Act of Defiance Master Guitarist Chris Broderick Talks New Album And Guitar Line

By Andrew Catania

Chrіѕtорhеr Alаn “Chrіѕ” Brоdеrісk іѕ аn Amеrісаn muѕісіаn, bеѕt knоwn as thе former lead аnd rhуthm guіtаrіѕt оf thе Amеrісаn hеаvу mеtаl bаnd Megadeth. He іѕ аlѕо fоrmеrlу thе lеаd guіtаrіѕt аnd kеуbоаrdіѕt fоr Jаg Pаnzеr, арреаrіng оn fоur оf Jаg Pаnzеr’ѕ albums Thе Agе оf Mаѕtеrу, Thаnе tо thе Thrоnе (а соnсерt аlbum аbоut Shаkеѕреаrе’ѕ Macbeth), Mесhаnіzеd Wаrfаrе and Cаѕtіng the Stones before mоvіng оn tо Mеgаdеth, rерlасіng Glеn Drоvеr.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

Bеfоrе jоіnіng Mеgаdеth аnd whіlе ѕtіll іn Jаg Pаnzеr, Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk wаѕ аlѕо a tоurіng guіtаrіѕt fоr Nevermore bеtwееn 2001 аnd 2003 аnd thеn аgаіn bеtwееn 2006 аnd 2007, hе іѕ nоw thе Lеаd Guіtаrіѕt fоr Aсt оf Dеfіаnсе, whісh hе formed wіth fellow еx-Mеgаdеth bаndmаtе, Shаwn Drоvеr.

In lаtе 2007, rumоrѕ hаd bееn сіrсulаtіng thаt Mеgаdеth guіtаrіѕt Glеn Drоvеr hаd lеft thе band. Thіѕ wаѕ рrоvеd tо bе truе аftеr statements rеlеаѕеd frоm bоth Glеn аnd Mеgаdеth frоntmаn Dаvе Muѕtаіnе. Thе nіght аftеr thе ѕtаtеmеntѕ wаѕ rеlеаѕеd, Mеgаdеth drummer Shаwn Drоvеr brоught uр Chrіѕ аѕ a роѕѕіblе rерlасеmеnt. Shаwn thеn ѕhоwеd Dаvе a video оf Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk рlауіng both сlаѕѕісаl аnd еlесtrіс guіtаr. Dave wаѕ іmmеdіаtеlу wоn over аnd ѕооn managed tо gеt іn соntасt wіth Chrіѕ. Twо wееkѕ lаtеr, Broderick hаѕ officially dесlаrеd thе nеw guіtаrіѕt fоr Mеgаdеth.

Photo By Stephanie Cabral

Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk mаdе hіѕ lіvе dеbut wіth thе bаnd оn Fеbruаrу 4, 2008, іn Fіnlаnd аnd tоurеd wіth thеm оn Gіgаntоur 2008 аnd аlѕо rесоrdеd guіtаr раrtѕ fоr thеіr 12th аlbum Endgаmе thru thеіr 14th аlbum, Suреr Cоllіdеr. Duе tо еxtеnѕіvе tоurіng with Mеgаdеth hе wаѕ nо lоngеr bе аblе tо соllаbоrаtе wіth Jаg Pаnzеr аnd Nеvеrmоrе. Dаvе Muѕtаіnе ѕаіd thаt whеn hе partnered uр with Brоdеrісk, hе ѕаіd thаt іt rеmіndеd hіm оf whеn “Ozzy Oѕbоurnе mеt Rаndу Rhоаdѕ.” On March 8, 2009, Dаvе commented thаt hе thоught Chrіѕ wаѕ the grеаtеѕt guіtаrіѕt Mеgаdеth hаѕ еvеr hаd. In thе thеn-сurrеnt lіnеuр оf thе bаnd, hе was thе уоungеѕt mеmbеr іn Mеgаdеth. Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk said іn аn interview wіth Tоtаl Guіtаr hе wоuld stay wіth Mеgаdеth аѕ lоng аѕ they were hарру tо hаvе hіm.

