Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has issued a statement about the band’s lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro’s extended absence.
The band have toured with Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun and Imperanon in Loureiro’s place. In a statement, Mustaine said that Mäntysaari will continue to be the band’s lead guitarist moving forward.
You can read Mustaine’s statement below:
Hey Droogies, last week I received a call from my partner, Kiko Loureiro, and we spoke for a while. I asked him how things were going regarding the important issues that led to his absence from our previous run, which was necessary for him to be with his family.
I want to update you now on what Kiko shared with me. But before I do, want you to know that I love, respect, and fully support Kiko‘s decision. He has emphasized his love for me, Megadeth, and all of you, our fans.
As a reminder, Kiko had to leave the tour last August to handle some very important and private family business. He was conflicted but appreciative when I told him that he needed to go to take care of his family. He agreed but was still concerned about us—meaning the fans, and Megadeth. I told him at the time, ‘Go! Kiko, you can never regain this time with your family, I know first hand…I paid the price myself’. Eventually, he agreed.
Kiko is a top-notch professional, a maestro—and he did not want to hurt me or Megadeth. We came up with a solution to find a fill-in for him during that time and that’s when he presented and trained Teemu Mäntysaari to take over for us. In the beginning, this was only going to be until the first week of October 2023. However, things rarely turn out the way they are planned.
The 2023 tour is over, and it was long and arduous. Last year saw a substantial amount of touring, and it appears that 2024 is gearing up to be even more intense, with extensive touring commitments keeping us on the road for most of the year. We have had many conversations with Kiko about this and they have all been very positive. Kiko is going to remain on an extended leave of absence, due to our heavy touring commitments next year and we are going to continue to move forward with Teemu Mäntysaari as the guitar player for Megadeth.
I would like to thank Kiko for his dedication and hard work these past 9 years, helping us to achieve a Grammy on ‘Dystopia‘ and the additional awards we have received on this latest record ‘The Sick… The Dying…And The Dead‘ “I could not have done this without Kiko Loureiro.
We hope to see all of you supporting Kiko in his next endeavors, and we want to see you next year out on the Killing Road. We have exciting plans to share with all of you in our next newsletter.