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Guitarist Kiko Loureiro has discussed his reasons for stepping away from MEGADETH

Former MEGADETH guitarist Kiko Loureiro recently delved into the reasons behind his departure from the iconic band during an insightful conversation on the “Amplifica” podcast, hosted by his former ANGRA bandmate Rafael Bittencourt.

Loureiro, who hails from Brazil, explained that the driving force behind his decision to leave Dave Mustaine‘s band was the pursuit of “freedom.” Describing himself as someone who “needs freedom,” he emphasized that this desire led him to the United States in the early 2000s. After more than eight years with MEGADETH, he felt that having the freedom to explore other avenues in his career and personal life had become “important.”

In a candid revelation, Kiko disclosed that his current life priorities center around his family. Reflecting on past experiences, he shared poignant moments, such as almost missing his daughter Lívia’s birth after returning home from a performance with ANGRA at the Rock In Rio festival in 2011. Additionally, in 2016, he embarked on a MEGADETH tour just 10 days after the birth of his twin sons. Kiko expressed that if faced with similar circumstances today, he “wouldn’t be on that stage, risking missing the moment of Lívia’s arrival.” While maintaining his commitment to music, he alluded to a situation at home requiring his attention but refrained from divulging further details.

Loureiro emphasized feeling “comfortable” as a member of MEGADETH, citing the seamless orchestration facilitated by a dedicated team of around 20 people who handle preparations, allowing the band members to focus solely on their performance. Discussing the circumstances surrounding his departure, Kiko revealed that he had been in open discussions with Mustaine since June of the same year. Taking responsibility for finding his replacement, he introduced Teemu Mäntysaari (WINTERSUN, SMACKBOUND) to MEGADETH, sending videos and meeting with the Finnish musician in the weeks leading up to the band’s late summer/fall 2023 tour to ensure a smooth transition.

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Earlier this month, Loureiro announced his decision to “extend” his absence from MEGADETH’s touring activities, expressing his reluctance to “hinder any of the band’s plans or the hard work of all the incredible people involved in the tour.”

In September, Kiko revealed that he would be sitting out the next leg of MEGADETH‘s “Crush The World” tour to spend time with his children in Finland.

Following Loureiro‘s announcement, Mustaine released a statement expressing love and respect for Kiko‘s decision. Acknowledging Loureiro as a “top-notch professional” and a “maestro,” Mustaine thanked him for his dedication and hard work over the past nine years, citing their joint achievements, including a Grammy for “Dystopia” and other accolades on the latest record, “The Sick… The Dying…And The Dead.” Mustaine concluded, “I could not have done this without Kiko Loureiro.”

Loureiro officially joined MEGADETH in April 2015, about five months after Chris Broderick‘s exit from the group.

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