MEGADETH's DAVE MUSTAINE: 'It's Been A Breath Of Fresh Air To Have' KIKO And DIRK Contributing To Songwriting
August 16, 2022
During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, Dave Mustaine spoke about MEGADETH's songwriting process, particularly as it relates to the band's upcoming album, "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!", which will arrive on September 2 via UMe. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, there is no set formula for this. It depends. With Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] and Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] writing music for MEGADETH now, it's been a breath of fresh air to have songwriting approaches from other bandmembers now that is similar to MEGADETH music instead of getting music that wasn't MEGADETH music and having to try and make that work, and it doesn't."
He continued: "My whole thing was trying to have a congenial workplace environment for everybody and to listen to their ideas. But what we did now was we get together and do some pre-production, listening to riffs, and songs, they just start coming together, kind of LEGOs. There's only so many pieces to a song — there are verses and choruses, there are pre-choruses and there's bridges, there's middle sections, there's a lead section. Usually the lead section will be something similar to the chorus or similar to the verse. It might be the verse plus a little something or the verse simplified a little bit. I found that, like in 'Symphony [Of Destruction]', the lead section was pretty much like one of the other riffs in the song. So there's no real way that we stack these things together."
Featuring twelve new tracks, "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" will be made available on CD, vinyl, and cassette, as well as digitally through all online partners. There will also be a limited deluxe edition 2LP, 12-track album pressed on 180g black vinyl housed in a numbered gatefold jacket with a 12x24 lyrics/credits insert, a lenticular vinyl lithograph and a bonus seven-inch featuring "We'll Be Back" and the unreleased B-side "The Conjuring (Live)". The limited deluxe edition can only be purchased via MEGADETH's official online store, through Sound Of Vinyl and uDiscover.
The first song to be released from "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" was "We'll Be Back", which was accompanied by the world premiere of "We'll Be Back: Chapter I", a short film chronicling the origins of MEGADETH's mascot Vic Rattlehead. Produced by Mustaine, "We'll Be Back: Chapter I" is a soldier's tale of bravery, personal sacrifice, and the will to survive. It was the first installment of a trilogy of videos to be released in conjunction with the release of "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!"
"The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" reunites Mustaine with co-producer Chris Rakestraw (DANZIG, PARKWAY DRIVE),who together helmed 2016's "Dystopia". The new album was recorded at Mustaine's home studio in Nashville, Tennessee, with Loureiro and Verbeuren. Bassist Steve DiGiorgio temporarily stepped in to record the album. With the kick-off of MEGADETH's recent tour, MEGADETH alumnus James LoMenzo rejoined the MEGADETH family as permanent bass player.
"The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!" features a cover of DEAD KENNEDYS' "Police Truck" and Sammy Hagar's "This Planet's On Fire", the latter of which includes vocals from Hagar himself.
Earlier this year, Mustaine confirmed that DiGiorgio laid down the bass tracks on "The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!"
There had been speculation about DiGiorgio's involvement in the new MEGADETH LP since July 2021, based on a Cameo video Mustaine recorded in which he offered the first glimpse of the bassist that re-recorded David Ellefson's bass tracks on the much-anticipated MEGADETH effort.
DiGiorgio is widely renowned as a pioneer on the fretless bass in heavy metal music, having played with TESTAMENT, DEATH and SADUS, among others. Within his genre, Steve is respected for his playing skills, versatility and incredible technique. He has more than 40 studio album recordings and over 20 years of touring the world.
In May, MEGADETH announced bass player James LoMenzo as a permanent member of the band. 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 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 the past nine years, LoMenzo has been performing 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.
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH's sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
In June 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program "The Dave Mustaine Show" that Ellefson's bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band's inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.
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