Kiko Loureiro posts his original Megadeth audition tape playing Hangar 18 - after learning the song the day before

Best of 2020: Kiko Loureiro has posted plenty of clips to his official YouTube page demonstrating how to play various Megadeth songs, including Bullet to the Brain and Poisonous Shadows.

But the electric guitar player’s latest clip is something different. As he states very clearly: 

“This is not a how to play a Megadeth song video. So don’t try to learn how to play this song from this video. There’s a lot of wrong notes, a lot of wrong riffs, but there’s a story behind this video.”

The story, as Loureiro goes on to explain, is that the video is part of his audition tape after being asked to try out for the lead guitar slot in Megadeth in 2015.

Upon being invited to travel to Nashville to meet Megadeth main man Dave Mustaine, Loureiro offered to film himself playing a handful of tunes in advance of the trip.

“So I had a Saturday and Sunday to learn a few songs and shoot a video,” he says.

That Saturday he learned four songs: Hanger 18, Symphony of Destruction, Trust and Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.

The next day, he filmed his performances. “I found some backing tracks on YouTube, put up my camera, [had my] little amp and played,” Loureiro says.

“I didn’t fix any notes, didn’t try to edit or anything. Just the real Kiko trying to play the four songs in two days. 

"The idea was to show I had the technique, I had the style, and I would be able to play the Megadeth songs if I had more time to learn all the notes.”

As for Mustaine’s response after watching the video? “There’s a lot of wrong notes,” Loureiro recalls with a laugh.

“But then on Monday I flew to Nashville, and here I am.”

The clip that Loureiro shares here presents his performance of Hanger 18 – including Marty Friedman’s ridiculously complicated solos – after having just learned the song the day before.

As Loureiro says, “Please enjoy. But don’t try to learn the way I’m playing here, because it’s not correct.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.