Dave Mustaine has confirmed the release of Megadeth's 16th studio album, The Sick, the Dying and the Dead, has been pushed back to summer 2022.
The status of the record was last alluded to in December, when Mustaine said it was “super-close” to being released. “We've been mixing and mastering it, and the mastering was done yesterday,” he said in a Cameo video at the time. “So now it's off to the label, and pretty soon it's gonna be in your hands.”
And now, the frontman has confirmed in an interview with Forbes that the album's release date has been “moved back again” with issues pertaining to distribution and vinyl printing.
“We're not reliant on vinyl so much but the whole process has been delayed, so it's just gotten moved back again,” he reveals.
Though the release date of The Sick, the Dying and the Dead has been somewhat in limbo for several months, Mustaine has kept fans on tenterhooks by gradually teasing snippets of new music in Cameo videos.
Back in July 2021, when the guitarist revealed the album's official title, he shared a snippet of its title track containing clean electric guitars, and a month later teased another riff, this time far more rapid-fire and heavy.
Megadeth are set to commence the second leg of the Metal Tour of the Year in April, with Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames also on the bill. James LoMenzo will again handle bass guitar duties, following the departure of longtime bassist David Ellefson last year.
On the praise given to the tour's first leg – which took place in 2021 – Mustaine explains: “I think the goal is to get that kind of recognition for a job well done. But getting to the crux of why I play music in the beginning, it wasn’t to have magazines say that I’ve assembled a good tour, and even if that was, to be totally honest there are so many moving parts.
“I think that when you start looking at all of those individual things it starts to become a blur, so we just kind of tend to address our team. We’ve got a great agent that put this together, unfortunately we’re not able to take this overseas right yet, but it would be great to do that.
“God we’ve got so many dates backed up right now because of all of the mandates and restrictions for us to travel as Americans. But these dates more than make up for it because when you close your eyes and you’re standing on stage, it feels good.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mustaine speaks on his new signature guitar series with Gibson, and why he decided to join the company as a Brand Ambassador. He says that while he's partnered with several guitar companies over the years – including B.C. Rich, Jackson, ESP and Dean – his heart “secretly still wanted to be with Gibson”.
“I remember when I was a kid looking at the back of the KISS albums, they all said ‘KISS wants to use the best, they use Gibson,’” he says. “And I would think like ‘well, shit, I love KISS!’
“I was in junior high and high school at the time when they came out and I used to draw Gene Simmons’ face all the time and think ‘what does he look like without makeup? God dammit I’m going to get a Gibson because Ace Frehley uses a Gibson.’
“One of the first guitars I was ever photographed using was a sunburst cherry Les Paul, and it was fake of course, it had a Gibson sticker that I glued on the top, but who can afford a Gibson when you’re just a teenager and living on your own?”