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Kiko Loureiro Opens Up: Departure from MEGADETH, Embracing Freedom, and Prioritizing Family

Kiko Loureiro
Kiko Loureiro (Credits: Louder Sound)

During an interview on the “Amplifica” podcast, which was hosted by his old ANGRA bandmate Rafael Bittencourt, former MEGADETH guitarist Kiko Loureiro recently provided details on his band exit.

Brazilian-born Loureiro stated that “freedom” was the main reason he decided to quit legendary band Dave Mustaine’s group. He underlined his desire for independence and compared it to the reason he moved to the US in the early 2000s. He declared that his decision to leave MEGADETH was motivated by current circumstances in his life, considering it “important” to have such independence after more than eight years with the group. He stated that, in his opinion, real freedom is the ability to choose between good possibilities.

Kiko Loureiro

Kiko Loureiro (Credits: Guitar)

Loureiro also revealed that his family is now the most important thing in his life. Thinking back on earlier times, like the time he nearly missed the birth of his daughter Lívia following a 2011 Rock In Rio performance and the time he left for a MEGADETH tour soon after his twin sons were born in 2016, he said that if he could do it all over again, he would make time for these important family occasions.

As a member of MEGADETH, Loureiro admitted to feeling “comfortable,” pointing out the simplicity provided by a group of about 20 individuals managing the practical details, freeing up the band members to concentrate on playing. In June of the same year, he claimed, talks with Mustaine had been going on since June, and the issues underlying his leaving had been handled candidly.

When it came to finding his replacement, Loureiro took charge of reaching out to Teemu Mäntysaari (WINTERSUN, SMACKBOUND). He also revealed that he took an active role in the process, meeting with Mäntysaari in the weeks preceding MEGADETH’s tour in late summer/fall 2023 and sending him videos.

Loureiro, who had earlier declared his intention to prolong his leave from MEGADETH’s tour, stressed that he didn’t want to obstruct the band’s intentions or the efforts of those working on the tour.

Mustaine issued a statement expressing love, respect, and unwavering support in reaction to Loureiro’s choice. He acknowledged Loureiro’s involvement in helping MEGADETH achieve success, praising the guitarist for helping the band win a Grammy for “Dystopia” and other honors for their most recent album, “The Sick… The Dying…And the Dead.”

Mustaine praised Teemu Mäntysaari, who joined MEGADETH, for his rapport with the group. Mäntysaari’s guitar playing was praised by Mustaine, who pointed out that it was similar to the style of late guitarist Marty Friedman.

September 6 at Revel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, marked MEGADETH’s debut performance with the new lineup, which now includes Mäntysaari. Mustaine, Mäntysaari, bassist James LoMenzo, and former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren make up the current lineup.

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