MEGADETH drummer Dirk Verbeuren spoke to the "Everblack" podcast about the band's upcoming follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. The effort will be MEGADETH's first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band four and a half years ago.
"I got the privilege to spend a lot of time with the band on the road for the past four years; we did a lot of touring from 2016 through 2019," Dirk said (see video below). "So I really got to know the guys, know what works and doesn't, know all the different [parts the previous] three drummers contributed to every song. In the beginning, of course, I didn't have much time to really get to the finite details of some of the stuff, but over time, I really got in depth with all the drum parts; like Gar Samuelson's stuff is pretty intricate. So I really got to absorb all that and play it live. And Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] was throwing things in the setlist sometimes, like, 'Oh, okay. Now we're doing this.' Just kind of seeing how it works.
"So when it comes to making the record, I think it was such a good thing to have that experience and to be able to put all that together, mixed in with my own feel and my own influences, I think you're gonna hear that on the album," he continued. "All the big eras of MEGADETH are [represented] in some way or another on drums, I believe."
Regarding what it was like to work with Mustaine in the studio, Verbeuren said: "He's super cool to work with. I've gotta say he still gets that youthful excitement when something's cool — when he likes a riff or a drum fill or whatever it is. So, of course, you feed off of that. I actually went in to record drums together with David Ellefson doing bass — it was late May, early June this year — and Dave was, of course, there the whole time. And so there was a really good energy happening. It was really productive. We experimented some, tried some different things. It didn't always work out, but he really encouraged us to do just what we do and trusted us with the parts. I mean, we all wrote stuff for the record — like, I wrote a song and some other riffs, 'cause I play guitar too. Some of that stuff ended up being recorded; I don't know whether it will be on the album or not. There are a lot of cool things happening, so I really felt like it was a creatively interesting process, for sure."
Last month, Mustaine told "The Five Count" radio show that the new MEGADETH LP will "probably" be "one of the most ferocious records we've done since 'Rust In Peace'. David Ellefson, he's a pretty good barometer of things, and when he did his bass parts, he [went], 'Man, my arm is killing me. I can't believe this.'"
In a separate interview with SiriusXM, Mustaine said that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells' and 'Dystopia'."
The early sessions for the LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
Guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on "Dystopia", whose title track was honored in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
As previously reported, MEGADETH's North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.