Dave Mustaine talked about guitarist Kiko Loureiro joining Megadeth following a period of turmoil within the band, saying on Art of the Craft:
“We were trying to get ‘Rust in Peace‘ lineup back together. And it was a disaster. Nick Menza has passed away recently… Rest in peace Nick.
“It was hard because we were trying to get him [Nick] to come and play and he just couldn’t do it anymore. So I was trying to assemble parts using drum tracks. And when the bass player [David Ellefson] would come into town, we’d lay down some bass stuff. And the current drummer that we had in the band [Shawn Drover], and the guitar player [Chris Broderick]…
“We had a full lineup and we were supposed to go out on tour with Iron Maiden, and then Bruce [Dickinson] got mouth cancer. We’d come off tour for a year to do this Maiden tour and they said, ‘Oh sorry, the tour’s over. You’re not going out.’
“I was so pissed. Because we’d come off the road for a year and the guitar player and the drummer [Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover] were told by the management company we had at the time, ‘You guys gotta go find a job.’ So they quit.
“So now here I’m with the bass player [David Ellefson] trying to put together a band again. I was just so frustrated and just thinking, ‘Do I even want to do this anymore?'”
How did all of this affect your plans for the future?
“Would you be surprised if I said I got mad? [Laughs] I did, and my family had to deal with it, which was kind of a drag. And I just was spiraling. So I finally contacted a drummer [Lamb of God’s Chris Adler] and I said, ‘Would you come out here and just lay down some session tracks?’
“And I’ve been looking for guitar players – it had been four months of auditioning guitar players. And I called my management, I said, ‘Please send me another list.’ And I went all the way down the list and I got to the very last name – Kiko Loureiro.
“And I’m thinking, ‘It could have been Poncho Villa for all I care.’ Because I’m looking at that name and I’m thinking ‘No…’ So then I click on YouTube and it’s this gorgeous Brazilian guy that just absolutely destroys on guitar.
“And I call up Ellefson and I go, ‘I found him!’ He goes, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘It’s Kiko Loureiro or Lurirao…’ *continues to mumble* And he goes, ‘Oh, I know that dude. I played with him.’ And I said, ‘What?! I’m gonna kill you, Ellefson!’ [Laughs] That’s why he only has four strings. He did know him and he didn’t tell me. So I was pretty upset.
“So he comes out here and we’re just talking. We go back to my house, the phone rings, I take the phone call, and he picks up an acoustic guitar and he starts playing that ‘Carmelo Brunello,’ whatever that song is.
“He’s doing this and I’m flashing back to when I was in the studio with Marty [Friedman] and I was just getting intimidated. And I was starting to get really freaked out. I thought, ‘He’s out here for you, don’t worry about it.’
“So we didn’t play a note together and he went home, I hired him on the spot. He came out, we did the record [2016’s ‘Dystopia’], got my first Grammy, and the rest is history. Best guitar player I played with so far.”