Thrash metal titans Megadeth are currently gearing up to release The Sick, The Dying… and The Dead!, their first new studio album in six years.
In anticipation of the new LP, Guitar World recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the band's frontman, Dave Mustaine, and lead electric guitar player Kiko Loureiro.
During the chat – which can be perused in its entirety in Guitar World's brand-new October issue – Mustaine touched on a number of topics, including the single fastest song the band have ever written. That honor, he says, goes to the band's most recent single, Night Stalkers.
"I think that’s the fastest song we’ve ever done – 190 bpm – and it took a while to get working up to that speed," Mustaine explained. "The song just needed that frantic pace because Night Stalker is a secret helicopter division of the military. They fly missions at night and no one knows what they’re gonna do until it happens. Ice-T does some great [acting] parts in the song.
"I’ve been friends with Ice-T for a long time," Mustaine continued. "When we first met in Los Angeles he told me he was an Army Ranger, so it was only natural that I would get him to do this because I wanted to get a great musician who has cred as a military guy. I asked him if he would do a spoken part and he gave me so many good ones it was hard to pick which one to use."
Elsewhere in the interview, Mustaine discussed his determination to work on The Sick, The Dying… and The Dead! even while receiving radiation and chemo treatments for cancer.
"I could see he was tired," Loureiro told Guitar World. "He was coming from chemo and he was still showing up for work every day. When you see him doing this, you’re like, 'Fuck yeah, let’s work on this album, man!' It was very inspiring to see him come in and pick up his guitar and not slow down. The songs, the whole thing. Everything was there.
"Nothing can destroy this guy, you know? We were like, 'Are you sure you want to work today? If you go home, we can still work on some stuff.' And he’d always say, 'No way.' He wanted to be there. And he put everything into the songs."
"It was great to work with Kiko and [drummer] Dirk [Verbeuren] for three months in Nashville in the summer of 2019 to make these demos into songs," added Mustaine.
"I would get to the studio and they would all greet me with hugs, high fives and pats on the back. All I got was encouragement. I’d play something and it was: 'Great solo, Dave.' Just encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. And I think besides making a great record, we’ve made a great band."
To read Guitar World's full interview with Mustaine and Loureiro – which, among other topics, also touches on their different playing styles, and the solo that led to Marty Friedman's exit from the band – pick up a copy of our October issue at Magazines Direct.