Kiko Loureiro, the Brazilian-born musician, performed his first show since leaving MEGADETH on December 8th at Sesc Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil. The 51-year-old guitarist, who currently resides in Finland with his family, treated the audience to a setlist that featured songs from his entire career, including the eight years he spent with MEGADETH. Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
During a recent interview on the “Amplifica” podcast, hosted by his former ANGRA bandmate Rafael Bittencourt, Kiko shared the reasons behind his departure from MEGADETH.
Loureiro has revealed that his departure from Dave Mustaine‘s band was motivated by his longing for “freedom.” Loureiro emphasized his need for freedom, comparing it to his decision to move to the United States in the early 2000s. After spending over eight years with MEGADETH, Loureiro expressed the significance of having the freedom to pursue his own artistic endeavors.
“And now, due to circumstances in my life, I have taken the liberty of choosing not to be in MEGADETH,” he said. “Because it’s my option. Because freedom is having the choice between two viable options; that is freedom.”
During the interview, Kiko shared a personal anecdote highlighting his commitment to family. He recounted a near-miss incident where he almost missed his daughter Lívia‘s birth after returning from a show at the Rock In Rio festival in 2011. Similarly, in 2016, he embarked on a MEGADETH tour just ten days after his twin sons were born. However, Kiko expressed that if faced with such circumstances today, he would prioritize being present for his family’s significant moments over being on stage, even if it meant missing out on opportunities that initially ignited his passion for music. He also confessed that he has a situation at home that calls for his attention, but he did not divulge any more information about it.
Loureiro spoke about his experience as a member of MEGADETH, describing it as a “comfortable” position due to the team of around 20 people who handle preparations for the band. Loureiro revealed that his departure was openly discussed, and he had been in conversation with Dave Mustaine since June of that year. He took responsibility for finding his replacement in MEGADETH, Teemu Mäntysaari, and shared that he had sent videos to the Finnish musician and met up with him before the band’s late summer/fall 2023 tour to ensure a smooth transition.
Kiko Loureiro recently announced that he will need to extend his time away from MEGADETH to address family issues. Dave Mustaine, the band’s founder, released a note expressing support for Loureiro and thanking him for his contributions over the nine years he spent with the band.
However, there are a few points that have caught the attention of fans. Firstly, Mustaine‘s gratitude towards Loureiro for his contributions, and secondly, the closing of the note where he asks fans to support Loureiro in his future endeavors. These observations, along with the fact that Loureiro‘s profile and photos on MEGADETH‘s official website have been replaced by those of his substitute guitarist, Teemu Mäntysaari, have left fans questioning Loureiro‘s return or permanent departure from the band. Despite the public display of a good relationship between Dave and Kiko, these details create uncertainty among fans.