Electric guitar

Why Kiko Loureiro’s mother bought him an electric guitar instead of sending him to therapy as a teenager

Too often heavy metal fans are misunderstood, as Megadeth guitarist Kiko Loureiro recalls from his school days.

As he explains in a new interview on the Chuck Shute Podcast (opens in a new tab)he once wrote a story describing a metal festival, featuring elements and themes typical of the genre – “noisy guitars, mud, skulls and blood” – and was later invited by his school principal to follow a therapy.

“I was 13 or 14,” Loureiro recalls, “and then of course the school principal asked my mother to go there for a meeting. She said, ‘Your son probably has a problem – you need to take him to a psychologist or something.'”

But instead of sending young Loureiro away for professional help, his mother opts for a solution that will prove infinitely more productive for her son in the long run: buy him an electric guitar.

“Classical guitar wasn’t enough,” the man from Megadeth recalls. “My classical guitar teacher said to my mom, ‘Buy him a guitar. He’s into rock now. And then I went to start taking lessons.

He then remembers his first guitar lesson, during which his teacher played Led Zeppelin Black Dog. “This [was] like, ‘Wow, that’s what I want’, you know. So from that moment, I started to train a lot.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Loureiro talks about his audition tape for Megadeth, for which he learned Shed 18, Holy Wars… Symphony of Destruction and Trust only a day before.

“I got the call from Dave [Mustaine] and he asked, ‘Can you send videos of you playing the songs?’ So I chose Trust, holy wars, Symphony [of Destruction] and Shed 18.

“I had a weekend – I wanted to send the videos as fast as possible, because I thought a lot of guitarists were probably sending these videos. I remember Saturday and Sunday I was playing [the songs] again and again. [I was] practice and memorize the songs because in rock you can’t have a piece of paper [to read from when playing live].”

Megadeth are currently embarking on the second leg of their Metal Tour of the Year with Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames. The trek kicked off at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday April 9 and will make stops in Lafayette, Fort Wayne, Kansas City and Pittsburgh before ending May 15 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

“I think it’s an amazing package,” says Loureiro, “because even if you’re an old school Megadeth fan who doesn’t know the new bands, it’s a great opportunity to get to know those other groups.”

And in other news, Kiko Loureiro recently announced the launch of his own online guitar academy, where he breaks down his most elaborate compositions, hosts monthly hangouts, and teaches technique and theory.