An Exclusive Interview with Former Megadeth and Current Act Of Defiance Guitarist Chris Broderick!

Act of Defiance is an American metal supergroup from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2014 by guitarist Chris Broderick (ex-Megadeth), drummer Shawn Drover (ex-Megadeth), vocalist Henry Derek (ex-Scar the Martyr frontman) and bassist Matt Bachand (Shadows Fall guitarist).

With their 2015 debut, ‘Birth And The Burial’, metal band Act of Defiance delivered a blast of pure and unadulterated metal that ignored fads and hit home hard. Last year, the band returns with their sinister new album, entitled ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’, hitting retailers on September 29th via Metal Blade Records.

Naturally blending a plethora of metallic styles and never recycling ideas, ‘Old Scars, New Wounds’ is an even more dynamic and diverse collection than its predecessor. The title – plucked from the blistering track “Conspiracy Of The Gods” – stands as a metaphor for life in general, and the breadth of a lyrical matter covered is as broad as the styles of heavy music found on the record.

After heading to the continent for festival appearances they end their Summer run with an appearance at Bloodstock 2018 which takes place at Catton Hall, Derbyshire between August 9th and 12th. They’ll join Judas Priest, Gojira, Nightwish, Kamelot, Mr. Big, Suicidal Tendencies and many more.

Today, we’d like to bring to your attention this interview with one of the best metal guitarists in the world – Mr. Chris Broderick! The following interview is taken exclusively for Rock Arena. Enjoy it!

♦INTERVIEW♦

– Hello, Chris and welcome to Rock Arena! Having you as our guest is like having a real live messenger of the old school Heavy / Thrash Metal birth times! Coming from a band like Megadeth brings instant focus and attention to Act of Defiance… Going back to the start of the band, what were the greatest challenges in launching Act Of Defiance from scratch?

♦Chris Broderick: Hello, personally, I feel that the greatest challenge was the timeline that both Shawn and I had set out for getting our music released. From when we left in December of 2014 to get our CD out and turned in May 1st was quite a feat. We had to search for band members, come up with a band name, search for a label, and all the other myriad of things that you have to do to assemble a band as well as write the material that we were putting together for the CD.

– The band came into being after half of Megadeth suddenly up and left, did the poor reception of ‘Super Collider’, your final album with the band, contribute to your decision to leave? When Shawn Drover left Megadeth, did you know at that point you were going to put a band together with him?

Chris Broderick: They’re sort of two questions here the first I will answer about the reception of the ‘Super Collider’… It wasn’t how the CD was received but it was more than we thought the direction of the CD was not where we wanted to go. That leads to the thought that when I was being called down to write the next CD that my heart wasn’t really in it and that I knew it was time to leave. At the time Shawn left I did not know I was going to put together any sort of band with him, it was through our discussions after leaving that we decided to put Act Of Defiance together.

– The new Act of Defiance’ album, ’Old Scars, New Wounds’, has been very well received by fans and critics alike and your style of playing is instantly identifiable on it… What is the main difference between this record and the previous album, ‘Birth and the Burial’?

♦Chris Broderick: The coolest thing about this new CD “Old Scars New Wounds” is that we came together as a band and were able to take the time to go over the material as a unit and decide things like the song structure, vocal lines, vocal tone, placement of Parts Etc… and really make it something where we honed in on the song aspect of this material.

– Each of the 11 new tracks sounds fresh with impressive style, powerful vocals, and killer solos. Who writes the music and the lyrics of the new album?  On this record, the band had a new producer – Dave Otero…

♦Chris Broderick: We all had input on writing this material whether it was song or lyrics. For example, Henry wrote the song both musically and lyrically for Overexposure, while I wrote the song Rise of Rebellion, Shawn wrote, for example, Reborn, and Matt wrote the song The Talisman. Other songs we all had some say in the outcome which was true for all of them in the end. Dave Otero – was great to work with not only does he have an awesome year, but he allowed us to have an opinion as to the Sonic character and balance of the mix and master overall.

– The first Act of Defiance album began with you and Shawn before Matt Bachand and Henry Derek Bonner made it a band. How did the songwriting process change for the new album, having built that band relationship? What are you fighting for with your Music?

♦Chris Broderick: I believe we’ve all been able to come together and have to say in the musical direction of Act Of Defiance. The second half of the question is really just the ability for us to be able to have the freedom to express ourselves musically while maintaining our own style.

– Henry’s voice sounds powerful, unique with a lot of individuality… When you started looking for a singer did you immediately think of Henry Derek?

♦Chris Broderick: No, we compiled a list of vocalist that we thought would be really good and he was on that list. From there we narrowed it down to five vocalists of which he was one, and then sent out a demo for them to record. When we got Henry’s demo back because of his originality and ability we knew he was the right guy for Act Of Defiance.

– Matt Bachand plays bass in Act Of Defiance, but he was a guitarist in Shadows Fall. How has his music background benefitted your approach to writing songs and playing guitar?

♦Chris Broderick: It has benefited us greatly, not only is he skilled at writing songs and singing backups but he also gives us his style and that East Coast Metal vein that we wouldn’t otherwise have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– What’s the best part of a music making process to you and how essential has it been to record the album from the hands of Metal Blade Records?

♦Chris Broderick: For me, I love the songwriting process the songs on Old Scars New Wounds represent how I was thinking at that time what my concerns were and considerations. Metal Blade Records is an iconic metal label that I am honored to be a part of. They represent the best of what metal has and I am proud to be a part of that family.

– Jackson Soloist looks amazing with a unique design but you had gone through Ibanez and Schecter as well… What was your first guitar?

♦Chris Broderick: There are too many different styles or ways to play the instrument to get one that would do everything perfectly. That said, I feel in my signature series guitar with Jackson comes as close as you can to be able to encompass a variety of styles while still being able to slug it out in the metal arena. My first guitar was an Ibanez Roadstar II.

– You actively participate in guitar clinics and retreats, what’s most rewarding to you about providing a musical education to other players? As a musician/guitarist, what advice would you give to any newbies trying to break into the worldwide music industry…

♦Chris Broderick: My favorite thing about doing clinics, teaching, or just trying to relate the knowledge I have is to see when somebody really takes it to heart and makes it their own and is excited about what they are learning. The advice I would give is just to do what you love. This industry is too finicky to try and count on to make a living at so if you’re not doing it for a love you’re doing it for the wrong reason.

– How do you think the Metal scene has changed and what’s your outlook on the record industry today… what’s the difference between the time of the 80’s, 90’s and now?

♦Chris Broderick: The industry has definitely changed, and in my opinion, it’s too volatile to really see where it’s going to go with music being so readily available to The Listener. That being said I am really curious to see how this environment shapes the music that we love Metal!!!!

Act of Defiance will be headed over to the UK this July/August, what more should we expect from the band? Where can everyone get your music?

♦Chris Broderick: You should expect to have no expectations hahaha! We will bring our music loud and in your face, and always try and make the crowd a part of our show. You can pick up all of our music at www.metalblade.com/actofdefiance/.

– Thank you for taking the time out to do this interview, Chris! Your message to all the Metalheads around the globe…?

♦Chris Broderick: Thanks for all of your support keep listening, and stay Metal!!!

More information at:
www.facebook.com/actofdefiancemusic/

Interviewed by Toni Rock