In a new interview with the "Into The Darkness" podcast, MEGADETH drummer Dirk Verbeuren spoke about the passion that his bandmates Dave Mustaine (guitar, vocals) and David Ellefson (bass) still have for performing live, nearly 40 years into the group's existence.
"With Dave, he's very passionate about what he does," Dirk said (see video below). "And I think it's a beautiful thing. Both Dave and David — it's been so many years, and they haven't lost the fire that drives them wanting to do this. It's not just, like, 'Hey, we're getting paid to do the shows. Just play the fucking show and half-ass it.' No. There's constant discussion about how to make things better. And when we're on stage, it's magical. There's a respect that comes from those guys for their body of work and for their fans that you can feel when you become a part of that. You feel like it's your obligation to give 110 percent at all times, which that's my spirits anyway when I do something, so it's not too hard for me to be in that mindset. But definitely they enhance it and they have that. And that's why when you see a MEGADETH show, if you go see one now with the current lineup, it's full-on. Sure, none of us are 20 years old anymore and it might not be the same energy as when the band started out, because that's just not possible, but there's a lot that goes into it. There's a lot of energy and a lot of passion and power that goes into it and that we try to bring to those who are watching the show, for sure."
Asked if Mustaine has always been happy with Dirk's live performances with MEGADETH, the drummer replied: "Most of the times, yeah. I remember one time he said to me, 'Dirk, you played really bad tonight.' It was in the bus after a show. And I was, like, 'Oh, man. I'm sorry. I'll work on it and stuff.' And then I think it was the next day or the day after, we had another show, and he came up to me and he said, 'I'm sorry I was so hard on you the other day.' And I'm, like, 'Dude, it's cool. You put the bar really high. I have the utmost respect for that. You're passionate about what you do, and you've been doing this for so many years, and you still want it to be fantastic every night. And I can only respect that, and I'm gonna do the best I can every night. You can count on that.' And truly, it's amazing to see, because you never know how something like that is gonna be with any band that's been at the top for 30 years, 'cause MEGADETH has been huge for 30 years. And so to see that, and to see that he cares that much about putting on a good show, that's fucking cool."
Verbeuren had been playing with SOILWORK for more than a decade before joining MEGADETH in 2016 as the replacement for Chris Adler (LAMB OF GOD), who called Dirk "probably [one of the] top three drummers in the world."
In interview with the KATT Rock 100.5 FM radio station, Mustaine described Dirk as "one of the most pleasant, easy-to-get-along-with guys I've ever met in my life. I'll walk up to him and he'll smile and lean forward and pat me on the back. He goes [adopts thin accent], 'How's it going, buddy?' I could say, 'Oh, man…'… anything. 'Oh, okay, buddy.' [He] smiles and pats me, 'cause he's just a happy guy. I've never, ever, ever seen him not smile."