Kiko Loureiro Opens Up About Leaving Megadeth

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Kiko Loureiro surprised Dave Mustaine by talking about his departure from Megadeth in a recent interview with Guitar World.

The guitarist said, “What factors or reasons led to your decision to leave Megadeth at the end of 2023?” in response to the question.

“It started when I booked a trip home to Brazil. The last time I’d been was in 2019, before the pandemic; I got to a point where I said, ‘I need to visit my family,’ so I booked a trip for the Thanksgiving period in 2023 because Megadeth never does anything around that time.”

Communication With Dave Mustaine

Loureiro went on to discuss the difficulty he faced juggling his music profession with his family’s obligations.

“So the feeling of, ‘Should I be out doing this rockstar thing while my kids are at home?’ kept coming up. And the more moments and important dates I missed, the harder it was. It got harder in 2023, especially during the three-month summer tour. So I went to Dave in June, saying, ‘This is too much. I’m not feeling like I’m in the right place or mood to give 100 percent.’”

Mustaine’s Unexpected Reaction

The singer also shared his early thoughts on Mustaine’s decision to quit, saying as much:

“It was complicated for me to say because I wanted to play, but I knew I needed to be at home. And, of course, Dave was not expecting it. We had just done a show in Florida with the Misfits, and it was right after that show that I talked to Dave. And then Megadeth management was there, and I let them know I could not do the September gigs. I offered to help find a replacement and do what was needed to help Megadeth be ready to go.”

Announcement And Extended Break

Kiko announced in September 2023 that he was taking a sabbatical from Megadeth. Then, on November 19, 2023, he said that the break would be extended until 2024.

“In September, I had to step away from the US leg of the tour for family reasons. Looking ahead, during 2024, we anticipate an even heavier touring schedule for Megadeth. After thorough reflection and discussions with Dave Mustaine and Megadeth’s management, we have collectively agreed that it is the right move to extend my absence. I don’t want to hinder any of the band’s plans or the hard work of all the incredible people involved in the tour.”

For their 2024 tour, the band selected Teemu Mäntysaari to replace Loureiro as guitarist. Nevertheless, as he disclosed in the same Guitar World discussion, Kiko told Mustaine and the management that he believed it would be fantastic to have Marty Friedman return.


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