Former MEGADETH shredder Marty Friedman has congratulated Kiko Loureiro for becoming the latest lead guitarist to join the Dave Mustaine-led band, calling it “a fantastic, fantastic thing.”

MEGADETH announced on April 2 that Loureiro had been recruited by the group to serve as the replacement for Chris Broderick. Mustaine said in a statement: “Very few MEGADETHalumni have had the same feel and ability as Kiko.”

During his appearance at the Guitarfest in Chile on April 4, Friedman was asked by a member of the audience for his opinion of Loureiro. Marty said (see video below): “I think he is fantastic. I wanna say big congratulations to Kiko. I wish them nothing but the best success — from me, from Chile, the whole world. I think this is a fantastic, fantastic thing, and I just wanna say: congratulations, Kiko!”

In addition to Mustaine, Loureiro and bassist David Ellefson, the recording lineup for MEGADETH‘s forthcoming album will include LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler.

Friedman originally left MEGADETH in 1999 in order to make the kind of music that he was passionate about: Japanese pop music, or J-Pop, which Friedman has called “embarrassingly happy.”

Asked by Chile’s late last month whether there has been any attempt by MEGADETH to get him to rejoin the band in the years since he left the group, Marty said: “There has been, there has been, but there’s really no reason for me to rejoin the band right now, or anytime, really. If there’s a reason to join the band, I would consider it, but just because there’s a member out of the band, that’s not enough of a reason for me to join. You need a better reason than that.”