Tag Archives: Dave Mustaine

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

The Shredding of Marty Friedman

By Andrew Catania

An unforgettable name from the music scene of the mighty 90s and the one who completely aced his job as the lead guitarist for Megadeth, Martin Adam Freidman, affectionately known as Marty Friedman, is a modern American guitarist who possesses a sound global fandom and continues to rule hearts. It was after attending a Kiss concert that Marty’s musical flair was ignited. Not looking back since Marty embarked on a journey of learning the tact and intricacies of strings and chords.

Pairing up with some of his friends with similar musical interest, Marty and Co’s rehearsals and jamming sessions soon became the talk of the town. People would drop in from nearby locales to listen to the young kids skillfully playing the great originals of that time.

After being featured on live shows and paving the way to the regional media and entertainment limelight, Marty decided to test his mettle outside of ‘The Rehearsals’ and embarked on a long and accomplished journey that is punctuated with notable associations and collaborated acts, such as his joint feats with Racer X, Hawaii, Cacophony and Tourniquet and also a number of incredible solo feats. After some accomplishments, Cacophony was dissolved, leaving each member to plunge into their solo flight.

Now that the high road was taken, Marty decided to give the Megadeth auditions a shot and test his fate. He was not picked in his first attempt; not because of a lack of talent or expertise, but because of his multicolored hair. Later next year, he was successful in impressing the band and officially became a part of the exalted Megadeth in 1990.

The band provided a great platform for him to further improve his technique by working alongside some of the greatest music virtuosos of the era. Experimenting with a variety of instruments and techniques and fusing the best of neoclassic, heavy metal, thrash speed, and J-pop genres, he eventually evolved his signature tones. Delivering his best, his debut album with Megadeth titled ‘Rust in Peace’ strengthened his position in the band and is considered as the best thrash metal release of all time. The association prevailed for almost a decade and is punctuated with five studio releases and numerous shows and guest performances. Marty Friedman’s contribution to Megadeth includes playing for Rust in Peace, Youthanasia, Risk, Countdown to Extinction, Hidden Treasure, and Cryptic Writing.

At a time when Megadeth was ruling the music charts, Marty bid farewell to the band and became more inclined towards strengthening his solo portfolio. Over time, he has added some solo feats to his profile, including Dragon’s Kiss, Tokyo Jukebox, Introduction, Scenes, Metal Cone X, True Obsessions, Loudspeaker, Future Addict, Bad DNA, and Inferno. The music maestro has permanently moved to Japan and has hosted a couple of TV shows, such as Rock Fujiyama and Jukebox, aside from a couple of feats with Shrapnel and Avex Trax.

Marty’s signature fusion style of cumulating the essence of eastern and western music along with that of universal thrash, heavy metal, and rock has added a whole new dimension of these genres. His unique, soft and smooth-sweeping techniques over arpeggiated chords have cast a major influence on young and budding generations of musicians.

Megadeth’s Kiko Loureiro Shredding Across the Globe

By Andrew Catania

Born on 16th June 1972 in the mesmerizing Rio de Janeiro region of Brazil, Kiko Loureiro is not a new name for the music enthusiast, specifically among the heavy metal aficionados who consider him as an ultimate legend, the ace master of the genre!

Kiko Loureiro has emerged as the present age music sensation due to his heavy metal guitar mastery as his signature forte. Kiko’s professional career incepted at a time when guitar playing was overshadowed in the midst of new, refined, and state-of-art musical instruments.

While the music industry was heavily directed towards improvisations and inventions in instruments and playing techniques, Kiko Loureiro opted to stick to the conventional patterns of guitar playing, something which eventually turned out to be quite a unique feat at that time. The prime motivation behind this decision was the bygone era of rock and roll legends that has always inspired the young Kiko Loureiro ever since his childhood.

Kiko Loureiro started practicing his fingers on a basic acoustic guitar at the tender age of 11, having learned the skills and tactics of Brazil’s legendary musicians, Mozart Mello and Pedro Bueno, and being immensely inspired by maestros such as Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Helen, and Jimi Hendrix.

