Megadeth are hoping to release new songs before embarking on a European tour supporting Five Finger Death Punch in January. Discussing new material with Rolling Stone, Dave Mustaine said that he encouraged bassist David Ellefson to write a ballad about their tumultuous relationship, which has been smoothed over in recent years.

With working titles such as "The Dogs of Chernobyl," "Faster Than Anything Else" and "Rattlehead, Part Two," Megadeth have plenty of material ready to go, they just need to get into the studio and lay down the official tracks. "It might be two, it might be four," Mustaine said, teasing the number of songs fans can expect to hear before the new record's arrival.

One of the other tracks the band is preparing is a ballad written and sung by Ellefson. Mustaine, eager to get his bandmate involved in the writing process, explained, “I said to him, ‘What was the biggest song that KISS ever had?' He goes, ‘Beth.’ I said, ‘Yeah, we should write a song like "Beth," where it’s a ballad and it’s just you singing it."

But there's more to it than that. The two have had a rocky past and Ellefson now operates as a salaried employee of the band rather than the full-time member post he manned from 1983 through 2002. "'I think you should write a song about what it’s like being in Megadeth with me, because I read all your lyrics, and I know that your lyrics are aimed at me,'" Mustaine told Ellefson. "'You’re upset. So why don’t you write about it?'"

There's no promise that this song will make its way onto the forthcoming record, however. "I’m going to try to work on it now for this record," urged Mustaine, "and if it doesn’t get on this record, I’m going to try to work on it on the next record because it was actually really cool to see Ellefson writing something and hear him singing."

The still untitled album will be Megadeth's first since issuing 2016's Dystopia, which earned Megadeth their first Grammy victory for Best Metal Performance for the title track. It'll also be the first for drummer Dirk Verbeuren, who replaced Chris Adler part-way through the touring cycle for the album.

Megadeth had originally laid out expectations of releasing their new album this year, but Dave Mustaine's throat cancer diagnosis prolonged the writing and recording process. In his latest update, he said he's feeling "strong" and he'll make his return to the road in January at the dates listed below.

Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth + Bad Wolves 2020 European Tour Dates

Jan. 14 - Kiev, Ukraine @ Palace Of Sports **
Jan. 16 - Moscow, Russia @ Adrenaline Stadium **
Jan. 18 - St. Petersburg, Russia @ A2 **
Jan. 20 - Helsinki, Finland @ Hartwell Arena
Jan. 22 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Hovet
Jan. 23 - Oslo, Nrway @ Spektrum
Jan. 24 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Royal Arena
Jan. 26 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ AFAS Live
Jan. 28 - Paris, France @ Zenith
Jan. 30 - Cardiff, U.K. @ Cardiff Arena
Jan. 31 - London, U.K. @ Wembley Arena
Feb. 03 - Berlin, Germany @ Max-Schmeling Halle
Feb. 04 - Hamburg, Germany @ Sporthalle
Feb. 06 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Festhalle
Feb. 08 - Oberhausen, Germany @ Koenig-Pilsener Arena
Feb. 09 - Stuttgart, Germany @ Schleyerhalle
Feb. 10 - Munich, Germany @ Olympiahalle
Feb. 12 - Warsaw, Poland @ Torwar
Feb. 14 - Prague, Czech Republic @ Tipsport Arena
Feb. 16 - Milan, Italy @ Alcatrazz
Feb. 17 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Hallenstadion
Feb. 19 - Vienna, Austria @ Stadthalle
Feb. 20 - Budapest, Hungary @ Budapest Sportarena

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