On Nоvеmbеr 25, 2014, Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk роѕtеd a mеѕѕаgе оn hіѕ wеbѕіtе ѕауіng hе wаѕ раrtіng wауѕ with Mеgаdеth. “Due tо аrtіѕtіс аnd muѕісаl dіffеrеnсеѕ, it іѕ wіth grеаt rеluсtаnсе thаt I аnnоunсе mу dераrturе from Mеgаdеth to рurѕuе mу оwn muѕісаl dіrесtіоn. I wаnt аll оf you tо knоw hоw muсh I аррrесіаtе thе аmоunt thаt you thе fans hаvе ассерtеd аnd respected mе аѕ a mеmbеr of Mеgаdеth fоr thе lаѕt ѕеvеn уеаrѕ, but іt іѕ tіmе fоr me tо mоvе оn. I wіѕh Dave аnd еvеrуоnе іn Mеgаdеth аll thе bеѕt. I аm wоrkіng оn a fеw thіngѕ оf my оwn аnd hоре thаt whеn they come out, уоu wіll аll dіg іt.”

We spoke with Chris about Act of Defiance’s new album, Old Scars, New Wounds.

Did you guys do anything differently this time around vers your debut album?

CB: Not so much. There were a few things that were mildly different but I think the two of the most significant differences were the one that we had time to go back all of us and listen to what we had worked on creatively and collectively and go back and come back with ideas of editing and format and structure.  so we had more time to go back and forth and do that.

And then secondly Matt and Henry were able to do more writing. On Birth and the Burial,  Matt didn’t get any writing on the CD because he was so late to the game.  On Old Scar, New Wounds, he has credit for three songs. It was those big differences.  It was much more collaborative.   The last album it is was all right we’ve got to get this written, form the band at the same time and get this out within four months.  Shawn and I were scrambling the whole way forming the band getting things set up trying to get a record deal because you find out when you just form a band it’s not like OK now we’ve got a record deal.  We’ve got to go out and shop and try and get interested in. So we were doing all of that. The last album. And so everything was under the gun and pressure, and this time it was just as much more hey we’re a cohesive band, and we write that way. And that’s the biggest difference

When it came time to shop Birth of a Burial to the labels, who was interested? 

CB: Yeah, there were a few others that were interested. I have my preference and Metal Blade was it.  I’ve known Brian and I know how he works with those bands. If you look at it like the turnover rate of the artist and you look at the turnover rate within his company itself they’re very loyal there, and they’re very fair they’re very level headed to work with. And so I think that speaks for itself  I knew that my preference would be towards Metal Blade but we did entertain other offers as well.

When you recorded Birth and the Burial, you didn’t have long to record.  How long did you have to record Old Scars, New Wounds?

CB: Well from inception the band which was sometime in December to the product being turned in was the first of May. I think or yeah. So from that time, we went from nothing to having a CD on a label recorded with a band formed. So that was the major difference we probably took about the same amount of time to record this CD. But we didn’t have those other issues. We have our band we have our label. We had copyright material. You know what I mean. Yeah. So there was a lot more in place this time around. So it’s great.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

How was it working with Dave Otero? 

CB: It was incredible.  I was very impressed right from the get-go. The one thing that turned me onto him as I remember when Birth and the Burial came out.  I was listening to the Devil’s Dozen on Sirius, and there was another band that was on the Sirius Devil’s Dozen at the same time, and that was a Cattle Decapitation, and I would just remember going wow that sounds impressive. I was impressed with that mix. And I didn’t think about it much of the time I thought we had a great mix on our CD as well.  I remember noting that I liked their mix and so you know time goes on this CD comes up and you know we were planning to work with Zeuss again, but he had potential conflicts timing conflicts, so we had to find a backup in case he couldn’t make it. And through finding out and talking about Dave Otero and all the great recommendations we just thought that he was the better fit for us and just to go with him. He was awesome in the sense that not only does he have a great ear for a great mix and things of that nature but also he’s very open to letting you be a part of the mix. Like the way he went about it was a very accommodating and that’s not something you always get from an engineer you get engineers that a lot of them will be like listen I don’t want anybody else in the room when I’m mixing I don’t want you to know there’s no you get what I give you kind of thing, and that was definitely not a Dave at all. He was very accommodating, and he took our ideas and not only did he implement them, but he made them better.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

Do all members of the band equally contribute to the writing?

