On Wednesday, March 30, Dave Mustaine spoke to SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about the upcoming MEGADETH album, “The Sick, The Dying, And The Dead”. Tentatively due on July 8, the follow-up to 2016’s “Dystopia” features a cover of DEAD KENNEDYS‘ “Police Truck” and Sammy Hagar‘s “This Planet’s On Fire”, the latter of which includes vocals from Hagar himself.
Regarding when fans can expect to hear some of the new MEGADETH music, Mustaine said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We know that the whole entire thing is scheduled for July 8th. And the hopes are that we stay on schedule with that. And I know that we’ve got a single that is gonna be serviced to radio any day now. It’s a song called ‘Killing Time’. Obviously, that’s [written about] somebody in my past, but it’s not as obvious as it sounds; it’s wasting your time, not time to kill things. And it had to do with some of the situations that myself and the different band guys have gotten themselves into with the band over time. And I’m sure a lot of people are gonna relate with that. So that one, it’s gonna be sent to radio, gosh, any day now.”
Asked if MEGADETH will perform a new song on the upcoming 2022 leg of “The Metal Tour Of The Year”, which is scheduled to launch on Saturday, April 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mustaine said: “We have this track called ‘Night Stalker’, and we’re hoping to use that as our new opening track. None of us are together yet, so we haven’t had a chance to sit down and start getting all the hiccups worked out of the track other than when we were in the studio together. But once we use that for our opening track, it’s got some sounds in it that is something we’re gonna incorporate into the beginning of our show. And it’s a track that we have… my buddy Ice-T had guested on.”
Mustaine spoke in more detail about “Night Stalker” in a separate interview with Jose Mangin of SiriusXM Liquid Metal. He said: “It’s a brutal song. I can’t remember if that was the fastest one [on the new album] or not. But ‘Night Stalker’ is about the 160th Battalion with the United States Army, and it’s all the black-ops helicopters that go in at night — nobody knows they’re there; they’re in, they’re out. And I had my buddy Ice-T join me on a part in the middle of it, because Ice was a ranger for the army, and he did two tours over in Afghanistan, I think it was. I think that was back in ’91, when I first met him. It might have been a little earlier than that, but I know he was a ranger. And I had just done something on his last record. But when I asked him, I thought it would be great to have him because of his bravado and then the fact that he’s got real credibility as someone who was there. And then we’ve got several other guys to participate in the track just to make it as real as possible. We’re going up to the base to go film a bunch of helicopter footage and sounds and stuff like that. We’ve got three videos that we’re making for this record right now down in Brazil, and we’re combining all that production and the stuff from the base, with the helicopters and everything together, to make this first three-song video offering up.”
Regarding Hagar‘s contribution to “This Planet’s On Fire”, Mustaine told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”: “It’s a super-heavy song. And the good thing about this [is] we didn’t just do the song; [Sammy] played on it too. So we’ve got a little bit of some guitar; we’ve got a lot of bit of singing. I think it’s super badass.”
As for MEGADETH‘s decision to cover “Police Truck”, Mustaine said: “It’s no secret I’m a big DEAD KENNEDYS fan, and I had wanted to do ‘Holiday In Cambodia’, but my friends in LÄÄZ ROCKIT had done that, and I felt that [I would] just let them have their glory off of that rendition of that song, and if the time comes, I’m sure there’s another song that’ll stick out to me. And there was — it was the song ‘Police Truck’. So we recorded that one.”
A few days ago, Mustaine confirmed that TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio laid down the bass tracks on “The Sick, The Dying, And The Dead”.
There had been speculation about DiGiorgio‘s involvement in the new MEGADETH LP since last July, based on a Cameo video Mustaine recorded in which he offered the first glimpse of the bassist that re-recorded David Ellefson‘s bass tracks on the much-anticipated MEGADETH effort.
DiGiorgio is widely renowned as a pioneer on the fretless bass in heavy metal music, having played with TESTAMENT, DEATH and SADUS, among others. Within his genre, Steve is respected for his playing skills, versatility and incredible technique. He has more than 40 studio album recordings and over 20 years of touring the world.
Three months ago, Mustaine revealed that James LoMenzo will play bass for MEGADETH when the band returns to the road in April for the second U.S. leg of “The Metal Tour Of The Year”. Joining them will be co-headliners LAMB OF GOD along with special guests TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES.
LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group’s studio albums, 2007’s “United Abominations” and 2009’s “Endgame”. He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with returning original MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson.
In addition to MEGADETH, LoMenzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and WHITE LION. For the past nine years, LoMenzo has been performing with iconic rocker John Fogerty.
LoMenzo played his first show with MEGADETH in nearly 12 years last August in Austin, Texas. The concert took place three months following Ellefson‘s dismissal from MEGADETH after sexually tinged messages and explicit video footage involving him were posted on Twitter.
Ellefson laid down his bass tracks on MEGADETH‘s sixteenth LP in May 2020 at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. A short time later, he raved about his performance on the record, telling the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program “Wired In The Empire” that his musical chemistry with Verbeuren was comparable to the interplay between Geddy Lee and Neil Peart on classic RUSH albums. “I feel like on the new MEGADETH record, me and Dirk have those same moments,” he said. “It’s MEGADETH — it’s not RUSH, obviously — but in the field of what we do, there were these moments that I was just going, ‘Oh, my God.’ This is me as a kid going, ‘This is my Geddy/Neil moment right here.'”
In June 2021, Mustaine announced during an episode of his Gimme Radio program “The Dave Mustaine Show” that Ellefson‘s bass tracks would not be used on the new MEGADETH LP.
Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band’s inception in 1983 to 2002, and again from 2010 until his latest departure.
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