Having mastered the intricacies of the electric guitar by then, Kiko Loureiro had started gaining prominence in the music spheres. Impressed by his brilliance and the depth of his skills, Kiko Loureiro was welcomed as a core member in ‘The Legalize’ and ‘A Chave’, 2 eminent bands of their time. This is how he kick-started his professional career.

Doing a good job by tackling all opportunities that came his way, Kiko Loureiro progressed, learned, and polished his skills along the way. By the time he turned 19 years of age, he had paired up with Rafael Bittencourt, Andre Linhares, Fabio Lione, Bruno Valverde and Felipe Andreoli at Angra’s platform. He has released 8 studio albums, 5 EPs, and 3 live CDs till date.

Aside from his band associations, Kiko Loureiro also focused on strengthening his personal mastery in the heavy metal genre. His extensive knowledge of the basic intricacies and his penchant to improvise and infuse his own flavor in the music he squeezed out of his instrument led him to produce a number of his own solo records which has resulted in him building an impressive personal portfolio over time.

His solo numbers include ‘No Gravity (2005)’, ‘Universo Inverso (2006)’, ‘Fullblast (2009)’, and ‘Sounds of Innocence (2012)’. Besides that, he has also imparted his personal learning and music knowledge through a number of tutorials, playing lessons, and instructional videos from 1993 until 2010.

A polyglot, being fluent in English, Spanish, French and Finnish, Kiko Loureiro paired up with Dave Rogers to play for his Eurobeat songs. Furthermore, at the platforms of Tribuzy, Tarja, Neural Code and Paco Ventura Black Moon, he has played for an extensive variety of records, EPS, and live jamming sessions.

The news of Kiko Loureiro joining hands with acclaimed American metal band Megadeth came as a great surprise for the music enthusiasts, with Kiko Loureiro replaced Chris Broderick Megadeth. After taking Kiko Loureiro on board on 2nd April 2015, they released their album Dystopia in 2016, one that has received immense applause from the critics and the audience alike.

Follow Kiko @ http://www.kikoloureiro.com

The Legend That is Dave Mustaine

By Andrew Catania

He is one of the most influential metal guitarists, lead singer and composer, who holds the privilege to be one of the thrash metal pioneers. He is better known for being the founder and leader of Megadeth, the band that made it all faster and aggressive as it could get by that time. Of course we’re talking about Dave Mustaine, the mind behind the complex riffs, dark lyrics and concepts that made Megadeth one of The Big Four of Thrash Metal along with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer.

Playing the guitar since he was a teenager, Dave’s attendance to a Kiss concert during their Destroyer tour in Anaheim in 1977 was a mind-blowing experience to him, being highly influential in his decision to take music more seriously. He started his own band, named Panic, which was a short-lived act due to the tragic decease of drummer Mike Leftwych in a car accident. Dave’s ongoing journey into the music took him to the infamous Metallica auditions for a lead guitar player in 1981, which as he recalls: “I was setting up my stuff, tuning my guitar, and doing some warm-ups and then I asked ‘So, are we gonna do the audition?’ and they replied ‘No, you got the job’, so I think what they’ve heard pretty much impressed them to a point where they didn’t need to do that”.

His time as Metallica’s lead guitar player was short-lived.  It ended before the Kill ‘Em All recordings. Too much have been said already about this moment. Dave is constantly taken back during the interviews to this point in his life, where he “had no one but you [Lars] and James”, as he states in the Some Kind of Monster documentary, so there’s no need to extend on this controversy anymore. What is important here is how this experience became a defining moment in his life, and how it turned to be the necessary incentive he needed to go into his own path as a musician and individual: it led to the creation of what would become Megadeth.

After his departure from Metallica, he met bass player David Ellefson in Los Angeles, and together formed Megadeth. His artistic intentions were to play faster and heavier music than Metallica, a goal in which Megadeth greatly succeeded. Rather than an “I’m better than you” race, as it is depicted, Dave Mustaine’s contributions to Metallica were a demonstration of what he intended as an artist: his riff near the end of the bridge of Phantom Lord, the Mechanix song (which you know as The Four Horsemen) or Jump in the Fire gives you the idea of what his musical concept was: fast tempos, fast riffs, a dark and decadent atmosphere surrounding his music.

