DAVE MUSTAINE: It Was 'Clear' That JAMES LOMENZO Needed To Rejoin MEGADETH Permanently

October 2, 2022

In a new interview with Brazil's Jovem Pan Entretenimento, Dave Mustaine spoke about the musical chemistry within MEGADETH, particularly as it pertains to the songwriting process. He said: "Songwriting for MEGADETH has been a process over the years — learning how to write, learning how to work with other people. It's been really easy to work with Kiko [Loureiro, current MEGADETH guitarist] and Dirk [Verbeuren, current MEGADETH drummer], and Steve DiGiorgio [ who played on MEGADETH's latest album, 'The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!'] was really easy too. Some people had asked if we were going to hire Steve [to be a permanent member of MEGADETH], but he's in TESTAMENT. And as much as, at the time, it sounded like a good idea to have him come in and play, at the time also it was a good idea for us to hire James [LoMenzo] back. And with him coming in for a little while [to play with MEGADETH on tour], we were clear that he needed to come back into the band [permanently]."

LoMenzo was MEGADETH's bass player in the mid-2000s and recently stepped back in as a touring member for "The Metal Tour Of The Year". Lomenzo officially rejoined the MEGADETH family in May.

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 nine years, LoMenzo also performed with iconic rocker John Fogerty.

LoMenzo played his first show with MEGADETH in nearly 12 years in August 2021 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.

Mustaine previously talked about DiGiorgio's involvement with the new MEGADETH album in an interview with Revolver this past August. He said at the time: "We parted ways with David Ellefson [in May 2021], and the idea to get Steve basically was… In the end, it's always gonna be my decision. But there were a couple of guys we looked at. We were trying to finish the record, so the criteria for someone to be a session player and finish the record versus be a guy that's gonna be a bandmember that we can find right now that's gonna make a commitment and leave what they're doing to come join us, we just didn't have the time. So we sought out for a guy that would just help us finish the album, and that was Steve.

"I'm not a guy that likes to poach people from other bands," Mustaine explained. "I hated when [METALLICA] did that with Cliff Burton. I mean, granted TRAUMA wasn't a great band. But I think it just sets you up for resentment from people when you go and take their bandmembers. If the guy quits and wants to join your band, that's cool. But if I would have went to TESTAMENT and said, 'Hey, I want Steve,' or I would have just went to Steve and said, 'Hey, I'll give you a gazillion dollars' and [he] quit [TESTAMENT], you know what would happen? I would lose my friendship with [TESTAMENT guitarist] Alex [Skolnick] and with Chuck [Billy, TESTAMENT singer]. And it's not the way to go."

Regarding LoMenzo's addition to MEGADETH, Mustaine said: "We welcomed James with open arms, and everybody loves him. He's just such a great, great guy. So it wasn't a hard decision at all to make. It was basically calling him, seeing what he was doing. Everybody is really, really happy with him. I haven't really seen that much pushback from the fans. I know that the two people that matter the most, besides me, Dirk and Kiko, love him. It's what I wanted. I wanted to have the four of us playing together and all being comfortable with one another and knowing that there was no weirdness going on or any double dealing or anything like that, because those are the things that always ruin bands. We've had this closeness, the four of us, since James came. They're always together somewhere — always, always. James is down at the bar having a glass of wine with Kiko, or James is in the gym working out with Dirk. They are always doing something wonderful together."

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