Kiko Loureiro explains his Megadeth exit, says he’s someone who “needs freedom”

“Due to circumstances in my life, I have taken the liberty of choosing not to be in Megadeth.”

Kiko Loureiro

Image: Joseph Okpako / Getty Images

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Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro has opened up about what looks to be a now official exit from the band.

Last month, the musician announced that he will be extending his leave of absence from Megadeth into 2024, with Finnish guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari of Wintersun taking his place.

“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,” Loureiro said in a statement.

Explaining his decision in a recent appearance on the Amplifica podcast, Loureiro cited “freedom” as the main reason he was leaving Dave Mustaine and co.

The guitarist described himself as someone who “needs freedom”, saying [via Blabbermouth]: “Due to circumstances in my life, I have taken the liberty of choosing not to be in Megadeth. Because it’s my option. Because freedom is having the choice between two viable options; that is freedom.”

Loureiro also reiterated that he will be prioritising his family over everything else at the moment. He shared that he almost missed the birth of his daughter Lívia after returning home from an appearance with his former band Angra at the Rock In Rio festival in 2011. And how in 2016, he was back on the road with Megadeth just 10 days after his wife gave birth to twins.

The musician added that his absence from Megadeth has been openly discussed with Mustaine since June this year, and that he was responsible for getting Mäntysaari to join the band as a fill-in guitarist. Loureiro also met up with Mäntysaari in the weeks leading to Megadeth’s late 2023 tour dates to make the transition more seamless.

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