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In 1985 he released Killing Is My Business with an 8,000 dollars budget from Combat Records to produce and record the album. Dave’s musical approach raised the bar for all guitar players in the metal scene out there. There are many examples of the high level guitar playing in Megadeth’s debut album, such as Killing is my Business riff, bridge and solo work. Also remarkable is the aggressive, right-to-the-face lyrics work: Last Rites/Loved to Death, a not so typical story: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl doesn’t, boy kills girl so no one else will have her. This album is one of the keystones for thrash metal music, and the one who introduced Megadeth to the metal scene!

The highly technical riffs and aggressive, full of meaning lyrics will become Dave Mustaine’s signature as an artist, and Megadeth’s definition as a band. The following albums became success after success, and grew an enormous worldwide fan base that loves him for remaining loyal to his style during his entire career. Peace Sells, Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Risk, The System Has Failed and Endgame are Dave’s mostly recognized efforts and artistic success in his career, including hit after hit in a regular basis, making each one of them a memorable record.

Dave Mustaine as a musician has a lot to offer: he sings, he writes, he composes his own material, he plays rhythm AND lead guitar! His guitar playing is quite appealing to us guitar freaks: he delivers legendary riffs, famous for his technical demand and use of chromatic scales, giving them a menacing feel : Killing is my Business, Peace Sells, Good Mourning/Black Friday, Liar, Holy Wars, Take No Prisoners…and that’s just a few mentions!

His soloing work consists of altered pentatonic patterns combined with exotic scales. Dave is away from the typical scalar-running shred from his generation, and aims for the creation of a proper feel to go along with the song’s concept. He often trade his solo works during Megadeth’s live performances, and he seems very proficient at playing the most challenging ones: Burnt Ice, Kick The Chair, Ashes In Your Mouth or Hangar 18 just to quote some examples.

Dave Mustaine proves to be one of the most versatile and accomplished metal musicians of our time, and his undeniably great contributions to thrash metal makes him a living legend, with an artistic legacy that transcends to this present day in his music!

Interview with Geoff Thorpe from Vicious Rumors

By Andrew Catania

Vicious Rumors came out at the same time as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus.  Vicious Rumors are known for killer guitar riffs and head banging music.  It’s been 37 years since Geoff Thorpe formed his iconic brand.  I recently caught up with Geoff to discuss Concussion Protocol and other happenings of Vicious Rumors.

Man last time I saw you were in Windsor, Connecticut at a dive bar in 1990.  I was disc jockeying at a college radio station in Hartford, Connecticut.  McGee was with you guys, and all of us got on your tour bus and went to see Total Recall.

Yeah Man! Well, when you mentioned that about going to the movies in the tour bus, you know, I remember that because we’ve never done that before, just taking a bunch of fans, jumped on our bus and went and did something on our off day, so yes, I completely remembered it.  Also, it was hilarious; you were like how did you remember that? My God!

I know 26 years, like five albums for you guys.

Yeah, Incredible man!

Are you touring in Europe?
Yes! We’re not on tour right now, but we’re doing a big tour with Dirkschneider.

Yes, I saw that! Is he done with Accept?

Yes, he is doing a tribute to Accept where I think he just sees how popular Accept is and so he’s cashing in on it and it’s working.  When he does the Dirkschneider thing, he plays to packed houses, and so it’s a big tour for us. We’re kind of excited about it.

Good! That will lead me to my first question for you. You guys are trendy in Europe.  You guys are playing festivals 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 people and your counterparts, I mean everybody Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, everybody goes over there, seems like they’re making more money than they are in the States.  Do you think the market is pretty much dried up here in the states for metal?  Could you come back and play a thousand seat clubs? Then you guys go over for the Wacken Festival or whichever festival you guys are at —

