Kiko Loureiro Explains How Dave Mustaine Treated Him in Megadeth So Far, Names One Important Thing He Learned in Band

Although he was active with Angra, more people found out about Kiko Loureiro’s talents after he joined Megadeth in 2015. After touring with the band, Kiko also showcased his guitar skills on 2016’s “Dystopia.” However, in terms of writing, the 2022 album “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” shows what he’s capable of.

Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!: Chapter III

In a recent interview with VWMusic, Kiko compared these two albums in terms of his songwriting contributions. In particular, he addressed why he ended up doing more on the new album compared to the previous one. Kiko explains:

“I think doing ‘Dystopia’, I was very new in the band — I was like five days new in the band. I met Dave, and then, like a week later, I was there at the studio learning the parts and open for suggestions. So it was already a thing for me to have some credits, some collaborations, with Dave on ‘Dystopia’. And now, of course, after so many years of understanding Megadeth better, not only Dave and getting the confidence from Dave but also understanding the fans, the band, the catalog, and playing the songs…

Megadeth - The Threat Is Real (Official Video)

“As a metal fan, I know Megadeth, but, of course, after four or five years of playing so many different countries and seeing fans’ faces and their reaction, playing the songs from the ’80s and the ’90s, you understand the band better. So when you bring ideas, you know, ‘Okay, this will fit. This is Megadeth. I know what I’m bringing is still something completely related to Megadeth.’ I think Dave just felt like, ‘I’m in a safe place with those guys.’

“So, I was always bringing ideas and giving suggestions — not only in the ideas that I brought but also his songs and his guitar stuff; I would say something. No fear, you know? I think creating a creative environment is like feeling that you’re in a safe place because you might give an idea that’s not good, that sucks, but it has to be okay to receive a ‘No, this doesn’t fit.’ It has to be okay, and then try again and propose something else.”

“And then vice versa — the person who is receiving that idea has to be open to be, like, ‘Okay…’ Maybe the person doesn’t like the idea that much but can say, ‘Okay, let’s try.’ So, it’s both ways, right? We have to be open to receiving a no, and the other person has to be open to trying the idea, even if, at first sight, the idea is not that great.”

Talking about the issue further, he explains:

“I think I understand Dave. Sometimes — it’s hard to explain — he has a very artistic vision of things. Bringing elements that you have no idea where he is coming from; [it] can be colors, can be an old movie, can be the soundtrack of something that I don’t know, an old TV show — things like that.

Megadeth - We’ll Be Back: Chapter I

“And then, when you listen to the theme of the old TV show, it has no correlation to what the riff is presenting. But there’s something there that reminds him. So you have to give time to understand what the person is thinking. Sometimes it’s just a feeling of, ‘I want something like that intro of that old TV show from the ’60s.’

“Then it’s, like, ‘Let’s hear that. Let’s go there.’ Then, I think, because I have my past music experience with other composers or me writing my songs, I know that. So, I kind of understand where he is coming from, so I think Dave feels safe saying those crazy ideas out loud.

“Then it’s a creative process, and everybody is free to bring their own ideas. Then I think Dirk [Verbeuren] felt, ‘You know what? I can bring some ideas, too, because that’s a cool environment.’ So, during the process, [Dirk] just brought some riffs — because he plays guitar — and then Dave helped him get what he wants because he has certain guitar techniques.

“So, then we play, and it’s, like, ‘Oh, we can refine your idea.’ The same goes when we suggest a drumbeat, and then Dirk goes and plays something like one hundred times better, but coming from what we are suggesting. So, that’s a mutual collaboration.”

Photo: Tilly Antoine (Kiko Loureiro au Hellfest 2022), Will Russell (Dave Mustaine 2011)

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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