MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke to Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (hear audio below): "It's interesting. 'Dystopia', I think, really reset the band. I think we really found the sweet spot, the center of the band again. And a lot of that was helped by Chris Adler from LAMB OF GOD, who played drums on that record. Of course, we had a new guitar player, with Kiko Loureiro in the band, and they really helped to bring a different perspective, I think, to me and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] and just to the organization as we were putting that record together. That thought pattern has now continued forward with this new record, again with Kiko, and now with our new drummer, Dirk Verbeuren. Having a little bit of a younger perspective, maybe, from them growing up as MEGADETH fans probably at one point in their lives, but also to…
"I think probably the biggest thing on album 16 now for MEGADETH is we're very critical of ourselves to not ever repeat ourselves — to not repeat the lyrics, not repeat the same theme, not repeat the same riffs or note patterns," he continued. "And that's actually kind of one of the bigger challenges — to not go to the comfort zone of repeating yourself. That certainly has been a challenge that I think we've certainly successfully met.
"It's an intense record," Ellefson added. "And I think there's a sense of fun about some of the songs too, in a way that some of the stuff that I think you probably would hear back in, like, maybe 'Countdown To Extinction' — records that were very obviously serious thematically and have the impact that you would expect from a MEGADETH lyric theme, but also some cool, fun stuff that is… And I think that came from the spirit of the four of us being in a room putting this record together."
Mustaine recently told SiriusXM's Jose Mangin that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells'" and "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's new LP will be the first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band almost four years ago.
Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
As previously reported, the first leg of MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES will be rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first leg of the 55-date trek tour was supposed to kick off June 12 at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and wrap August 1 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second run was due to launch October 2 at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and conclude on November 13 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.