Does DAVE MUSTAINE Use Music Theory To Compose MEGADETH Music? KIKO LOUREIRO Responds
December 29, 2021
MEGADETH's Brazilian-born guitarist Kiko Loureiro has uploaded a new 12-minute video in which he answers a number of fan-submitted questions. You can now watch the question-and-answer session below.
Asked if MEGADETH's leader, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, uses music theory to compose the band's songs. Kiko responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "No. He doesn't use theory at all — at all.
"You have to understand that people are different," he continued. "A creator can play something and just imagine the mountain, the sea, the hell, a war — imagine things, those sounds. He can relate that riff to a machine gun or can relate that riff to a bomb exploding, in the case of MEGADETH. But he can play a chord and imagine the mountain, the sun, sailing — whatever. So some people are like this. Some other people, they need the theory — they need the names, they need the things organized to make sense. So that's why some people really relate to the theory and love theory. I love theory. Some other people don't feel they need theory to compose, to create, because it's all about imagination. And, of course, the basic stuff they might know — 'Oh, this is a major chord,' 'This is a minor chord,' 'This is the name of the notes, like E, A, D,' but in the end, it really doesn't matter as well.
"So, does Dave Mustaine use theory? No, he doesn't."
In a previous video, Kiko was asked if he has learned anything from playing with Mustaine for the past six years, Kiko said: "Oh, yes, man. Oh, yes. I don't know if you're asking about guitar stuff, but I think my answer would go more, like… I learned watching him strive to be unstoppable, to be strong, to search for excellence, to demand excellence from everyone, and everyone delivers excellence, delivers their best. Leadership… What else? I don't know… Fight for your case. Fight for your music. Fight for your band. Fight for your fans. Being an artist, being creative [and] combining all those things — being professional and at the same time creative and at the same time having fun while you're doing the stuff. Yeah, a lot of experience in the music business as well — in the music business in general, in the show biz.
"And regarding guitar as well, the thrash metal essence," he continued. "All the rhythms — mainly the rhythms and then the attitude and the force, the vibe, the drive, the intensity. So, all those things while you're playing. Mixing the technical things with a lot of energy — like metal with punk with attitude. I think I'm a way better rhythm player because of just hanging and playing with Dave for all those years — since 2015. Also composing — he composes in a very different way than I do. And I think watching and learning from the way he does as well.
"So, yeah, a lot of stuff," Kiko added. "I could do an entire video of things that I learned from Dave and from the whole MEGADETH experience."
In an October 2015 interview with The Irish Sun, Mustaine was full of praise for Loureiro, saying: "A lot of times guitarists won't know how to add to something — they'll put something in there that's kind of like tits on a bull, unnecessary. Kiko came in and immediately started making some really good suggestions that we applied [to MEGADETH's 2016 album, 'Dystopia']. When he first came in, I knew he had the ability but I didn't know if the songwriting technique and talent was going to show up this early on."
He continued: "What was great about the suggestions that Kiko made was that they weren't just guitar ones — he made a bass part in a song called 'Me Hate You' [that made it] really come along. In fact, that was one of the songs where he made a huge melodic contribution in the chorus and I said, 'Man, this sounds like something.'"
According to Dave, Kiko possesses all the elements that are required to become part of a legendary metal act like MEGADETH.
"For me — really simply stated — if you want to be a musician, that's one thing. If you want to be a rock star, that's another," Mustaine said. "But if you want to be legendary, you need to have three very important components: you need to have ability, you need to have appearance, and you need to have attitude. Without all three of those things, it's kind of like trying to have a three-legged milk stool without three legs — it's just not going to work."
He continued: "I found with Kiko, his ability was astronomical, with his attitude he was very confident in what he did — there's a difference between confidence and arrogance. In appearance, he was very classy and very subdued on the street, but up on stage he totally takes command of his performance. When he came up to Nashville to visit with me, I didn't even have him play for the majority of the day he was there. I just wanted to hang out with him and it's been a really long time since I hung out with a guitar player before I hired him. Usually I would listen to how he played and then I'd go, 'Okay, we'll work it out.' I didn't want to do that again. Hanging out with Kiko, and having lunch and kicking back and talking music was all I needed — I knew he was the right guy."
MEGADETH recently completed work on its new album, "The Sick, The Dying And The Dead", for a tentative early 2022 release.
Mustaine has yet to reveal who played bass on the new MEGADETH album after David Ellefson's tracks were removed from the LP following his dismissal from the band in late May.
MEGADETH recently completed "The Metal Tour Of The Year" with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and HATEBREED.
For "The Metal Tour Of The Year", MEGADETH was rejoined by bassist James LoMenzo for the first time in nearly 12 years.
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 a returning Ellefson.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.