Well you know, I don’t think that it’s ‘dried up’ but there’s just, I say the difference between the European audience and the American audience is that you know trends come and go and the European audience tends to, they might embrace something new but just because they embrace something new they don’t reject stuff that they liked before, and I think that the American audience like fads come and things change, and then all of a sudden people might think like, I mean I’m not like you know I’m just thinking out loud what is the possible reason for that? I just feel that European audiences are more open to still loving what they used to love and then embracing new bands that were sometimes American audiences tend to go with new fads and just move on from what they used to do to something new.  I don’t know man, you know the bottom line is there are great metal fans all around the world but there’s definitely something special that goes on here in Europe, and we were lucky enough to start in the 80’s and we were embraced here by the fans here and so you know we just went where the opportunities were, and we’re just really thankful that we have this incredible European fan base here and I always love being in Europe.  I love the people.  I love the way that they can get together in large numbers and they know how to behave you know.  People aren’t getting robbed or beat up or vandalized.  You know they get together, somebody falls, and someone gets picked up. You understand me?  They don’t get trampled on.  So it’s just a different vibe out here man, and it’s very cool especially for us, we’ve just been fortunate to have this incredible fan base that’s been with us from the very beginning and here we are on our twelfth studio album 37 years later it’s all going strong so it’s just – you know we’re humbled by it and at the same time we just want to give the fans the best possible metal experience we can deliver, night after night.  We just want it to be a metal party that you can remember for all time and that way if we just give our best every time, you seem to be invited back.

Going back to Soldiers of the Night which is still considered a Metal classic is going up with the Carl Albert Fronted band 1988-95 RIP Carl –When you’re doing pre-production for your records, and all are you primarily the one doing the writing of the music and the lyrics, is it a band effort?  Because I know Vicious Rumors is, you see, you found it, how do you dispense what the duties are?

You know I am the primary writer, and if the guys don’t do exactly what I tell them, they need to get the fuck out and if we don’t do it my way we don’t do it anyway but really, I’m easy to work with. I’m just kidding bro!

I was going to be like; you sound like Mr. Malmsteen!

No shit huh! That was insane; it felt excellent to say that though.  No, I’m just playing with you man.  I lead the direction, and I write most of the music.  I do write a lot of lyrics and melodies, and I always have.  When we had Carl, we worked together in that way too. Vicious Rumors has always been a team, and we work together much like a sports team.  I’m the leader of the team, maybe I’m the driving force, but I like to surround myself with really talented creative people, and right now we have a unique combination.  I never intended to have this  worldwide line up this international lineup with guys in Europe and guys from California it comes down to chemistry, the most important part of having a band is the chemistry within the group, and that’s what made bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and Metallica  they have chemistry together and when you find that kind of chemistry,  luckily we live in a day and age we’re just a  flight away and with the internet it’s possible to have these guys half way across the world and we can still do it and like I said, I never intended to do it but when we got together and when I found Nick and found Tilen they just brought so much to the table in every way they’re super creative;  talented, they got a lot of  great ideas. So to me, chemistry is number one, and if you have that, then the rest will follow. So yes, I do a lot of the writing but we work together as a team, and I’m entirely open to all the guys’ great ideas.  We don’t always use them because I do so much of the writing, but they help me shape it.  The one thing that we’ve had with all the different lineups is my songwriting, and that is sort of like the thread from the beginning to now that’s kept up Vicious Rumors, so I don’t want to lose that but at the same time, I really value the talented guys that I work with.

When did Nick come along?  Was he on the last album or come on the tour?

Well what happened was we had a big US tour in 2013 and then Brian Allen was becoming more and more unavailable you know understandably, he’s got, three kids, he’s a single dad with 3 children, so you know that’s a huge responsibility and so he started looking at, he just became unavailable and the problem was when he decided that he was not going to be available it was four weeks before a giant tour that I had already spent four months working on and so I was just lucky that I found Nick off a recommendation of a good friend of mine in The Netherlands from my brother Jake’s band in The Netherlands he recommended Nick to me and we had just gotten Tilen in the group, and I was just lucky to find him in time, and he came in we did the US tour together and he did the last live album  Live You To Death 2: American Punishment and he had only just joined the band and just crammed in to learn like 20 songs and did a fantastic job and now we’ve had three years of chemistry behind us so if you listen to the last live album and the way he sounds on the new album you can just actually hear in percussion protocol the growth that’s taken place and the way his voice has evolved, you know he can sing
high and clean all day long but we worked on his lower range and bringing out more of a full-voiced thing with his classic high decent thing and really you know he just has the ability and the range to do all the styles of Vicious Rumors music you know.  I think you being someone who really knows Vicious Rumors from the beginning to now know we are aware that we don’t just have one style or one sound we have a lot of different aspects to our music from speed metal to ballads to slow quenched stuff and we need a singer that can sing low and cumbersome, high and clean, dark and moody and also melodic, so it’s  a real tall order to be the singer in Vicious Rumors and Nick’s just done a great job in the band the last few years and a fantastic job on the new record.

Yeah, it’s an excellent record.  I reviewed it for another website that is not mine. I think you guys liked it on Twitter and followed me back as a matter of fact. For Concussion Protocol did you do anything differently in production for the preparation of recording the other albums? 

We did, it was the most I mean months of great lots of hard work man.  I started by just writing riffs on my little digital recorder. Once I had put together the body of twelve songs we actually got together and rented a house in The Netherlands and spent like three weeks together you know finalizing the ideas and taking suggestions for the guy’s and really just working together to try to make the album the best it could be and luckily we had the three years experience together and all the touring we did. Since Nick and Tilen have been in the band we’ve done a major US tour a South American tour, two European tours we had built the chemistry already which was really helpful, we were all really comfortable with each other when we started writing this album and after I kind of assembled most of the songs you know we rented that house in The Netherlands and put the final touches on it.  Once I really felt like the album taking shape I really felt like wow this is going to be probably our heaviest album and one of our most powerful driving records that we’ve ever done, and so I really felt at that point like man I need lyrics, I need a cover, I need a concept to be to be just as heavy and after the guys had gone home I stayed in Europe for like three weeks, just with a notebook and a pencil and my pads and paper and I just wrote lyrics and started coming up with this crazy doomsday story with the asteroid taking out the world and I was just thinking when we went digital dictator we were at the beginning of the digital age, and I was thinking where are we now?  Well, unfortunately, we’re in the age of disasters.  You know with tsunamis and earthquakes, terrorism and all this shit I just thought man what would be the ultimate catastrophe? That would be the whole planet being destroyed in one swift blow! So I wanted to make a bad ass heavy metal loud one and a total nightmare at the same time, and that’s how the whole thing came on the Concussion Protocol.  I hope you know I was just kidding when I said we were going to do it my way and all that.  You know, people, it’s the funny dude the way you know how long this band’s been together.

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Yes, I sure do

And anytime you have a band together for half as long as we’ve been together there are lineup changes, and that’s just life. I mean look at any heavy metal band that you can think of at off the top of your head Judas Priest, Metallica,  Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath you know Testament and the list goes on and on everybody’s had lineup changes.  So there’s nothing different from Vicious Rumors to any other bands.  If you love what you’re doing you just fix it and move on and that’s what we’ve done in the past.  Right now we’ve got a very particular combination and I really hope that we can stay together and make a few more albums together in this lineup and if for some reason that doesn’t happen, then I’m just going to go ahead and make another bad ass album without, you know I got a great bunch of guys right now, and we have a real good chemistry together.  I think as long as we can work together you know I think the guys are very excited about the response so far, the views and the ratings that the album’s been getting like 9 out of 10 and 8 out of 10.  People just responding in such a positive way and I appreciate your comments too man

Oh yes I rated you guys an 8 out of 10 

that’s fantastic man!

Soon as I heard it, I knew it was you! Soon as the opening riff, I knew it was you.  That’s how distinctive your riff playing is

Thank you very much

Drums, everything about that you can always hear a Vicious Rumors song

I appreciate that 

Going on from Concussion Protocol you’re on a German label now.  How was that first back in the day when we had big budgets with Atlantic Records all that compared to now and the market? 

Well, I tell you it’s been fantastic.  Working with SPV has been an incredible experience.  They know what they’re doing Ali Han and Marco over there in the office.  They’re seasoned veterans.  They’re into the music they know the market.  They’ve done a great job??? Spinning up the album and this year I think they’ve done more for the band than ever before.  I was just here two months doing Press.  I did like 70 interviews.  So it’s been a great experience to work with SPV, and you know Atlantic was also you find out when you’re in a band, and you’re trying to get signed it’s a very tough business you know.  When you have the opportunity to sign with the same label as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC you know it’s a dream come true and you take that opportunity no matter what it is but you know there’s also the reality of being  a minuscule fish in a huge pond and so to be with SPV and be one of their  more featured bands it’s also working out quite well

I remember Sylvio Bonvini, the guy that was doing your A & R at Atlantic

Yes, he was one of them it was him Sylvio and Peggy Donnelly.

