Dave Mustaine says that he is "thrilled" about the return of bassist James LoMenzo to the MEGADETH ranks.
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.
During an appearance on this past Wednesday's (March 30) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Mustaine discussed MEGADETH's reunion with LoMenzo, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm thrilled. I think he's a really awesome person to have in MEGADETH. He was when we tried it the first time. And for whatever reason that things happen, things happened and we took a little sabbatical from playing [together]. And when things happened as they did, it was obvious to me that I needed to get a super kickass bass player to come in and cut all the tracks and learn 'em in relatively no time, because we were in the studio already, so I needed to get somebody that could really do all that stuff. And I hadn't made up my mind on James yet. So I ended up asking a super, super legendary bass player in the metal community, Steve DiGiorgio. I asked him if he would come in and guest on the [upcoming MEGADETH] record and help me to finish the record and cut bass parts. So he came out, and that was really wonderful to hear his interpretation of my songs and the stuff that Kiko [Loureiro, MEGADETH guitarist] and Dirk [Verbeuren, MEGADETH drummer] and I, the stuff that we're starting to write together; we're starting to really develop our chemistry. And I like it because there's elements with Dirk and his writing that obviously remind me a lot of [late MEGADETH drummer] Gar [Samuelson]. But he's actually a really good rhythm guitar player too, and that reminds me a lot of the 'Peace Sells' era. Because each one of the guys grew up with a different era of MEGADETH, so they've all got their MEGADETH. Like, Chris Adler [the former LAMB OF GOD drummer who played on MEGADETH's 2016 album 'Dystopia'] had said to me once before, 'This is my MEGADETH.'"
Asked by host Eddie Trunk if having different people in MEGADETH over the course of the last 40 years has been a benefit in terms of keeping the band recharged and refreshed or if he would have preferred it if MEGADETH could have been composed of the same four guys the whole time, Mustaine said: "Well, I think that the answer is… It's a very complicated answer to a really simple question. For me, what I probably would say the short answer is have the same people the whole time, the ones that I've grown to love the most and that are the easiest to get along with, that have the most common view to mine and have guys that are willing to constantly improve themselves.
"One of the things that we do backstage, Eddie — I know you've seen this with me; we've been friends for so long, and there's been so many concerts we've hung out backstage," the MEGADETH leader continued. "Part of my routine, for your listeners, is before we go onstage, we have the crew guys come backstage, and before we hit the deck, we go over a couple of songs; each night it's a couple of different songs. We change the setlist, hopefully, every night, but we're constantly in review. So once we get to the very last song, 'Holy Wars', and we've gone over that with our soundman and our engineers and so on, we start all over again. And I think that's something that if we had the same guys the whole time, for familiarity and security and steadiness for the fans, and they were constantly trying to improve themselves, that would be the perfect scenario."
MEGADETH's new album, "The Sick, The Dying, And The Dead", is tentatively due on July 8. The follow-up to "Dystopia" features a cover of DEAD KENNEDYS' "Police Truck" and Sammy Hagar's "This Planet's On Fire", the latter of which includes vocals from Hagar himself.
DiGiorgio is widely renowned as a pioneer on the fretless bass in heavy metal music, having played with TESTAMENT, DEATH and SADUS, among others. Within his genre, Steve is respected for his playing skills, versatility and incredible technique. He has more than 40 studio album recordings and over 20 years of touring the world.
Three months ago, Mustaine 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.
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. A short time later, he raved about his performance on the record, telling the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire" that his musical chemistry with Verbeuren was comparable to the interplay between Geddy Lee and Neil Peart on classic RUSH albums. "I feel like on the new MEGADETH record, me and Dirk have those same moments," he said. "It's MEGADETH — it's not RUSH, obviously — but in the field of what we do, there were these moments that I was just going, 'Oh, my God.' This is me as a kid going, 'This is my Geddy/Neil moment right here.'"
In June 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.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.