MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson spoke to the "Thunder Underground" podcast about what the band's latest addition, drummer Dirk Verbeuren, has added to the MEGADETH sound on the upcoming follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (hear audio below): "[Dirk's] amazing, man. One of the things about Dirk, probably more than any other drummer, he really… Obviously, he's great at [playing] the current stuff. When you come into MEGADETH at this point, man, you've got some pretty serious legacy to cover and to really do it well.
"We've had some great musicians in the band, for sure, but Dirk is a guy who fundamentally channels his inner Gar Samuelson [late MEGADETH drummer]. [Laughs] It's one thing to listen to it as a listener, it's a whole other thing when you're really in the room… Me and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] will look at each other and go, 'Jeez, man, he plays just like Gar.' And to really know that, because Dave and I were in the room with Gar when he was writing and playing his parts and recording them.
"I think the difference is Gar, in a jazz tradition, never played the same thing twice, and if you asked him to, he would almost purposefully and rebelliously not play the same thing twice, because that was part of his jazz rebellion. Jazz was kind of the original rock and roll — the original rebellious music.
"Because Dirk is such a schooled musician — he's a great player; he can write charts; he can read music; he's got a great ear… Obviously, he's one of the progressive, and I don't mean 'prog rock,' but the grindcore progressive, he's an inventor of that style of drumming and really owns it and is respected around the world and around the drum community, especially for that drum genre, which is so progressive, that he can come in and just add so much really special flavor to MEGADETH.
"I can't wait for people to hear the record. We're wrapping basic tracks, so I can't really talk too much about it yet, because there's still some to be recorded, but speaking to Dirk, man, he is a shining star on the new record."
Verbeuren had been playing with SOILWORK for more than a decade before joining MEGADETH in 2016 as the replacement for Chris Adler (ex-LAMB OF GOD), who called Dirk "probably [one of the] top three drummers in the world."
As previously reported, MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.