“Are you improvising? Damn, you’re good!” Kiko Loureiro has released his first music since leaving Megadeth: a “harmonically weird” song he wrote with Plini in just one day

Plini x Kiko Loueiro Neural DSP
(Image credit: Neural DSP YouTube)

Kiko Loureiro has released his first new music since leaving Megadeth: a collaborative track with Australian virtuoso Plini, written and recorded in just one day.

Out of the Void shows the pair putting the newly released Archetype: Plini X through its paces for a new Neural DSP promo.

When the Finnish plugin experts announced the updated plugin in November, there was great excitement at the mention of players being able to use its tones both in their DAWs and with the Quad Cortex floor modellers. While the Cortex seen in the video is merely being used as an audio interface, it does give a great taste of what the updated plugin can do.

It was the first time the Australian and ex-Megadeth man had met in person, sitting in a studio with their guitars as they piece together ideas. Plini wields his true temperament Strandberg Sälen, and Kiko his Ibanez Prestige, and the resulting song showcases the best of their musical personalities.  

Their creative process has been documented with an accompanying video, as the guitarists navigate each other’s playing, tastes and chord progressions. The illuminating 20-minute video shows the pair bouncing ideas back and forth, with Kiko’s chordal work catching Plini’s ears early on.

“We just started noodling and I liked the tonality of your playing and was like, 'We should use that',” he says of the song's creation. As they knuckle down with the progression later on, Plini quips, “Are you improvising? Damn, you're good!”

Neural DSP released the updated Archetype: Plini X in November, adding octave, fuzz, delay, distortion and modulation effects in a free update. Chief among those new features is the octave/fuzz combo, with Plini having been drawn to the effects first present on Archetype: Gojira, which have since become a core part of his writing process, as heard on new EP, Mirage.

Those tones are present again on Out of the Void, with a gnarly, fuzz-snarled riff driving out of the track’s luscious opening, before we’re treated to oodles of smooth, meandering lead playing from Loureiro. It’s a song that Plini calls “harmonically weird”.

“We started five hours ago, and it was the first time we’d ever met before,” says Loureiro. “It was a risky thing to come here and maybe nothing happens, but it’s fun.”

Drums for the track, recorded at a later date, were played by Angra’s Bruno Valverde, with Arch Echo guitarist Adam Bentley – whose presets feature on a number of Neural plugins – handling mixing and mastering.

The track follows a rich line of Neural DSP collaborations, with Plini having previously written Blue Angel with Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood. Tosin Abasi and Ivan Chopik, meanwhile, teamed up for the aptly named Archetype.

For Kiko, life after Megadeth looks prosperous, with many new creative avenues opening up before him. Alongside his collaboration with Plini, he revealed to Guitar World that a new solo album is in the works.

“Even before I talked to Dave [Mustaine about leaving], I had around 11 new songs done,” he says. “By May I had the drums recorded, and in June I did the rhythm guitars for what’s going to be an instrumental solo guitar album. I now need to finish the solos and melodies, and I finally have time.

Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro

(Image credit: Carlos Santiago/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

“This is the fun part for me – I can be looser as I don’t have to worry about touring. I had to keep postponing recording it, so I’m very excited to get going on it this year.”

Finnish metal guitar prodigy Teemu Mäntysaari may have been announced as his Megadeth successor, but the Brazilian initially recommended Marty Friedman was brought back into the fold.

“Actually, I even mentioned to management and Dave that I thought bringing Marty Friedman back would be amazing,” he told Guitar World. In the interview, he also called Mäntysaari “an amazing, incredible player.”

Having released Mirage in December, Plini tours Australia and Japan in March, with summer festival dates starting to be announced, including two trips to the UK at ArcTanGent and RADAR Festivals.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.