Amy Harris recently conducted separate interviews with MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover. A couple of excerpts from each chat follow below.
Amy Harris: You are a classically trained guitarist, right? Can you tell me, how do you think that prepared you for MEGADETH and to play metal music?
Chris: Well, I don’t know if anything prepares you for metal music or MEGADETH. But I do think it does give me a different skill set, one where I can look at more melodies and harmonies and construction of those types of the aspects of the music and apply what I’ve learned in classical guitar theory or classical theory to the metal genre.
Amy Harris: What has been your highlight of the “Big Four” concerts so far?
Chris: It was probably the last “Big Four” show, actually, in the U.K. That was pretty huge. We got to play on stage with some of the original members of DIAMOND HEAD. Honestly, they weren’t my biggest influence. They were a little bit before my time. But because I am playing with so many people that they heavily influenced, it was instant respect on my behalf and their behalf. It was quite awe-inspiring to see [James] Hetfield [METALLICA frontman] kind of bowing down before him when he went to do the solo. It was awesome.
Amy Harris: What is it like on the road these days? Is it really clean living?
Chris: Yeah. It almost has to be, because we have so much going on. I couldn’t do all this press and all the meet-and-greets and stuff like that [any other way]. It works out pretty well for me, too, because, luckily, I never acquired a taste for that kind of that thing. I guess I am too Type A. I always want to be in control.
Amy Harris: When your brother left, you also recommended Chris, right?
Shawn: Yeah, Glen and I. When Glen decided to leave, I said, “OK, we have to suggest some replacements and there was a really short list.” This is a really tough gig for any musician, but certainly for the lead guitar player. So the list was very short. Between Glen and I and Dave’s [Mustaine] tech Willie G, we just kind of came up with Chris on the top of the list. And within a day, he was all but in the band. He talked to management and I think he went to see Dave the next day. Yeah, I guess I am the guy.
Amy Harris: What is your greatest rock and roll moment?
Shawn: There’s a lot of great moments. Certainly the “Big Four” has been great. The first “Big Four” show that we did in Warsaw, Poland, we finally got together and played after so many years. That was certainly a defining moment in my career. One of the best moments for me was joining MEGADETH. If I had to pick a moment, I would pick the first “Big Four” show. Just all that stuff coming together. There were probably 100,000 people at that show. It was just unreal. The whole atmosphere was just electric that day. It was definitely one of the best moments of my career as a musician.
Amy Harris: When your brother left and Chris took over, was it hard for you?
Shawn: Yeah. I didn’t want him to leave. Looking back now, I understand it. I understand. He had a hard time even joining the band, he had a young son at the time. The original plan when we joined MEGADETH was to tour for a month, then take a month off. We’d have a lot of home time. As things progressed and we got more and more popular and there was more demand around the world, you have to go with it. You just can’t say no, you have to go where you are wanted on tour. Originally that was supposed to be the farewell tour. A lot of people don’t remember that. We were going to retire. Here we are seven years later. We had a change of heart. Things were going so well that we wanted to run with it. That being said, the tours got longer and longer and the breaks got shorter and shorter. Over the course of three or three and a half years, that just started to eat at him. He had only one son and wanted to watch him grow up. I understand that. I respect that. And touring is not for everyone either. Some people don’t deal with it as well as others. Glen handled it well. It was just eating at him to not be at home more. And you couldn’t do this and be at home more. Something had to give. It sucked, I hated it. But I understand it. Everything happens for a reason. He’s happier now.
Read the entire interviews from Amy Harris.