Ex-Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro wanted the band to bring Marty Friedman back: “He was a part of those iconic albums.”

Former Megadeth guitarists Kiko Loureiro and Marty Friedman performing onstage
(Image credit: Kiko Loureiro: Elsie Roymans/Getty Images | Marty Friedman: Jun Sato/WireImage)

Former Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro has revealed that he wanted the band’s ’90s lead player, Marty Friedman, to replace him.

Loureiro joined Megadeth in 2015 and played on two of the famed thrashers’ albums: 2016’s Dystopia and 2022’s The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!. He announced he was taking a leave of absence last year to focus on time with family, then announced his formal exit in November.

Friedman was part of Megadeth from 1989 to 2000 and played on five of their albums, including fan favourites Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction. The guitarist appeared with the band onstage for the first time in 23 years last summer during their Japanese tour.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Loureiro has revealed that he suggested Megadeth replace him with Friedman full-time as he was leaving the band.

“Actually, I even mentioned to management and Dave [Mustaine, vocals/guitar] that I thought bringing Marty Friedman back would be amazing,” Loureiro said.

“I have no idea if they’re talking about it or talking to him, but I did say that. But again, I have no idea beyond that, and I don’t want to make anything more complicated.”

Loureiro also paid tribute to Friedman’s contributions to the band and the love for him that many fans still hold.

“The fans never said anything bad about me or complained, which was amazing,” he said. “But I’m a fan, and I always understood that Marty was a part of those iconic albums like Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction

“I understood that Marty was the guy who helped create that sound and style, you know? From the moment I joined Megadeth, I knew the fans could show me love, but I would never win their hearts over Marty.” 

Megadeth are still touring to promote The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!, with Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun currently in the lead guitarist position. The band will play South American dates in April, then a string of European shows in June. Tickets are available now.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.