Last month, Megadeth announced that guitarist Kiko Loureiro wasn’t going to join the band on the current leg of their “Crush The World” tour because of an undisclosed family emergency. It was an unfortunate situation that conflicted with the planned dates, but the band was able to soldier on by adding Wintersun guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari in Loureiro’s absence.
During a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine admitted that he wasn’t sure when Loureiro would be able to return to the fold. The revelation came while answering a question about whether Megadeth had any plans to reunite with Marty Friedman again in the future.
“I don’t know. It’s a very interesting idea. Marty is a really talented person. I don’t know for sure, but I think this is an area where I need to just talk with my partner and see how he feels about having another guitar player come up there and jam. Because sometimes guys get their feelings hurt, and I don’t know that that’s possible between Kiko [Loureiro] and Marty – because I think they both have a really high admiration of each other. But more importantly than what I would do with Marty right now is what I’m going to do with Kiko – because I love the guy and I want him to get whatever he’s going through worked out.”
“And fortunately, he had mentioned the name of a guy, Teemu Mäntysaari. Teemu came out, and he was prepared. Like I said, I don’t know when Kiko is coming back. He won’t be back for this run [of tour dates]. He’s at home, and he’s soldiering on – for lack of a better term – and working through whatever it is he needs to get through. Out of respect for him, I didn’t pry and ask what exactly it was – because it’s really none of my business unless he tells me. But I think for any of the fans that are going to say, ‘How’s it going to sound? What’s it going to be like?’
“Don’t worry. I’ve picked good guitar players in the past, and I train them well. Teemu is very capable of playing these songs. In fact, we’re adding new songs to the set. That is really exciting, too. I wish Kiko the very best – I love him, and I hope to get some good news from him soon.”
In the original social media post announcing Loureiro’s absence, it was estimated that he was going to be away during the fall. With Mustaine now saying he’s not sure when Loureiro will be back, it’s unclear if that’s still the case.
Regardless, Mäntysaari has seemingly fallen right into the role pretty seamlessly, so as long as his commitments with Wintersun don’t keep him from playing with Megadeth, the band at least has him as a backup option.
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