James LoMenzo Wasn’t Initially Available for Megadeth Bass Gig
James LoMenzo is absolutely thrilled to be back in Megadeth, having been tapped this past summer to replace David Ellefson, who was fired in May amidst a sex scandal. The bassist just wrapped up Megadeth’s “Metal Tour of the Year” run with Lamb of God, Trivium and Hatebreed and says he’s “having the best time.”
But LoMenzo had to move hell and earth to get there… or at least push off some other commitments. LoMenzo has played in singer/songwriter John Fogerty’s band (ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival) for nearly a decade, and needed to get permission from his boss to take the ‘Deth gig, explaining that he wasn’t even available at first. Fogerty graciously allowed LoMenzo to take a leave, and he has been touring this summer with a different bass player.
Speaking to Melodic.net, he said:
“Dave’s [Mustaine’s] management reached out at first to see if I’d even be available, which I really wasn’t, but after a call with Dave I realized how important for Megadeth and even for myself this would be. Time was ticking, so I knew it would be a crunch, but having been here once before the re-learning curve was a tad less steep. I made some arrangements with the Fogerty camp, and they were gracious enough to allow me a leave to do this.”
The “once before” to which LoMenzo is referring came in 2006, when he replaced Ellefson for the first time. He ended up staying with the band until 2010 and appears on the albums United Abominations (2007) and Endgame (2009).
The hustle and potential friction with the Fogerty camp was most certainly worth it for LoMenzo, though, who explains that he’s been having an awesome time on the road:
“I’m into this for six weeks right now, and I’m really having the best time. Dave’s been really welcoming and supportive, and the band as a whole is just fantastic! It’s a real power house. Dirk is a dream drummer for this type of music, and Kiko’s just so musically deep. Dave’s playing as good or better than ever and now that he’s on those Gibson guitars, his sound is so much more gut punching than I remember it.”
It’s not clear if LoMenzo is the mystery bassist who also re-recorded Ellefson’s parts for the new Megadeth album, The Sick, The Dying, and The Dead. Fans had previously speculated that that bassist could be Steve Di Giorgio (Testament, Death, etc.).
The Canadian dates of Megadeth’s tour were canceled at least in part because Mustaine and other members of the touring party are unvaccinated against Covid-19 and therefore unable to enter the country.