Talk about names I remember dealing with getting your stuff.  Sylvio hooked me up with posters of you guys. 
Well you know, like I said Atlantic Records is no joke and everything we’ve done in the past has led us to where we are now.  So I have no regrets, I have no excuses, and I make no apologies.  We’re just trying to do the best we can do and do it.  We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel we’re just trying to take our art and our music and make it the best we can

Going on with your music we’re going to kind of go to a different level we’ll get back to that in a second.   The YouTube issue.  It’s becoming a big issue about YouTube, and I ask everybody these questions I always want to hear what everyone’s opinion is.  There are a lot of people like Nikki Sixx, and a few other people are saying that YouTube is not fair in compensating the artists due to all their music being on YouTube and it just being replayed and replayed and people uploading full video’s of the bands without consent.  I mean do you have an opinion about that?  Have you been following that story at all

 

I mean it’s a real double-edged sword. I mean it’s great for people to find the band and get to see it.  Like our albums just came out Friday and I think later that day someone had already put the whole album on YouTube or some link to go and get our entire album for free and it’s just like in some ways it kills the industry so it’s such a double-edged sword I mean in one respect it’s great because people can find out about you they can hear the music and if they’re real fans maybe they’re going to go out and buy it but there are so many people will just bootleg  your stuff and won’t pay for it, and it is unfair in a lot of ways, and you know it just comes right down to being victims of a digital world.

How do you feel about the streaming service like Spotify and Apple music and all them? Do you think they help or hurt the industry?

Well you know there’s some accountability there.  You know with YouTube it’s just the artist ripped off so at least with Spotify and some of those other things there can be some accountability. You know man, that’s just the world we live in today, and it just makes touring that much more valuable.

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Yes to increase the revenues you’re losing on record sales

Exactly and selling your album to the hardcore fans that go to the shows you know luckily in my case and I think the guys in my band, everybody in my band are guys that love what they do it’s not about money, it’s about passion and fire and living out our dreams you know we’re just very thankful to our fans that stood by us and the new ones that we get all the time cause man without the fans there is no band, and we’re all about the fans we’re nothing without them.

Your video that you came out here, are you playing Dean Guitars now?

Yes, I’ve been with Dean for a while now.

I saw I don’t know if it was you playing a Dean Dime Guitar are that what you’re primarily playing or do you have your signature model? 

Yes, I use the Razorback. You know when I saw that thing I was like my God it’s like a bolt of lightning, and it’s just so fun to play and I’m also a good fan of Dimebag so yes I was euphoric and honored that Dean Guitar would sponsor me with and give me so many great guitars to work with that’s been really a privilege and I’ve been really really proud to play my Dean Guitars around the world.  I have three Razorbacks a Razorback B and ML also an Eric Peterson, and the Eric wasn’t given to me by Dean it has been paid to me by Eric.  He came to my house and gave me the guitar we’ve known each other a long time, and I remember the day he gave that to me I was.  I was like man there are a couple of million people that would just be so blown away to have you come to their house and give them one of your guitars.  Eric and I have grown up together we’ve known each other a long time, so that’s part of being fortunate enough to be a part of the Bay Area metal scene that turned out to be something that the whole world looks to is just something extraordinary.  Metallica, Exodus, Vicious Rumors, Death Angel, Testament, Megadeth bands that are still going strong today.

You’ve got Dave Messina on Dean Guitars. You’ve got Michael Androvetti??? Who are in my group, you’ve got Vinnie Moore, and Rusty Coolidge is on there you know I can go on. It seems like Dean is picking up a lot of different artists and all.  Is there any top signature model for you or are you just happy with what they provide you?

Well you know, we’ll see, we’ll see.  I would love to do that at some point but I’ve been very thankful just to be sponsored by Dean, and you know they’ve given me some great guitars. You know I strangle the hell out of them, I beat the hell out of them and they seem to hold up quite well, so it’s not like a top priority for me my priority is the music and keeping the band working.  I would love to have a Geoff Thorpe signature.

What are your rigs consisting of?  I know you have the Dimebag but what else are you using? 

