This past weekend, Bay Area Metal Scene conducted an interview with MEGADETH guitarist Chris Broderick. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Bay Area Metal Scene: You guys have a lot of awesome tours this year. Obviously, later this year you're going to make history at the "Big Four" tour. I have to ask, since you're in one of the most legendary thrash bands of all time, and fans up here are ravenous when it comes to METALLICA, TESTAMENT and EXODUS. What's your take on the thrash scene these days?
Chris: You know, I don't feel like I've really got a good beat on it. It seems like it's doing well because it's got a bit of a resurgence, especially from the younger population. But I don't know if it's a passing phase or if it's because there are so many iconic bands that came from thrash and the Bay Area and all of that. I really don't know where it's going or where it will be.
Bay Area Metal Scene: I've heard you do some new stuff on guitar on "Endgame" that I haven't heard you play before, per se. Like those whammy bends with the big dive-bar harmonics that Dimebag used to do [listen to the track, "Endgame"]. Do you find yourself experimenting more on guitar these days, or are you melding your style into a more traditional MEGADETH sound?
Chris: Some of the sounds that you've heard are quite odd for somebody to bring up because some of the tremolo-bar work that I did was really more my own, although definitely influenced by Dimebag and Jason Becker and all of the old Shrapnel [records] shredders like that. But my main premise going into "Endgame" was to try and emulate and really kind of fit into that MEGADETH sound as much as possible. That's how I was trying to alter my playing — much more pentatonics and flat-five blues that I associate with MEGADETH solos.
Bay Area Metal Scene: You list Marty Friedman on your website as someone that has influenced your playing, which is cool because you've done a great job of capturing Marty's solos as they were originally played. What is it about his style in particular that influenced you?
Chris: Well, I would say that what it really came from was from listening to Jason Becker and then [Marty's] playing in "Dragon's Kiss" is really great. When you listen to Marty, he has such a unique sound. The generalized term for it is that Middle Eastern or Eastern sound, and as soon as you hear one of his solos you say, "Oh, that's Marty!" That's one of the best things that any player or soloist can have is their own sound and their own style, and that's one thing that really influenced me.
Bay Area Metal Scene: Do you see a trend or particular skill that gives guitar players an edge? For instance, I've heard some guitar players say that jazz modes are the future. Or is that question completely off the wall?
Chris: I don't think there's anything in particular that I would say gives you an edge over anyone else. The more and more I play, the more I say that you should develop your own sound and style and develop as an individual. You're making a statement with your instrument. I think the best thing you can do is enjoy what you're doing because you'll learn better and you'll learn more and you'll be happy doing it. Instead of having an attitude like, "Oh, I have to have an edge!" Really that's what you should do — just have a good time.
Bay Area Metal Scene: What kind of stuff keeps you on your toes these days or makes you work to be a better musician?
Chris: Just hearing more, to tell you the truth. When I listen to things I pick-up more detail now than I used to, and I think that'll be the same case in a few years from now. I'll think, "I never heard how that vibrato was produced at that particular moment" or "I never heard how that picking style produced that sound against the string", and then I'll want to emulate that close-up. The more you hear and the more detail you pick-up, not only with your own playing but with other players, then the better you become at making that kind of sound and making that playing happen. The simple answer to that is, "becoming a better listener."
Read the entire interview from Bay Area Metal Scene.
Photo below courtesy of Metal Mind Productions