March 22. The disc features 35 remastered tracks selected by Mustaine.
Prior to the arrival of "Warheads On Foreheads", MEGADETH reissued two of its iconic records, 2001's "The World Needs A Hero" and 2004's "The System Has Failed", through BMG on February 15.
MEGADETH's first-ever MegaCruise aboard the Norwegian Jewel will set sail on October 13 from Los Angeles, California and hit ports of San Diego, California and Ensenada, Mexico before returning on October 18.