I’d love to tell you, but unfortunately, I’d have to kidnap you.  No man, I use a real classic rig called a Langner power amp and preamp with a very particular amp called a More Sound, and the More Sound amps are made in San Diego California, and he did make me a signature amp.  I do have an amp it’s called a Megajet amp.  It is not available on the market is a custom amp that was made for me by More Sound amplifiers and yes it’s pretty bad ass I think we got a really great guitar sound on the record and other than that I don’t have a lot of special gear to tell you about and quite honestly 90% of the way guitar players sound is their hands.  I could go into Guitar Center and plug it into the amp, and I’m still going to look like Geoff Thorpe of Vicious Rumors because it’s me playing, so gear and tone is definitely concordant but like I said you know Michael Schenker walks into a Guitar Center picks up the guitar and amp he’s still going to sound like Michael Schenker, and that’s because 90% of guitar players sound is coming right out of his hands.

That’s what I was getting to are you still practicing before each show? You’ve pretty much been at it for 37 years

Oh yes man, I still rehearse and warm up it’s important.  I feel like I can play much more freely if I get a chance to warm up.  I enjoy having rehearsals but unfortunately, nowadays we have this international line-up, and so we don’t get to have so many rehearsals. Everybody’s professional enough just to be ready, and we talk about the list, put together the set list everybody’s ready to go.  We get together, have one or two rehearsals and start the tour.

Are you still up in the Bay area?  Are you guys still practicing up there because you guys are playing Europe so often do you guys stay out there?  

Yes, Larry and I and Thaen still live in the Bay Area and Nick is in The Netherlands. So usually what happens is when we are preparing to go on the road I’ll have three or four rehearsals with Larry and Thaen just the two guitars and drums and then we’ll come to Europe a week early before the tour and  have three or four rehearsals together as a band and then just do it and then everybody shows up individually ready to go so we can have our rehearsals be very concentrated and we’re already rehearsed and ready and you know when you’re in that situation no one wants to be the guy that’s not ready you understand me? So everybody shows up prepared.

What is your touring schedule going to be like for the next twelve months?  Are you guys going to be in Europe?

No.  We’ve got some large plans.  We start October 31 we’re going to be with Durkschneider playing into November supporting him through Scandinavia and Germany,  Czech Republic, Austria then we’re going to break and do two and a half weeks of headline shows, and then we finish with another run with Durkschneider till December 19. We’ve got the 70,000 tons of metal cruise coming up at the beginning of February.  We have a second opportunity for a tour in Europe that we’re negotiating right now, and we certainly have plans to return to the United States as well as Japan and South America, so it’s going to be a very busy 2016-2017 for Vicious Rumors man we’re just putting the classic set out there with the best material. We just want to make it a heavy metal night to remember every time we hit the stage.

I ask everybody this question too. Is there any guitar player of a younger generation that has caught your eye? 

Oh man, there are so many good ones.  Everybody’s younger than me though so I’m not sure what the guys in Arch Enemy.  I don’t know how old Jeff Lynne is he might not be that much younger than I, but he sure is amazing.  It’s funny the part playing of soloing and stuff was a lost art for a while, and now it’s coming back again big time, so I think it would be great to see somebody stepping up the guitar playing again.  Especially with like schools losing music programs and things like that dropping out.

 Well, Geoff, those were exquisite.  Those were the questions I got for protocol, and it sounds like a good album and Nick looked superb on it, the video is sharp there.  Hopefully, you can get your signature endorsement from Dean so you can do that

I appreciate that, and I just want to thank you and the followers, of all your info like I, said we’re all about the fans whether it be the fans from the beginning or they’re just finding out about us you know no excuses no apologies it’s just bad ass heavy metal, and that’s all that matters.

It’s been one hell of a ride with Vicious Rumors in my collection for the past 26 years.  All of us going to see Total Recall is still one of my favorite memories.

I’ll tell you what, just keep rocking my friend and we’ll take you to the movies again sometime ok?

Well if you’re down in Florida, are you guys going to be touring in the states soon or you guys just stay primarily over there because Europe is more of a money maker for you?

Well, we plan on doing a US tour sometime I’d say mid-2017 so yes we’ll be back for sure.