In a new interview with Clay Marshall of Metal Hammer, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked if the band’s upcoming album will still include 18 songs, as he originally predicted several months ago. Mustaine responded: “No. At the very beginning, I had 200 songs in my folder, but I’ve just been whittling it down and down and down. We’re going to finish what we feel confident about. When you put out a record and you’ve got more songs than you need to, that’s a waste, and if you put out songs that aren’t finished because you don’t have good enough songs, that’s cheating the fans. Songs that are ready will be released; songs that are not will be worked on [later] or thrown out.”

Mustaine also touched upon the inspiration for his new lyrics, saying that he is not interested in writing about the COVID-19 pandemic which is sweeping the globe.

“I don’t think I’m going to write about the virus, because it’s so obvious,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of stuff that comes out very shortly, and I guarantee you it will all be about this. I’ve already seen songs with ‘Quarantine’ in the title. For me, that’s a timely event. I’ve always tried to make our lyrics be timeless.”

Mustaine recently told SiriusXM‘s Jose Mangin that the upcoming MEGADETH album will be “up there with ‘Countdown [To Extinction]’, ‘Rust In Peace’ and probably ‘Peace Sells’ and ‘Dystopia’.”

The effort will be MEGADETH‘s first to feature drummer Dirk Verbeuren (ex-SOILWORK), who joined the band four years ago.

The early sessions for the LP took place last year with co-producer Chris Rakestraw, who previously worked on “Dystopia”.

Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro made his recording debut with MEGADETH on “Dystopia”, whose title track was honored in the “Best Metal Performance” category at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

As previously reported, MEGADETH‘s North American tour with LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM and IN FLAMES has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mustaine‘s new book, “Rust In Peace: The Inside Story Of The Megadeth Masterpiece”, came out on September 8 via Hachette Books. It details the making of MEGADETH‘s iconic record “Rust In Peace”.