DIRK VERBEUREN On Recent Lineup Changes In MEGADETH: 'It's Life. Things Happen.'

July 10, 2024

In a new interview with Portugal's Underground's Voice, MEGADETH drummer Dirk Verbeuren was asked how he has dealt with some of the recent lineup changes in the band, specifically with the departure of guitarist Kiko Loureiro and addition of Teemu Mäntysaari, as well as the return of bassist James LoMenzo following the dismissal of David Ellefson. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's life. Things happen. It's difficult being in a band, especially for an amount of time. And it's like any job. Oftentimes they say, [being] in a band, it's kind of like a marriage. And sometimes it doesn't work out. People have things happen in their life. Like in Kiko's case, for example, he had family things happening that demanded that he should be there for his family. And we tour a lot, and it just became very difficult for him to really enjoy and be present on tour, because of the stuff that was happening back at home. So I think we all believe that he made the right decision, because family comes first, of course; his children come first. But that's how it is. And luckily, we found Teemu, who's an incredible guitar player. Kiko recommended him, and Teemu came towards the end of Kiko's time in the band. Teemu came and joined along and watched the show and went over all the details and stuff. And so when we finally started playing with him, he was already very familiar with how we operate. And he's been amazing. He's an amazing guitar player, he's a great person to be around. So it's been really nice. And the same with James. James, of course, he has been in MEGADETH for many years before, between 2006 and 2010, so when James came back, it was very natural as well. And he's an expert — he's been doing this for many years playing with a lot of different people. And [he's] a great person as well. I love James a lot."

MEGADETH's latest album, "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!", sold 48,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked MEGADETH's eighth top 10-charting album. Of "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!"'s 48,000 units earned for the week, album sales comprised 45,000, SEA units comprised 3,000 and TEA units comprised a negligible sum.

MEGADETH's previous top 10 entries on the Billboard 200 were "Countdown to Extinction" (No. 2, 1992),"Youthanasia" (No. 4, 1994),"Cryptic Writings" (No. 10, 1997),"United Abominations" (No. 8, 2007),"Endgame" (No. 9, 2009),"Super Collider" (No. 6, 2013) and "Dystopia" (No. 3, 2016).

MEGADETH recently announced a North American tour "Destroy All Enemies", produced by Live Nation. Support on the 33-city trek, which includes stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Boston and St. Louis, will come from MUDVAYNE and ALL THAT REMAINS. The tour begins in Rogers, Arkansas on August 2 and runs throughout the month before wrapping in Nashville, Tennessee on September 28.

Mäntysaari joined MEGADETH last September after Loureiro, announced earlier that month that he would sit out the next leg of MEGADETH's "Crush The World" tour in order to stay home with his children back in Finland. It was later revealed that Mäntysaari would continue to play guitar for MEGADETH for the foreseeable future, with Loureiro seemingly having no plans to return.

The 37-year-old Mäntysaari was born in Tampere, Finland and began playing guitar at the age of 12. In 2004, he joined the band WINTERSUN. He has also been a member of SMACKBOUND since 2015.

MEGADETH played its first concert with Mäntysaari on September 6, 2023 at Revel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Loureiro officially joined MEGADETH in April 2015, about five months after Chris Broderick's exit from the group.

Photo credit: Gornoss (courtesy of Season Of Mist)

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