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Chris Broderick – Guitar for Megadeth

Date: 3/2/10
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Before joining Megadeth you were a member of Nevermore (and by the way I think your work with the band was excellent). Was it easy to transition from Nevermore’s style to Megadeth’s?

CHRIS: Well thanks for the compliment, I enjoyed playing in Nevermore a lot and they are great guys. Dave pushes and pulls the beat more and Megadeth’s music has more of a jazzy feel to it. With Nevermore, and Jeff’s (Loomis) style of playing its more machine like, to ride on the beat. The similarities between the two is the thrashiness, both bands are progressive also, but really two distinct bands with their own style.

2. When you first joined Megadeth, how much of the catalogue did you have to learn and how long did that take?

CHRIS: I had a month to get 22 songs down and the first song I worked on was ‘Holy Wars’ because that’s one of the ones most often played. When I started with ‘Holy Wars’ I said "man, if all the songs are like this I have a ton of work ahead of me". Luckily, some are more simple. There were some challenges along the way in Marty Friedman and Chris Poland’s solos.

3. After you learned the initial 22, how many more did you have to learn?

CHRIS: O wow, probably twice that. I have learned over 50 songs so far.

4. Were you a Megadeth fan before joining the band and what are a couple of your favorite songs to play?

CHRIS: I was a fan in the sense that I was always into good guitar players. I initially found out about Marty Friedman and his work through Jason Becker and the band Cacophony, and when Marty joined Megadeth that’s when I started listening. Megadeth’s music definitely had an influence on me because of Marty but later on and not really earlier Deth.

My favorite songs…was ‘Hanger 18’ and ‘Tornado of Souls’, I still like to play those but lately I’m really digging ‘Lucretia'. The solo and groove is really great.

5. What are the differences when playing Chris Poland, to Jeff Young, Marty Friedman, Al Pitrelli, and Glen Drover’s parts?

CHRIS: Well they are all individuals and each have their own style. Chris had a lot of amalgamated chromatic pentatonic scales. Jeff had a little bit more scaleular Aeolian tonic vibe. Marty brought the haiku scale, it’s a major 7th arpeggio with a raised 11th in it. Al had a pentatonic mixed with minor scales, bluesier style and a rock vibe. And Glenn is definitely more a metal soloist with a harmonic minor, scales of that nature, stuff like that.

6. How does that work for you when playing these different songs? Do you try and play exactly what was recorded, do you make minor adjustments?

CHRIS: I try to play everything the way it was originally recorded, and even to a degree of the tonality, the amp tones, the sense of rhythm, how you push and pull the beat. Its out of respect for the original recording and the fans because being a fan of music myself, you want to hear the music played the way it was recorded.

7. I noticed that in your playing when you were with Nevermore. You really have a talent for matching music note for note and tones.

CHRIS: O yeah, thanks. that’s really been my upbringing, from a classical background. You always have a strong sense of the beat, you can play with it but its more of less playing with the timing as opposed to playing notes your playing against the beat. You know what I mean.

8. What is unique to your style and how much of it have you incorporated into Megadeth’s music?

CHRIS: My style is unique I’d say because I look at playing the guitar differently than most guitar players. I look at it more like a pianist or violinist because it goes back to my classical guitar upbringing. Instead of looking at a set of riffs that I can pull from on the guitar I think about what notes I can play and how I can superimpose different tonalities over a chord or sequence. I always try and visualize the notes on the fretboard as much as possible. When I create music I try and think about the notes and what they can do for me instead of what my fingers can actually do. Sometimes I get myself in trouble because then I come up with this stuff and I’m like "ok, now how am I going to do that again, hahaha".

9. Are you playing a 7 string guitar like you did in Nevermore or are you back to a 6 string?

CHRIS: I’m always gonna be a 7 string player, I love playing on seven strings. But in Megadeth I play on six.

10. For people that don’t know anything about the guitar what is the difference?

CHRIS: It gives you five more notes and a lot more ways you can finger things. The way you can play things makes things a lot easier. The 7th string is a low B below E. The biggest problem for most people is it’s a visual thing, you see that seventh string and it throws you off. But once you get past that its not a big difference.

11. Is the setlist for this current tour with Testament and Exodus going to be the same when Megadeth tours with Slayer over the summer?

CHRIS: No. its gonna be very different. We won’t do the entire “Rust In Peace” album and I would say a few more songs will be added from “Endgame”. Plus a couple different songs from older cds will be probably thrown in. I love playing ’44 Minutes’ I hope that gets added. Same thing with ‘Dialectic Chaos’ and ‘This Day We Fight’.

12. Have any shows been recorded with you in the band and will it get released on DVD?

CHRIS: We recorded a show for HD Net called Blood In The Water and there’s talk about releasing it. As far as doing another, I don’t know of anything on the horizon.

13. Who are some of your favorite guitar players old and new?

CHRIS: Paco De Lucia, Greg Howe, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Scott Mishoe. As far as newer players I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

14. Involved in any side projects and would you like to record and instrumental solo album?

CHRIS: No side projects right now and an instrumental album has been considered but if I did one it would be more classical influenced.

15. Megadeth’s plans for the rest of 2010?

CHRIS: It would be tour, tour, tour and I don’t know what I can announce or not announce. For the summer we do a bunch of festivals in Europe, the American and Canadian Carnage with Slayer. Possibly another tour to follow.

16. How is it having Dave Ellefson back in the band and did you know him before his return to Megadeth?

CHRIS: I met him once years ago when Megadeth were doing an in store and that’s the most contact we had prior to his return to the band this year. I was familiar with his work in Megadeth and he’s great, plays right in the pocket and its good to have him back in the band.

Official website: www.megadeth.com


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