On Wednesday, January 13, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was interviewed by Kirby Ray of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri radio station Real Rock 99.3. You can now listen to the chat below.

Asked if his friendship with MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson is “closer than ever” now, more than thirty years since they formed the band together, Mustaine responded: “No, that’s not true. MEGADETH was already in its formative phase long before I even knew David Ellefson. The name MEGADETH didn’t come up until after Dave and I had met. But there was another bass player before Dave.”

He added: “Dave and I, we have a friendship that’s been up and down over the years. I think our relationship is stable right now.”

Mustaine was also full of praise for the band’s latest additions, LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA. He said: “I love playing with these guys. Chris and I have become really close. And Kiko is a very, very intelligent guy. Granted, he’s Brazilian, and there’s a little bit of a language barrier, but the guy’s brilliant. And we have amazing talks together, so we continue to get closer and closer as a guitar duo, which, I think, is really important, because, you know, if you are playing guitar together at this speed, it’s kind of like synchronized knife fighting kind of thing: you need to know what’s going on, or somebody’s gonna get hurt.”

He added: “It’s really great to be able to have a band again. I think that if you ask Dave, he’ll tell you that he’s really happy playing with Chris, because Chris is such an exciting player to play with. And not taking anything away from any of the other players over time. We’ve had some really terrific players over the years. But sometimes we would have a really great drummer and a really good guitar player, or a really good drummer and a really great guitar player, but it wasn’t that, at once, all four people were at the top of their field.”

Regarding what Kiko has added to MEGADETH‘s forthcoming album, “Dystopia”, Mustaine said: “Kiko had a lot of really great stuff that he’d done with [other] bands; ANGRA is one of them. He’s done a lot of different types of music, so I had to kind of really watch and reel him in with some of the stuff to keep it within the metal vein, because he was so capable of doing so many things. So I think the question should be more, like, ‘Can he do what he did on the record live?’ because the stuff is so exotic and so high-octane. I’m really interested in seeing if he’s gonna be able to pull it off live.”

Ellefson was in MEGADETH from the band’s inception in 1983 to 2002, when the group briefly broke up because Mustaine suffered severe nerve damage that left him unable to play. After Mustaine reformed MEGADETH with an all-new lineup in 2004, Ellefson sued his former bandmate for $18.5 million, alleging that Mustaine still owed him substantial merchandise and publishing royalties. In January 2005, the case was dismissed in court, and five years later, Ellefson rejoined MEGADETH.

“Dystopia” will be released on January 22 via Universal Music Enterprises / Tradecraft / T-Boy Records. The follow-up to 2013’s “Super Collider” was recorded last year in Nashville, Tennessee and was produced by Mustaine. The CD was mixed by Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with LAMB OF GOD, ALL THAT REMAINS and GOJIRA.