“The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” will be Megadeth’s first album with drummer Dirk Verbeuren on drums. Although in the band since 2016, in one form or another, Dirk hadn’t recorded any official new material with the group. But with a few songs already out, we’re eagerly awaiting to hear what the entire record will sound like.
And in a new interview conducted by Roppongi Rocks, Verbeuren discussed his recording process with the band and working with Dave Mustaine. Asked whether he made his own mark on the album, Verbeuren responded:
“I do feel that I was able to express myself on the new songs. Dave welcomed Kiko’s and my contributions as writers and performers. He left a lot of freedom for us to experiment during the writing and in the studio, and so we worked together to explore new ground. It was hard work, but also a lot of fun.”
“I like to bring my ideas to the table, of course, but it’s equally important for me that I give Megadeth fans, of which I grew up being one myself, everything they’ve come to love about the band.”
“To me, that means not just playing to the best of my abilities, but also understanding what constitutes a good Megadeth song, as well as how previous drummers like Gar Samuelson and Nick Menza’s approach contributes to each song.
“In that regard, the three years spent touring for ‘Dystopia’ and playing those classics taught me a lot. Day after day, I absorbed what the Megadeth sound is about and where the drums fit into that sound.”
“Dave really helped me by inviting me to study every nuance of every drum part. I’ve always loved Gar’s and Nick’s styles and it’s great to be able to follow in their footsteps.”
Although Steve Di Giorgio recorded on the album, the band’s ultimate replacement for David Ellefson is James LoMenzo. This is not his first stint with Megadeth as he has already been present in the band, ultimately recording two albums in the 2000s. Speaking about working with LoMenzo as part of this rhythm section duo, Verbeuren said:
“I think I can speak for both of us and say that we found each other… to be quite likable chaps! In all seriousness, James is a seasoned veteran who knows exactly how to reinforce our shows with his energetic stage presence, impeccable backing vocals, and overall professionalism.”
“He’s a team player. It’s a natural fit as far as our rhythm section goes. James sticks to the drums like superglue packed with organic swagger additives. Playing together and hanging out with him has been and continues to be a blast.”