In May 2021, Megadeth parted ways with longtime bassist David Ellefson after a series of intimate videos and conversations featuring Ellefson and a teenaged fan were leaked on Twitter.
Though Ellefson had recorded most of his parts for the band's forthcoming album, The Sick, the Dying and the Dead, the band chose to re-record them with a mysterious bass guitar player, the identity of whom has remained unknown for the better part of a year.
Today though, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine finally revealed the mystery bassist during an interview with SiriusXM's Jose Mangin.
Rather than touring bassist James LoMenzo, Mustaine tapped Testament's Steve Di Giorgio to handle low-end duties on the album, which is set for release this summer.
"It was a good choice," Mustaine told Mangin (via Revolver (opens in new tab)). "I didn't think about anybody else at the time. I was thinking about 'who's the hottest guy out there that can play these new songs?' [Mustaine's son] Justis told me one of the fastest songs we've ever written is on this record. I don't care what anybody says – bass may be less strings than guitar, but it's difficult to play if you're like me."
That's not all, though. Mustaine also revealed (opens in new tab) in the same interview that The Sick, the Dying and the Dead will feature covers of the Dead Kennedys’ Police Truck and Sammy Hagar’s This Planet’s On Fire, with the latter featuring a cameo from Hagar himself.
If that wasn't enough, the album is also set to feature a track called Night Stalker, with – Mustaine says (opens in new tab) – an appearance from Ice-T.
"I can't remember if that was the fastest one or not, but Night Stalker is about the 160th Battalion with the U.S. Army," Mustaine said (via MetalSucks (opens in new tab)).
"It's all the black-ops helicopters that go in at night, nobody knows they're there, they're in, they're out, and I had my buddy Ice T join me on a part in the middle of it, because Ice was a Ranger in the army, and he did two tours over in Afghanistan – I think that was back in '91, when I first met him. I know he was a Ranger."
Originally planned for release in early 2022, The Sick, the Dying and the Dead was pushed back to this summer after issues pertaining to distribution and vinyl printing. It's the band first full-length since 2016's Dystopia.