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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Former Megadeth members talk their new band and upcoming Rock show

    Stephanie Cabral

    The band members of Act of Defiance.

    Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover from Megadeth talk about their new project, Act of Defiance, and their upcoming stop in Tucson on Dec. 4.

    What is your story pre-Act of Defiance?

    Chris Broderick: My background includes a bachelor’s [degree in] classical guitar performance from the Lamont School of Music [at] the University of Denver. I have played in various signed acts from Jag Panzer and Nevermore to Megadeth for the past seven years, and now have gone on to form Act Of Defiance.

    Shawn Drover: I began playing drums at the age of 13 and guitar at the age of 15. I began writing songs around the age of 17 to 18. I am primarily a drummer, but songwriting is something that has always been the most important part of being a well-rounded musician for me.

    What brought Act Of Defiance together?

    CB: Shortly after Shawn and I left Megadeth, we started talking about the possibility of releasing the music we had written and [went] from there. We decided to create a full-fledged band. We started the hunt for a vocalist [and narrowed] it down from around 30 to five that we liked and from there sent out demos for them to sing over. When we got them back, Henry Derek was definitely the vocalist we wanted. Then, focusing on bass — I hadn’t even considered Matt [Bachand] because I always thought of him as the guitarist for Shadows Fall. When Shawn mentioned him as a potential bass player, I thought it was a brilliant move. He can write, sing, play guitar and, of course, play bass.

    SD: Once I made the decision to quit my previous band, Chris was having the same thought process [as me], so we decided to join forces and start a new band, which became Act of Defiance. In the span of about six months, we assembled a band, wrote the record, got a record deal and all the other things involved in putting out a record — which was quite the daunting task — but we are more than thrilled with the results and are looking forward to our future.

    What is the main purpose or idea behind your music?

    CB: The main purpose behind our music was to create our music without any limitations on the writing process. Both Shawn and I knew we wanted it to be heavier then what we had played in the past few years, but that was the only criteria that we had. From there, there was the freedom to write what we wanted.

    SD: There really is no concept other than the initial blueprint Chris and I had, which was to make a complete 100 percent heavy metal record [without] any musical boundaries or catering or caring what anybody’s pre-conceived notion could be [about the music]. I have always written music for myself first, and the fact that others really like what we have created is the icing on the cake, but I could never write music to follow a trend or to sell more records.

    What are some of the main influences in your songs?

    SD: I don’t think at this point of my life I’m influenced by anybody or style of music. I have been writing music for over 30 years now, so at this point for me, trying to be influenced or trying to emulate somebody else is not something I could even try to do, really. I have mostly done it the same way for 30 years now — go into my music room and play guitar until I play something I like, then I record it. It’s really that simple for me.

    CB: The influences for me come from many different styles of music, from thrash and progressive music to modern metal. Both Shawn and I have had bands in each of these genres and did our best to amalgamate each of them into our songs.

    What has been the overall response to this project?

    CB: Very positive. I think it fits an area of metal that runs between genres, and people appreciate that. The CD Birth and the Burial made many different charts on its debut release and is up for Album of the Year on many publications such as Guitar World.

    SD: The overall response has even exceeded my expectations, to be honest, so we are off to a great start, but this is only the beginning for us.

    Where do you see Act Of Defiance going in the future either musically or as a band?

    CB: Because of the way the band was formed by us just finding members as Shawn and I wrote the CD, I feel we will be coming together more as a band and utilizing Matt and Henry [Derek]’s musical abilities much more on the next record, and in the overall direction of the band as well. For the near term, though, we are focusing on getting out and touring as much as possible.

    SD: We are going to do exactly what we did for Birth and the Burial, which is to write the best heavy metal songs we can. That’s all you can do at the end of the day, really.

    How is the tour going? What are you most excited for?

    SD: The tour has been a lot of fun. It’s been great to have the music we created played in a live setting, for sure.

    CB: The tour is going great. The co-heading tour with Allegaeon has been really smooth and a killer time. We are sharing a lot of backline, so load in and out is easy. [Allegaeon] is a kick ass band that really makes us up our game. The fans have been awesome in these small clubs — it seems as though you are playing your best friends BBQ with all of your other friends there.

    Check out Act of Defiance when they play at The Rock on Friday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m.

    Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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