CB: We all present ideas and then it’s just looking at what songs are looking like the best candidates for the CD. We wrote 12 songs, and we put 11 on this CD, so we do have an extra one that I think we’re going to hold out for an import or something of that nature. It’s funny because I’m in a band full of guitarists really because even Shawn is is a guitarist that is in a way, so it’s funny.  Everybody writes and everybody can write a great vocal line and great melody and the cool thing is the diversity that you get from just having individuals that can do that.   I think no matter what your writing style is you always have preferences as an individual and you can’t escape those preferences. And therefore when I write a song I might like my melody to do this kind of thing it’s kind of a line where you know it ascends here and descends there.  I’m making up fictional circumstances. Matt might like the opposite. He might want his vocal line so that in itself creates variation even if it’s the same style of song.  To me you can’t you can’t beat that kind of a combination.

Do you have one song on this record that is your personal favorite? 

CB: Yeah, I do. But I think again that subject to change over time. And the reasons why I like certain songs are different for liking other songs. Right now I like the Rise of Rebellion the final song on the CD. That’s because it’s got a lot of guitar shredding on it.  It’s got to raise your fist in the air kind of vibe to it. I love those kinds of songs.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

How did you evolve from the first and second album has had this album? Why did you expand your playing with your fingers tapping in all your different styles?  

CB: Absolutely. It was on my mind before we even started writing for the album. I was like I need to write down all of the different technical styles that I want to try and incorporate in this CD and work out exercises and get things ready and have some ideas and that honestly never ended up happening.  It must have been in the back of my mind when I was writing because  I ended up working out some cool amalgamation of styles and just incorporating things that I’ve never done before. The solo and misinformation age for one-second solo, so I’m using almost like a right-hand classical guitar technique with Octave dispersed arpeggios and sliding in and out of them building a melody line between the upper and the lower almost kind of like counterpoint between the upper and lower voices. And that’s something I’ve never done before, and it requires more than just an individual free finger on your right hand. It requires three fingers that are individual to be able to play it well. I mean I’m not sure, I’ve never tried it any other way, but that’s what I would imagine being the case.

With your Patented fingerpick, how does that help you with your style of playing? 

CB:  Absolutely. So for example for that riff because I needed both my thumb index and middle finger and to be able to execute three notes at a time at a swift succession actually and next to each other. So it allows me to open up my hand like that so I can use those three individual fingers and still have the pick on my thumb. And then at the same time when I go into two-handed tapping stuff that keeps the pic attached to my thumb while I tap out multi-finger notes with the right hand.  I’ve started working on what I call my pick clip 2.0, and it’s a newer version.

it’s a little less this than the original, and the original one holds the pitch so tightly to your thumb that I think it is. It doesn’t allow for string loading what I call string loading where the pick will kind of flex in your grip a little bit and then kind of flick to the other side of the string. So this the new pickup allows that to happen. And to me makes alternate picking and things of that nature much more tonefull and you know just better to execute

What size picks are you using? 

I use any anywhere from a 1.4 to 1.14 in there’s typically where I kind of mess around with but it would depend on materials and stuff like that. Right now I’m using InTune Guitar picks and their jumbo jazz.

Do you have anything coming out for NAMM 2018? 

So this NAMM show I will be releasing my Jackson Proline Hardtail version of my signature series Jackson guitars. That’s because of a huge demand for a hardtail version of my signature guitar and at an affordable level. And I just got the prototypes back. The last couple of weeks I’ve been testing them out, and they’re awesome.

Alex Hess Photography

Please see my review of Old Scars, New Wounds!

Act of Defiance – Old Scars, New Wounds: A Near Masterpiece

Pre-Order  Old Scars, New Wounds here out on 9/29:

http://metalblade.com/actofdefiance/

Please follow Chris Broderick and Act of Defiance @

http://www.chrisbroderick.com/

Act of Defiance line-up:
Chris Broderick – guitar
Henry Derek – vocals
Shawn Drover – drums
Matt Bachand – bass

Act of Defiance online:
https://www.facebook.com/actofdefiancemusic
https://instagram.com/actofdefiance
https://twitter.com/actofdefiance1
https://twitter.com/chris_broderick
https://twitter.com/shawndrover
https://twitter.com/mattowsfall
https://twitter.com/totheboyelis

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