Megadeth enlisted guitarist Al Pitrelli as Friedman's replacement in January 2000. In early 2002, Mustaine suffered several injuries, which led him to announce in a press release that Megadeth had disbanded. Following nearly a year of recovery, Mustaine began work on what was to be his first solo album.
In 1996, Pearcy dabbled in an industrial metal band called Vertex (with Megadeth's Al Pitrelli and drummer / electronic producer Hiro Kuretani). Pearcy reunited with Ratt in 1996 only to leave the band for a second time in 2000 on the eve of a tour due to differences over financial allocation amongst band members.
Over the next week, they posted a series of cryptic images onto their Instagram story, labelled 1-7, and displaying mysterious, black and white imagery in anticipation of the tour and the Chosen Seven.