MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine has apparently been using some of the coronavirus downtime to build a makeshift vocal booth for his home studio.
On Tuesday (May 5),Dave's 28-year-old son Justis shared a photo of his father standing in front of a recording console at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, and he included the following caption: "Getting creative with the makeshift vocal booth while under quarantine. Things are sounding pretty badass too...very."
The early sessions for MEGADETH's 16th studio album took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on 2016's "Dystopia".
MEGADETH's next LP will be the first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK),who joined the band almost four years ago.
In a recent interview with Detroit's WRIF radio station, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson stated about the progress of the songwriting and recording sessions for the band's new disc: "We were going to start recording the new record at the end of March. Of course, that's right as everything was shutting down [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. And our drummer Dirk lives in Los Angeles, and California was one of the first states to really shut things down.
"As soon as we can, as soon as possible [we will enter the studio]," he continued. "As soon as we can get together and it's safe for us to be."
Asked if the new MEGADETH album has already been written, Ellefson said: "Everything is demoed up. That's one thing that's good about this — there have been a couple of little, small tweaks made.
"The songs go through a lot of little transitions," he continued. "Obviously, we're a very progressive band; there's a lot of detail. And I practice these songs pretty much daily. I sit here at home and I'll rip through a couple of tunes just to kind of keep my head in the game. And because we can work through Dropbox, we can [get] pretty much real-time updates on when little things are being changed. Or Dave and I will talk about lyrics. Hey, does this lyric work there? How's this phrasing to fit over this riff?' and stuff like that. So we're definitely staying productive.
"But, yeah, the songs are in templates — they're ready to go, they're ready to be recorded. We've definitely put the work and the time in them."
According to Ellefson, the new songs take the MEGADETH sound to the next level without compromising the group's core approach.
"We got together in 2019 — in the summer, we got together for about two months," he said. "And we worked together. We lived in a band house next to the farm where Dave lives in Nashville. And it was great. One of the things Dave said, he goes, 'These last bunch of years, it's almost like we get together, we plug in, we record our parts, we all go home and that's it.' So he goes, 'I really wanna spend the time listening. Like, record it, sit back, listen.' And even when he was going through his cancer treatments here at the end of 2019, in an ironic twist of fate, it gave us time to get away from the record, 'cause we worked really hard on it for two months there last summer and essentially pieced it all together. But then, stepping back, getting away from it, fresh ears, coming back to it, one thing that hit us is how good it is. I mean, management was, like, 'Oh my gosh! This is next level, beyond 'Dystopia'. This is absolutely perfect. This is the next-level record for MEGADETH.' And I listened to it and I was, like, 'You know, I think they're right.' 'Cause sometimes you can get so close to the creative process, you're in it and you can't tell. I guess it's like if you keep tasting the soup, you don't really know if you put too much salt in it. So we stepped back a little bit, and when we regrouped and listened to it again, we were just, like, 'Wow!' I think we went past where we thought we were on this and I think we're now into a new era of this new record."
Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
MEGADETH and LAMB OF GOD are scheduled to embark on a 55-date tour this summer.