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DAVE MUSTAINE & KIKO LOUREIRO Discuss Recording New MEGADETH Album While MUSTAINE Battled Cancer

It has definitely been a challenging time for the band

Photo by Travis Shinn

Megadeth have so far released three singles from their forthcoming album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!—all of which have a furiosity and intensity not heard from Megadeth in a long time. The album was certainly a long time in the making, and in a new interview with Guitar World, Dave Mustaine and guitarist Kiko Loureiro spoke about the challenges they endured, especially as Mustaine was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2019. He has since been cancer free since 2020, but the road ahead of him would still be hard, as the band proceeded with recording the album.

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"I could see he was tired. He was coming from chemo and he was still showing up for work every day," Loureiro remembers. "When you see him doing this, you’re like, 'Fuck yeah, let's work on this album, man!' It was very inspiring to see him come in and pick up his guitar and not slow down. The songs, the whole thing. Everything was there. Nothing can destroy this guy, you know? We were like, 'Are you sure you want to work today? If you go home, we can still work on some stuff.' And he'd always say, 'No way.' He wanted to be there. And he put everything into the songs."

Megadeth leader Mustaine added how encouraging his bandmates were during the recording. "It was great to work with Kiko and Dirk (Verbeuren, drums) for three months in Nashville in the summer of 2019 to make these demos into songs. I would get to the studio and they would all greet me with hugs, high fives and pats on the back. All I got was encouragement. I'd play something and it was: 'Great solo, Dave.' Just encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. And I think besides making a great record, we've made a great band."

It has been a tumultuous two and half years in the life of Mustaine and Co., his cancer diagnosis primary among the challenges. But the band also parted ways with David Ellefson in May of 2021, and his bass parts were removed from The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! and re-recorded by Steve Di Giorgio of Testament, before bringing in bassist James LoMenzo as a permanent member.

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Pre-orders for The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! are available here.

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