During a recent appearance on "The Dan Chan Show", MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson offered an update on the progress of the recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. He said (hear audio below): "The new MEGADETH album is almost done — rounding the corners into the 'final final.' It's funny, 'cause we'd kind of been working on it for four years. Look, COVID, of course, last year changed the course of everything, and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] went through throat cancer treatments the year before that, 2019. So, there have been some diversions. But at the same time, the record's always been being worked on."
He continued: "It's funny — my view is that it's probably kind of been in the works similar to 'Dystopia'; we're almost on the exact same timeline of when it's gonna be finished, mixed [and] delivered. And, of course, as the world keeps attempting to open and then was shutting back down again, especially with live music, you always wanna try to release things around touring opportunities and promotional opportunities. So the fact that we've been able to work diligently on it and not sort of be boxed into a tour that would then get canceled or postponed, it's actually been good. In hindsight, it's all working out just fine."
Asked if he would agree with Mustaine's recent claim that the new MEGADETH album will probably end up being one of the top four records of the band's career, Ellefson said: "Yeah, I think so. I mean, look, these records go through these different phases. It's hard to talk about something until it's done. It's, like, [you say] 'These are the best cookies ever,' and they haven't been in the oven yet. In fact, it's funny — my wife made some cookies from some gluten-free dough, and they tasted God-awful, the dough. I'm a big cookie-dough guy — that's one of my faults. And [I thought], 'These are terrible.' And then she baked them, and they tasted amazing. So apparently the flour in its unbaked version was not good, but once it was baked, it was delicious. So as recent as this weekend, I had that experience. So, again, to sit here and talk about what's it gonna be like… Dave and I used to always say 'nothing's final until it's vinyl' back in the old days. So when something's a work in the progress, I'd rather not boast about it — I'd rather just let the music do the talking. With that said, I'm confident it's gonna be great 'cause we don't usually put things out unless they're [as good as they can be]."
Earlier this month, Mustaine said during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that he was "almost done" recording the vocals for the new MEGADETH LP. He also said that he had just received "a really cool lyric" from Ellefson that he was planning to turn into a song. In addition, he revealed that the album will include an as-yet-undisclosed cover track.
Last month, Ellefson told the "Rock 'N' Roll Icons With Bode James" podcast the recently announced working title for MEGADETH's upcoming album, "The Sick, The Dying And The Dead", will likely end up getting changed before the LP is released.
The early sessions for the LP took place in 2019 with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
"Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards, marked Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro's recording debut with MEGADETH.
MEGADETH's current lineup is rounded out by 46-year-old Belgian-born-and-now-Los-Angeles-based drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who had played with SOILWORK for more than a decade before joining MEGADETH.