MEGADETH is planning on returning to the studio at the end of the year to begin work on the follow-up to 2016's "Dystopia" album.
The Dave Mustaine-fronted band is currently touring North America with MESHUGGAH and will play arenas later in the year as the support act for German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS.
Speaking to KATT Rock 100.5 FM's "No Brown M&Ms", Mustaine stated about MEGADETH's next disc: "We plan on going back in the studio. We're probably gonna go back in and start throwing some ideas around at the end of the year. We were thinking about November or December, and actually spoke about it last night."
MEGADETH's upcoming effort will mark the band's first release to feature new drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who officially joined the group a year ago.
"As good as [Chris] Adler [the LAMB OF GOD drummer, who played on 'Dystopia'] was, Dirk's feet are more advanced," Mustaine said. "And I didn't think that was possible, because Chris is such a great drummer. But there's a reason why Chris recommended Dirk, and I love him for that. I think that he's a really solid friend for making that recommendation, 'cause a lot of guys wouldn't do that, but he's a true friend, and I was stoked having him in the studio."
He added: "[Dirk] is one of the most pleasant, easy-to-get-along-with guys I've ever met in my life. I'll walk up to him and he'll smile and lean forward and pat me on the back. He goes [adopts thin accent], 'How's it going, buddy?' I could say, 'Oh, man…'… anything. 'Oh, okay, buddy.' [He] smiles and pats me, 'cause he's just a happy guy. I've never, ever, ever seen him not smile."
MEGADETH was honored with in the "Best Metal Performance" category in the pre-telecast ceremony at the 59th annual Grammy Awards, which was held on February 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. MEGADETH was nominated for "Dystopia", the title track of its 2016 album.
"Dystopia" was the first album to feature Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA.