MEGADETH Is 'Actively Working On Music Right Now', Says JAMES LOMENZO

June 25, 2024

In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal's Metal Global, MEGADETH bassist James LoMenzo was asked if he and his bandmates have commenced work on material for the follow-up to 2022's "The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!" album. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're actively working on music right now. In a way — well, it is; it's a new band at this point. It's a new version of MEGADETH, as if nobody expected that coming. [Laughs] We're talking with Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] every day. Dave really wants to do another record and just get something fresh out there. The last one I thought was great. When I had just joined the band, they just finished recording it. I begged, I pleaded, I said, 'I know, I know, I know, but could I please play bass on this?' Cause there's a few things I had heard were so great. And they were, like, 'We've been doing this for two years. We just have to get on the road. It's done.' I was, like, 'All right.' But [session bassist] Steve DiGiorgio [who played bass on 'The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!'] did an amazing job. I really love the way he played on this. And I enjoy playing his style."

LoMenzo also talked about MEGADETH's latest addition, Teemu Mäntysaari, who replaced the band's longtime guitarist Kiko Loureiro last fall. He said: "He's good. He's young. He's younger than the rest of us, so he keeps us on our toes. But he's really helpful because he's got a… We've already walked this journey for a while, Dave and I, so to have that kind of fresh blood, that's really… He's very focused. And it's not contagious, 'cause I don't do that, but it's good to have somebody there to kind of corral us old guys into a corner and go, 'Okay, I've worked on this. Are we ready to go?' It's, like, 'Oh, we should work on this now. Okay. Let's go.' He really helped us out because he came to us at a crucial time where… Kiko, who I adore, could not stay with us due to his family stuff. And that's the most respectful thing I think you can think of is… We all have a life and sometimes it's better to have a life and do your stuff the way you're supposed to, do life right. I've been in and out of bands my whole life, and let me tell you, man, you leave stuff at home, it's there; it's always there. So when Teemu came along, he was the exact right guy we needed. We needed somebody who could just kind of step up and get right in. And he was so crazily prepared. And to this day, him and I were just working on some music before we started. So, it's great sitting down with him and breaking down the things. And he's shown me some new technology that really helps me move things ahead that I wasn't aware of. He's on top of all that stuff."

LoMenzo was MEGADETH's bass player in the mid-2000s and stepped back in as a touring member for the 2021 leg of "The Metal Tour Of The Year". In May 2022, it was announced that Lomenzo was officially rejoining the MEGADETH family.

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 November 2022, LoMenzo reflected on his initial departure from MEGADETH in an interview with Ashdown Engineering. He said at the time: "After three or four years in MEGADETH, David Ellefson returned. And I, like you, was pretty excited about that, because I had always been a fan of MEGADETH anyway. I'm one of those crazy guys that's, like, I want it to be the original band. I always want it to be the original band; it's kind of the way I grew up. But in lieu of that, I had to take the charge of the bass spot when he couldn't be there. So when he came back, I was fine with it. I've done two great albums — 'United Abominations' and 'Endgame'; we've done two world tours, been all over the place. And so at that point, I was kind of excited to maybe try something new. And so I went back home. I started a video production company. I started doing these local jams where all my famous friends would come by and jam with me. It was great. And eventually I ended up in [rock legend] John Fogerty's band."

On the topic of how he rejoined MEGADETH, James said: "How do I end up back in MEGADETH? It's like that 'Godfather' movie — 'Just when I thought I got out, they pull me back in again.' No… But anyway… When they needed a bass player — it became apparent — I thought to myself, 'They'll probably call me up.' But I also thought to myself, 'It's been a while since I played that kind of music, so maybe it'll be great. It'll be all right. Maybe not.' Sure enough, the phone rings, and Dave [Mustaine] is, like, 'We've gotta do this 'Metal Tour Of The Year'. James, I know you're the guy who can do it. I would love to have you here. If you would just commit to just doing this tour, that would be great.' And I thought, 'Well, that's kind of weird. He doesn't want me to rejoin the band.' But then I thought about it. He knew I had another band, and he was telling me, 'I don't want you to screw up whatever you've got going.' I was being loyal to John. So we went out on the tour, and gosh, it was just the best time. I was so enamored with the band that he put together that I was blown away. And Dave, gosh, he's just delivering the goods every day. The great thing about Dave is he's been through a lot. He recovered from cancer. He's had problems with his back. Over the years, he's had more things than most professional wrestlers would have, and he shows no sign of it — he just gets up there and plays and just gives it his all. So after that tour, I was sitting there going, 'Man, I think I might like to stay here for a while.' And so, luckily, as luck would have it, not too long after that, Dave calls me up at home and he goes, 'You know, we would love to have you be part of the band officially if you wanna stay.' And I thought, 'That's exactly what I was thinking, man. Let's do it.'

In addition to MEGADETH and Fogerty, LoMenzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and WHITE LION.

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.

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