NewsNovember 20, 2023 7:45 PM ET4,648 views

Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro extends leave of absence from band, Dave Mustaine responds

Megadeth 2023

Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro announced his extended absence from the band. This decision follows his previous leave of absence during the "Crush The World" tour. 

Teemu Mäntysaari has temporarily replaced him. Loureiro's absence is linked to the band's expected heavy touring schedule in 2024. 

Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine expressed support for Loureiro's decision and confirmed that Teemu Mäntysaari will continue as the band's guitar player for now. 

He wrote:

Dear MEGADETH fans, 

I want to share with you a decision that hasn't been easy for me. 

In September, I had to step away from the U.S. 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.

My nine years with MEGADETH have been an unbelievable journey, filled with countless 'pinch-me' moments," he continued. "Unforgettable tours, a Grammy Award for 'Dystopia', a Grammy nomination, and various accolades for 'The Sick, The Dying, And The Dead' are just a few of the highlights. It is hard to put into words the magnitude of these experiences. I am sure any heavy metal fan can appreciate how incredible it is to play and create music in a band you grew up listening to, and to share the stage with a guitar legend like Dave Mustaine, along with phenomenal musicians like James LoMenzo and Dirk Verbeuren, not to mention our incredible crew. 

However, the most cherished aspect of these nine years has been getting to know the incredible army of devoted MEGADETHfans around the world. Your dedication is inspiring, and I have immense admiration and respect for all of you.

Much love, see you soon!

Kiko Loureiro Statement


Now Dave Mustaine has responded saying:

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...l 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 Maantasary 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 Maantysari 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.

Dave Mustaine


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anonymous 105 days ago


anonymous 105 days ago

No goo

BigDog 105 days ago

Dudes under 40 have no idea what this article is about.

anonymous 105 days ago

Remember when you held me tight And you kissed me all through the night Think of all that we've been through And breaking up is hard to do

anonymous 105 days ago

Kinda wordy but at least there's no bullshit gay drama or anything. Dystopia was a decent release, too...they def aged better

anonymous 105 days ago

^^^^being wordy is bs gay drama. real dudes just go out for a pack of smokes

anonymous 105 days ago

Rust in Peace is better than any Metallica record. Pound for pound. Don't @ me, nerds.

anonymous 105 days ago


anonymous 105 days ago

So he's leaving at the end of 2024?

anonymous 105 days ago


anonymous 105 days ago


anonymous 105 days ago

So he didn't quit and wasn't fired but sure reads like he's fired

anonymous 104 days ago

Sorry guys, he's been at my seafood market, sampling the fresh fish. I'll get him back as soon as possible.

anonymous 104 days ago

Kiko is waiting on some sort of settlement/parting agreement from Dave inc which is why both parties put out confusing and vague statements. Give it a few months before it gets messy

anonymous 104 days ago

Probably a situation like Slipknot or Deftones where he was up for a contract renewal or something

anonymous 104 days ago

Megadeath is my favorite classic rock group.

anonymous 104 days ago

Kiko who? Idk man, I don't watch anime

anonymous 104 days ago


anonymous 103 days ago

the ONLY Kiko I'm down with, is the Kikoman Soy Sauce at Chinese Food Establishments.

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