Dave Mustaine says that Chris Adler “has nothing to do” with MEGADETH anymore and will apparently not be rejoining the band on the road again, despite the group’s previous announcement to the contrary.
Adler played drums on MEGADETH‘s latest album, “Dystopia”, and took part in most of the band’s live shows in support of the CD between January and May. On those shows in late 2015 and early 2016 where Adler was unable to play with MEGADETH, he was temporarily replaced by Tony Laureano (ex-DIMMU BORGIR, NILE, ANGELCORPSE), the veteran extreme-metal skinsman who has worked as the band’s drum tech since 2011.
Since May 20, MEGADETH has utilized the services of Dirk Verbeuren, the 40-year-old Belgian-born-and-now-Los-Angeles-based drummer who has been playing with SOILWORK for more than a decade.
During a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 1 — the day before MEGADETH‘s performance in the city — Mustaine was asked by Ron Ben-Tovim of the Machine Music web site what considerations he takes into account when welcoming new musicians, like Adler and Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, into the band. Mustaine responded: “Well, I think that if you’re in the presence of greatness, it would be shameful not to allow that person to be great. But let me back up, though. Chris Adler is not with MEGADETH; he’s in LAMB OF GOD. He was a session guy. It was what you could call ‘work for hire.’ And he has nothing to do with us anymore, and he is with his band, which… I’m very grateful for his contributions. I’m grateful for him introducing us to Dirk. We still haven’t announced who our new drummer is gonna be. [But] it won’t be Chris Adler, because he’s in LAMB OF GOD.”
In a May 20 Facebook posting, MEGADETH welcomed Verbeuren to the band’s touring lineup and announced that the SOILWORK drummer would be “filling in at all shows until Chris rejoins on June 28th.” It appears now, however, that Dirk will continue to play drums for MEGADETH on the road for the foreseeable future, with Adler not returning to the band at all.
During a March 2016 interview with the South Orange, New Jersey radio station WSOU, Mustaine talked about the possibility of Adler playing on the next MEGADETH studio album. “I think it’s too early to say that, but my hunch is that the answer would probably be yes,” he said. “I think Chris wants to do it. I have no reason not to have him do it. I thought it was really inspiring being around him and his positive energy and really optimistic outlook towards life and music in general. It was good for me, it was good for the band, and, yeah, if he wants to do the next record… I mean, the drum position is his if he wants it until we get into a position where we have to make a decision otherwise.”
Dirk was recommended for the MEGADETH job by Adler, who called Verbeuren “probably [one of the] top three drummers in the world.” Chris told Banger TV‘s “Lock Horns” how the connection came about. “MEGADETH is on tour now doing a couple of festivals — same festivals that LAMB OF GOD is,” he said. “We tried as much as we could with all the promoters and all the festivals to have us coincide and play on the same day. I’ve done double duty with LAMB and MEGADETH across the U.K. and just done five shows with them along this tour that we’re currently on right now, because we were able to collide and make those things happen. As we go in different reactions and play different things, MEGADETH has a drummer to be able to play those shows. Dave [Mustaine] would certainly prefer to have me there, and I love playing with those guys and I would love to be there, but obviously I cannot be in two places at once.”
He continued: “Dave asked me… He said, ‘As we’re doing this, and if you’re not able to be there… I understand you wanna fulfill your commitment with LAMB OF GOD. And we’re planning on going over to Europe while LAMB OF GOD is still touring. Help me find… Who would you want to drum for us?’ And I said, ‘First of all, the drum tech you currently have, Tony, who was the drummer for DIMMU BORGIR and ANGELCORPSE, [he’s an] amazing drummer, so you have someone on staff that can easily do this.’ But then he asked, ‘Well, if there was someone out there that you would personally recommend, personality-wise and playing-wise?’ And [Dirk] began the job [at Rock On The Range].”