KIKO LOUREIRO Extends His Leave Of Absence From MEGADETH

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Kiko Loureiro has extended his leave of absence from Megadeth into 2024. Loureiro originally stepped away from Megadeth last September, sitting out tour dates due to family matters, and was replaced by guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun.

This situation still appears to be temporary, as neither Megadeth nor Loureiro have announced his official departure. The news came directly from Loureiro, who posted the statement below on his social media: “Dear Megadeth fans,” he began. “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. 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 Megadeth fans around the world. Your dedication is inspiring, and I have immense admiration and respect for all of you.”

Some would say the writing was on the wall when Mustaine recently said that he was not sure when Loureiro was coming back, but who knows. We wish Loureiro all the best with whatever’s going on with his life… and here’s hoping Megadeth keeps Mäntysaari around, as the dude was really killing it at recent shows.

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