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Interviews : “There wasn’t that much tension really” – An Interview with Chris Broderick (Act of Defiance)

By on November 27, 2017

Chris Broderick – Act of Defiance

It was fortune in my favour that I could communicate with Chris Broderick, the guitarist in excellent Los Angeles based nouveau-thrash quartet Act Of Defiance. A member of a band that I had paid little attention to until recently, it is rather special to proclaim that if I had to select a musician as a prime example of supreme heavy metal guitar performance in 2017, it would be Broderick.

As Dave Mustaine’s anointed shredder from 2008-2014, Broderick achieved broad exposure to the global metal community performing classic album cuts from Peace Sells… (’86), Rust in Peace (’90) and Countdown to Extinction (’92). It is gratifying to see a flame still burns within to perform metal of the bristling technical variety. Act Of Defiance Drummer and percussionist Shawn Drover is also a Megadeth alumni so I ask Broderick if he felt the legacy was a burden or a blessing?

“It’s a bit of both really, I think both Shawn and I have fond memories of that time and realize that it really brought attention to us as individual players so that we could have a name after we left the band. However, we don’t want to be associated solely on that merit and think we have a lot to offer on our own.”

In a review of the band’s new album Old Scars, New Wounds (penned for this publication), I positively affirm that Broderick, Drover and co certainly have a lot to offer, it’s an album that will vie for year-end ‘best in class’ honours.

I did wonder if there was any creative tension writing the cuts on Old Scars, New Wounds due to the high degree of technical prowess each member brings to the band. How did such talented musicians agree on arrangements, melodies etc without seriously butting heads?

“There wasn’t that much tension really. The way that we worked (at least to my understanding) was we each brought demos to make the album, the person who wrote that demo would have the final say in any sort of deadlock in the democracy behind whether we should do something or not. There are times that I remember wanting to have vocals sung a certain way on one of Matt’s (Bachand- bass) songs in particular and Matt and Shawn wanted it sung a different way so ultimately their decision won out and I was fine with that.”

One for the technofiles…I am compelled to ask Broderick what guitars, amps and effects were used across the Old Scars, New Wounds?

“I recorded all my acoustic guitars, classical guitars and acoustic instruments in general at my studio, Ill-Fated Studios in Los Angeles, California. For my electric guitar tone, I use the Fractal XL out of the SPDIF straight into the audio card of my computer. My Chris Broderick Signature Series 7 string guitars for all of my electric guitars and Guild Acoustics for the acoustic.”

In 2017 it is getting harder to ‘cut through’ the noise on the internet and market a band effectively. I muse that the biggest challenge facing Broderick is the arduous task of raising awareness of the band and building the bands profile.

“(It is) extremely hard. It seems that there are so many new bands out and so many people doing independent bands that the listener is cycling through music much more quickly than they used to. It is for this reason that you have to really try and get their interest in your particular band because that’s the only way that you will be heard above all the other chatter”

I found enough similarities between the first chapter of Trivium’s career and the cuts on Old Scars, New Wounds to pitch that a that a tour with one of Orlando’s finest would be as good a way as any to build the bands audience.

“I would love that! See if you can make it happen! Ha…. we would definitely be down for playing with Trivium.”

Harking back to Broderick’s days in Megadeth, I have to ask… what was the ‘Big 4’ experience like? (the lauded concert featuring thrash’s biggest names in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2010)

“Hahaha, it was definitely one of the most surreal and greatest experiences I have ever had, to be able to play for that many insane fans of metal music. Getting up on stage with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax to do the jam “Am I Evil” at the end of the night and solo with Kirk (Hammet- Metallica guitarist) was one of the all-time highs of my life.”

Old Scars, New Wounds is out now via Metal Blade Records. Secure your copy via the links below.

Click here to purchase via Nerve Gas (Australia).

Click here to purchase via Metal Blade Records (International)


Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith