Dave Mustaine has confirmed that James LoMenzo will play bass for MEGADETH when the band returns to the road in April for the second U.S. leg of "The Metal Tour Of The Year". Joining them will be co-headliners LAMB OF GOD along with special guests TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES.
Earlier today, Mustaine took to social media to wish James a happy 63rd birthday, and he included the following message: "With 'The Metal Tour Of The Year' starting again soon, we'll celebrate your birthday with the fans! Wishing you all the best, brother. @bassmonsterr".
LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group's studio albums, 2007's "United Abominations" and 2009's "Endgame". He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with returning original MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson.
In addition to MEGADETH, LoMenzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and WHITE LION. For the past nine years, LoMenzo has been performing with iconic rocker John Fogerty.
LoMenzo played his first show with MEGADETH in nearly 12 years last August in Austin, Texas. The concert took place three months following Ellefson's dismissal from MEGADETH after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving him were posted on Twitter.
Asked in an interview with Melodic.net what it has been like for him to play with MEGADETH on "The Metal Tour Of The Year" last summer after such a long absence from the band, James said: "Well, I'm really having the best time. Dave's [Mustaine] been really welcoming and supportive, and the band as a whole is just fantastic. It's a real powerhouse. Dirk [Verbeuren, MEGADETH drummer] is a dream drummer for this type of music, and Kiko's [Loureiro, MEGADETH guitarist] just so musically deep. Dave's playing as good or better than ever and now that he's on those Gibson guitars, his sound is so much more gut punching then I remember it."
Regarding how he ended up returning to MEGADETH, James said: "Dave's management reached out at first to see if I'd even be available, which I really wasn't, but after a call with Dave, I realized how important for MEGADETH and even for myself this would be. Time was ticking, so I knew it would be a crunch, but having been here once before the re-learning curve was a tad less steep. I made some arrangements with the Fogerty camp, and they were gracious enough to allow me a leave to do this."
Mustaine has yet to reveal who played bass on MEGADETH's new album after Ellefson's tracks were removed from the LP following his exit from the group.
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
In July 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that Ellefson's bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.
In early May 2021, Ellefson released a statement on Instagram denying all social media chatter that he "groomed" an underage fan.
On May 24, 2021, Mustaine — who formed MEGADETH with Ellefson in 1983 — announced the bassist's departure from the band.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the group's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest exit.
"The Metal Tour Of The Year" was originally announced and planned for 2020 but was halted by the pandemic. Fans waited patiently for touring to return and in the summer of 2021 were granted their wish. "The Metal Tour Of The Year" was one of the first national amphitheatre tours to hit the road in 2021 and saw co-headliners MEGADETH and LAMB OF GOD hit 29 cities across North America with special guests TRIVIUM and HATEBREED, who stepped in to replace IN FLAMES who couldn't join the tour due to travel restrictions. The tour was met with enormous acclaim, truly living up to its name and playing to a whopping 172,000 metal fans in the process.
Produced by Live Nation, the second leg of this epic metal trek will kick off on Saturday, April 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada and hit a further 21 cities before wrapping in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Sunday, May 15.