MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine, who went public with his throat cancer diagnosis in June 2019, spoke to Mankato, Minnesota's "The Five Count" radio show about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album. Asked for an update on his health, he said (hear audio below): "I'm a little tired, but I think that comes with the territory. When we started this record, I was sick and I didn't know it. But I'd been going through a lot of stuff. And then, during the course of the [making of] the record, we did a brief tour where I went out and did the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and that's when we found out I had cancer. And I did my treatment, beat it, got it behind me. There were a couple of other places that they found the cancer, and they cut it out. So I'm fine right now. I'm back to training and back to playing. And we've got, I think, probably one of the most ferocious records we've done since 'Rust In Peace'. David Ellefson [MEGADETH bassist], 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.'"
Mustaine went on to say that the writing sessions for the new MEGADETH album had stretched out over a long period of time.
"We set out to do this last record because we're all kind of getting a little older and we're set in our ways and our families and stuff," Dave said. "One guy [drummer Dirk Verbeuren] lives in California, another guy [Mustaine] lives in Tennessee, another guy [Ellefson] lives in Arizona, and Kiko [Loureiro, guitar] lives in fucking Finland. I mean, not 'fucking Finland,' but in Finland. Excuse me for the language there. I'm a little bit bothered about having to fly my guitar player from Finland. Anyway, so we figured when we got together, what are we gonna do? 'We've got one record left that we owe the record label. And let's just go in there and write.' So we wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. And then I got the all-clear from the doctors, and today, I'm actually going over to start getting vocals down, because I'm getting ready to start singing."
Last week, Mustaine told Q104.3 New York's "Out Of The Box With Jonathan Clarke" that MEGADETH was "in the process" of recording guitar solos for the new album. "Kiko Loureiro is at the studio with me, and we're done with all the bass and drums and almost done with all of the rhythms," he said. "We've still got little punch-ins we need to do here and there, and then it's off into singing and solo land. And then probably the last thing, which is always my favorite thing, is the ear candy."
Mustaine recently told SiriusXM's Jose Mangin that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be "up there with 'Countdown [To Extinction]', 'Rust In Peace' and probably 'Peace Sells' and 'Dystopia'."
The effort will be MEGADETH's first to feature Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band four years ago.
The early sessions for the LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on "Dystopia".
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.