Guitarist Kiko Loureiro recalls how he landed his Megadeth gig
Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro was recently interviewed by Andrew DiCecco for Vinyl Writer Music. Loureiro was promoting Megadeth‘s new album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, which was recently released on September 2, 2022.
The guitarist joined Megadeth back in 2015 and has also played on the band’s previous studio album Dystopia. In terms of how the guitarist vacancy in Megadeth came to his attention and what the audition process was like, Loureiro indicated (with slight edits):
“So, I got an email first to ask for my number because I think [David] Ellefson had my email. So, he sent an email, “What’s your number? Dave [Mustaine] wants to call you.” It’s like, “Wow, okay,” so I gave my number, and Dave called me the same day. I was coming from a tour, and then I was a bit sick and coughing, and they were not very patient. [Dave] said, “Kiko, when you’re better, you call me back.” And then I called him maybe a day after or two days after. We talked a bit about it; the possibilities, and then I asked if I could send him some videos. So, I sent four videos – I actually put those videos on my YouTube channel – and I kind of learned the songs fast because I was imagining, “Oh, there must be a lot of guys trying to send videos as well.”
So, in a weekend, I learned the four songs and then sent the videos, and then the management sent a ticket to Nashville from L.A. Then I flew to Nashville and spent the full day with Dave. I was expecting some sort of audition; to go into the rehearsal room with all the guitar players. That’s what you expect from an audition, right? I’m not a side-man kind of guy; I never had that experience before. I was in Angra, playing with my own band, so that was my experience. So, for me, this was completely new. Basically, Dave picked me up at the hotel, and then we went to have lunch and then coffee, and then he was driving me around, then we went to his house because he had to do something. Then I was just there, while he was in his office, waiting for him. I was prepared to play the songs, but he didn’t ask me to. He wanted to get to know me better, basically. That’s the most important thing. Because of my musical skills, you can listen to my previous work, you can watch my videos on YouTube, you can ask around, “Is this guy able to play my songs?” – he probably did that – and then it’s all about the personality.
So, then I came back home; great feeling because I thought I fit with this band because I’ve been playing metal for 25 years professionally. I traveled the world; I did all those festivals. I played with Megadeth at different festivals before. We even did a cover for a magazine in 2008 in Japan. He didn’t remember that. I told him, “You know, we did a photo session together once,” because Angra was pretty big in Japan, so the magazine organized that photo session for me and Dave. But it was a fast thing, like 30 minutes for the photo session. So, I had this experience, and I know how to play the songs, and I like this style. So, I was pretty confident. Of course, there are probably other great guys here, but I was pretty confident because of my experience in playing in bands. I think it counts a lot; Dirk has this, and James has that experience in playing in different bands. You understand how things work.”
Loureiro was asked how he found out that he got the Megadeth gig to which he replied: “Well, I had a great feeling, so I thought, “Well, I think I got it.” But that was my feeling, by the way, that Dave was talking to me already, showing me how things work and things like that. It was not like, “Okay, play this song. Great. Wait, and we’ll call you later.” He was already explaining to me how the Megadeth corporation works. So, I had this feeling, but it was just a feeling. But I think, at some point, the management sent me a ticket to go back to Nashville, like a week later, to join them in the studio. So, I was like, “Wow, that must be it. I take that as a yes, I’m in.” There was no celebration, here’s the welcome, so when I was there, and then I flew back, maybe one or two days later, they announced. Then I felt like, “Okay, I’m accepted. That’s real; that’s legit.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Kiko Loureiro via Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.
Megadeth‘s “We’ll Be Back” video: