News en Chris Broderick Discusses His Years with Megadeth, Act of Defiance's Debut Album <!--paging_filter--><p>Being a hired gun has its advantages for a guitarist that just wants to play and doesn’t need the responsibility of writing songs, choosing what gets recorded and dealing with record label bean counters. </p> <p>But for ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick, rocking out to someone else’s tunes night after night wasn’t enough. So on November 25, six hours after drummer Shawn Drover left the band, Broderick told Dave Mustaine he, too, was quitting.</p> <p>“The decision was a long time in the making,” Broderick says, sitting poolside at his Los Angeles home. “Being in Megadeth was great for my career, but I wanted to have some creative freedom and some freedom in how I presented myself.”</p> <p>Broderick replaced Megadeth’s guitarist Glen Drover in 2008 and played on three of the band’s studio albums, three live releases and never missed a tour. For almost six years he dedicated most of his time to Megadeth and had no fallback plans. </p> <p>Then, during a conversation with Drover, the two decided to use a batch of material they had written for Megadeth as the launching point for a new band, Act of Defiance. The two quickly wrote 10 songs that were considerably heavier and more musically intricate than anything they had played for years.</p> <p>To complete the lineup, they hired Scar the Martyr vocalist Henry Derek Bonner and ex–Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand on bass. Then with the help of Chris “Zeuss” Harris, Act of Defiance assembled <em>Birth and the Burial</em>, a crushing technical metal album that offers more musical diversity than Broderick revealed in Megadeth. </p> <p>“Thy Lord Belial” is fast and unrelenting, pausing only for a call-and-response chorus, “Refrain and Refracture” starts with an acoustic arpeggio over a neo-classical lead and features a melodic rhythm redolent of Killswitch Engage and “Poison Dream" builds from classical piano and strings into an epic multi-faceted thrasher.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>“The sound of <em>Act of Defiance</em> is kind of like if you invited every genre of metal together to go to a concert and mosh in a pit, whether it’s old-school thrash to death metal to Scandinavian black metal and everything in between. There are elements of all those types of metal. And I love that about it.”</p> <p>In a candid, articulate interview, Broderick talks about his years with Megadeth, the rules of being in that band, how he and Drover assembled Act of Defiance, why he hired a guitarist to play bass and the unconventional recording process for <em>Birth and the Burial</em>.</p> <p><strong>Shawn Drover recommended you to Dave Mustaine in 2008 after his brother Glen left the band and Glen, who left Megadeth on good terms, endorsed you. How did you know the Drovers and did either of them call you to let you know you were being considered?</strong> </p> <p>They knew me from Nevermore, but I didn’t hear anything from them until I was in the band. Management called totally out of the blue. I didn’t know what to make of it. I almost thought it was a prank at first. They wanted me to meet with Dave first and then audition.</p> <p><strong>Had you been a Megadeth fan?</strong></p> <p>I had no idea where they were at their career at that point, so I had no expectations. I just thought it was a great opportunity so I jumped at it.</p> <p><strong>Did you think you’d be able to provide creative input into the band?</strong></p> <p>I knew I wouldn’t be able to demand anything. I saw it as a great job and I allowed my employer to dictate the terms. It’s not like when you’re a teenager and you get together with your friends and you’re like, “Ahhh, partners for life!” I wish it was like that, but it definitely wasn’t. There is a hierarchy after a band is established and has a legacy.</p> <p><strong>Were you comfortable in that role?</strong></p> <p>I loved playing for the crowd. When you walk onstage and the crowd is having a good time, it’s great. </p> <p><strong>Did Mustaine tell you what to play and how to play it?</strong></p> <p>When we did songs from the back catalog I was playing another guitarist’s parts, whether it was Chris Poland, Marty Friedman or Jeff Young. So I played like they did and Dave did his part. That always worked out really well. As far as the albums I played on, Dave designated the solo spots and he had some input in what I could or could not do. </p> <hr /> <strong>Was there a dress code in Megadeth?</strong> <p>There definitely was a dress code that he wanted to maintain for a Megadeth look. For me, with everything in this camp, I saw very early on that Dave is the owner of the company and he is the one that has the right to say how the company is presented and how it should look. The only time we had any issues was when I didn’t know a specific thing about how he wanted my appearance to be, and then I would find out as we went along. I saw it very early on as a job requirement and I felt that if the job is worth it to me then I would make those changes.</p> <p><strong>On the first tour you did with Megadeth you played a seven-string guitar, which is what you play now. But for the rest of your tenure with the band you played a six-string. Did that work better for the music you were playing?</strong></p> <p>Dave felt a seven-string guitar wasn’t an original thrash metal instrument. Therefore he felt it would be better if I used six strings.</p> <p><strong>Had you considered leaving the band in the past?</strong></p> <p>I was constantly weighing the positives against the negatives. I likened it to a lawyer that’s working for a firm and finally wants to break out and start his own firm or a chef that wants to open up his own restaurant. You have to deal with the corporate mannerisms from the company you’re working for. And once it gets to a point where you feel like you would be happier on your own, that’s when you finally to cut the cord. I had been thinking about what to do for a long time, but up until I decided to leave, I always felt the positives outweighed the negatives.</p> <p><strong>When did that balance tip?</strong></p> <p>Not until the last quarter of 2014. I was dwelling on my lack of musical creativity in the band. Dave was getting ready to go in and do another CD and my heart just wasn’t in it because I knew I wasn’t going to have any artistic say in the definition of the album and the music. He was calling saying, “Hey, I want to get you guys down there.” The last thing I wanted to do was go down there and work on a partial CD and then say, “Hey, this isn’t for me.” It was just the right time to leave.</p> <p><strong>Had you and Shawn talked about leaving Megadeth and forming a new band?</strong></p> <p>It’s funny. Shawn and I felt exactly the same way, but we didn’t think about putting together a band together until after we had both left. When Shawn told me he was going to quit I was a bit shocked and surprised. [Bassist] Dave Ellefson called me right away and went, “Dude, Shawn just quit!" I talked to him for a while, and then I thought about my own situation. I bounced it off my friends and family and decided it was the right thing for me to do as well. </p> <p><strong>Did Dave try to convince you to stay?</strong></p> <p>No, no. Once a decision like that is made, it’s best just to move on.</p> <p><strong>When did you and Shawn decide to start working on Act of Defiance?</strong></p> <p>Obviously, Shawn and I stayed in contact, and not long after we both left we realized there was all this great music we’d written for Megadeth that didn’t get used. So we thought, Why don’t we put something together and get it out there?</p> <p><strong>Are any of these songs about experiences you had In Megadeth or ways you felt about leaving the band?</strong> </p> <p>Just like with anybody, they draw on all of our experiences. They’re about my experiences in life, in Megadeth, in my guitar playing. Everything I do reflects in my lyrics.</p> <p><strong>Did you want to write songs that didn’t sound anything like Megadeth?</strong></p> <p>No, we just wanted the writing to be natural. I like to write complex parts and keep them in that heavy, thrashy realm, but I also really like extreme Scandinavian black metal. And Shawn listens to Cannibal Corpse all day long, so we wanted to get some of that in there, too.</p> <p><strong>Did the music come easily?</strong></p> <p>Some songs came together quicker than others. There were nights where I was spending much more time in my studio than anywhere else. But it was really satisfying to work with material that I had created. When I worked on Shawn’s songs we used mostly his riffs, which was fine. It was a real collaboration, which was exciting. And for the album we ended up using five of his songs and five of mine.</p> <p><strong>Did you work with Shawn’s drum parts?</strong></p> <p>Not for my songs. I used Toontrack Superior Drummer. It makes demoing extremely easy and gave Shawn a clear idea of what I was thinking. But there were a lot of times he would say, “Hey, I was thinking this other kind of beat would work better,” and most of the time a drummer’s going to have a better idea of what the drums should do than a guitarist. His songs had guitar parts, too, because he can hold his own as a guitarist, and he got his brother Glen to help out with some of the guitar tones at first, and definitely with the production.</p> <p><strong>The album is cohesive, which is impressive considering you incorporated so many styles of metal in there and wrote and recorded the songs hundreds of miles apart from one another.</strong></p> <p>It’s amazing what you can do these days by trading files digitally. Shawn and I have a really good working chemistry from years of playing together. We each wrote five songs on our own, then we bounced them off each other. Sometimes we made minimal changes, like switching a chord or two to make it sound a little bit darker, but that’s about it. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>You wrote and recorded on a seven-string?</strong> <p>I have my signature series Jackson Soloist that I used along with a couple of prototypes that I had Jackson build for me. They were all seven-strings. I’ve always been a traditional seven-string guitarist so it was great to be able to get back to that and get the sounds I love.</p> <p><strong>Did you want a different guitar tone than what you had in Megadeth?</strong></p> <p>Just like every other musician, I am very opinionated about what I think is the perfect sound. So it was awesome to have the freedom to use the tones that I really love. I have a number of amps that I use, whether it’s Engl or the Fender 5150 III, but in the end I wound up recording this entire album with my Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II. </p> <p><strong>Why did you decide to use an amp simulator when you have the equipment to record with mikes and amps?</strong></p> <p>The Fractal sounds amazing to me. That technology has come such a long way and the ability that it has to give you such a clean and clear recording, and the convenience just made it a hands-down win. I liken it to photography. Do you see anyone shooting film these days? </p> <p><strong>Did you pre-write your leads?</strong></p> <p>Well, I actually start with the rhythm. I like rhythms that support leads really well. If you’re going to have a solo, you might as well not be soloing over some random rhythm. So I constructed rhythms in a way that supported either a melodic or harmonic depth. Then I would listen to it and imagine what I wanted to hear. That’s when it would start to come to life for me. </p> <p><strong>Once you have an idea in mind do your solos tend to come quickly and spontaneously?</strong></p> <p>No, I spend a lot of time on my leads, but there are times when I spend a lot of time on a lead because I want it to sound spontaneous and off the cuff. If you want it to sound more anxious you rush ahead of the beat a little bit. And if you want it to sound more lackadaisical and you want it to seem like you were just thinking about getting to that note and you barely got to it in time, you play a little bit behind the beat. So for me it’s a very musical process because it starts with what I imagine, but then when it comes time to execute, it becomes a very thoughtful process.</p> <p><strong><em>Birth and the Burial</em> features guitar harmonies and there’s always a rhythm guitar playing along with the solos. Did you consider working with a second guitarist?</strong></p> <p>I really enjoy working with another guitar player, but this band came together so quickly and was so much about writing the music and then getting a vocalist and bassist that we never considered hiring a second guitarist. Depending on how touring goes, I’m thinking of bringing a second guitarist out with us, but we’ll see. </p> <p><strong>Did you know Scar the Martyr vocalist Henry Derek before you hired him to sing?</strong></p> <p>We didn’t. We put together a list of 30 singers we thought might work for us and then narrowed them down to five. We contacted everyone to see if they were interested and then sent them a demo and had them add vocals. Henry was hands-down the one whose vocals suited the music the best. He’s very talented at screaming and singing. So he came to my studio and we tracked all the vocals there, along with all the guitars, cello and piano. </p> <p><strong>It’s odd that you hired Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand to play bass.</strong></p> <p>Shawn reached out to Matt when we got to the point where we were thinking about having a permanent member onstage. Matt’s a great vocalist, a great guitarist and he showed us that he can lay down great bass lines as well. He did a lot of songwriting on all of those Shadows Fall records and in reality, Matt’s probably got as much or more touring experience than any of us. </p> <p><strong>Did Matt play on <em>Birth and Burial?</em></strong></p> <p>He recorded bass lines for all 10 tracks at his place. I laid down some of the initial bass tracks on the demo versions and sent them to him and he substituted them with these great parts that sound like real bass lines. They’re not just doubling the guitar line. </p> <p><strong>What was the greatest obstacle you’ve faced with Act of Defiance?</strong> </p> <p>Time. We all thought we’d have all the time we needed. We even thought we were ahead of the game because we started with the stuff we didn’t use in Megadeth. But once you bring a record label into the picture then you have to commit to a release date that’s not too late in the year and all of a sudden your back is against the wall. </p> <p>We started working on the songs at the beginning of December. I demoed vocals with Henry in January and by February Shawn was tracking his drums. That left March and April to record all the guitars, vocals and bass. We had the album finished at the end of April, ready to be mastered. So we did the whole thing in about five months. </p> <p><strong>You recorded tracks in three different studios, then handed all the songs to Zeuss to mix and master. Did he change the sound of the songs?</strong></p> <p>At first, Shawn and I were both concerned that the songs might not sound so cohesive. When Zeuss recorded Shawn’s drums, he provided input to make the parts even better. And then he took all the rest of the tracks we did and mixed them so well that it sounds like we all wrote and recorded everything in the same room.</p> <p><strong>Is it scary going from an established band to being back in a position where you have to prove yourself?</strong></p> <p>It might make me a little anxious if I knew I had any control over it. But I don’t, so it’s not worth wasting my time thinking about it. The only thing I can do is promote the band and do the best I can performing these songs. Anything else is wasted energy. </p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chris-broderick">Chris Broderick</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/megadeth">Megadeth</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Act of Defiance Chris Broderick Megadeth September 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:30:02 +0000 Jon Wiederhorn 25086 at Nameless Ghoul Talks Ghost's New Album, 'Meliora,' and Staying Anonymous <!--paging_filter--><p>When <em>Guitar World</em> catches up with Nameless Ghoul, one of five similarly monikered members of Ghost, he's relaxing at his home in Linkoping, Sweden, in anticipation of a round of live gigs with his band. Apparently, even ghouls need rest sometimes.</p> <p>But the fact is that the guitarist and his fellow ghouls have been quite busy as of late, as Ghost recently completed work on their third full-length album, <em>Meliora</em> (there’s also the issue of the band announcing yet another new singer, Papa Emeritus III, who, as coincidence would have it, looks and sounds exactly like his forerunners, Papa Emeritus and Papa Emeritus II—read into that what you will). </p> <p>The new album follows two well-received full-lengths, 2010’s <em>Opus Eponymous</em> and 2013’s <em>Infestissumam</em>, as well as the Dave Grohl–produced, ABBA cover-featuring 2013 EP <em>If You Have Ghost</em>.</p> <p>Much like its predecessors, <em>Meliora</em> is a fuzzy, doomy, Satan-y slab of prehistoric-sounding metal that also reverberates with pop hooks, churchy organs, gothic choirs and the almost unnervingly smooth vocals of Papa III. The result is a wild, theatrical and blasphemous ride. </p> <p>Opening track “Spirit” pulses with impending dread, while “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” rides a bloated, distorto-bass line all the way to hell. On the other hand, “Spoksonat” is a gently picked, classical-tinged instrumental piece, and “He Is” is a pastoral-sounding paean to “the beast with many names” that explodes into a soaring, Technicolor chorus. </p> <p>Then there's “Absolution,” which rumbles forward on a Metallica-esque verse guitar riff (if Metallica had formed in 1973 rather than 1981, that is) but at some point veers off into a middle section that resembles something like Journey, as interpreted by Styx.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The whole thing is ominous and odd, but also strangely enveloping—even while Papa III is crooning lines like “The world is on fire and you are here to stay and burn with me.” Or, as Nameless Ghoul puts it, “We’ve always wanted to create something different. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just our own mindset.” </p> <p>In the following interview, the guitarist discusses the making of <em>Meliora</em> and the themes explored within its songs. He also sheds light on Ghost’s ambitions, how it feels to be a Nameless Ghoul, and just how he and his equally nameless co-guitarist achieve the incredibly warm, vintage tones that are a defining aspect of the band’s sound. Hint: It has something to do with two ghouls, four guitars and a dozen different amplifiers.</p> <p><strong>Was there a particular direction you were looking to go in on <em>Meliora</em>?</strong></p> <p>Yes. There were a few guidelines we were working off of. The main one was that we felt on <em>Infestissumam</em> there was definitely a shortage of…I don’t know what the word is…let’s say riffage. Whereas that was not the case on the first one [<em>Opus Eponymous</em>]. So we wanted to make a record that had more riffs on it, because the guitar took a bit of a backseat on <em>Infestissumam</em>.</p> <p>And the main reason for that was the production. The guitars were just put in the back. If we were to take all the tapes from that album and go into a different studio and remix the whole thing I’m sure it would sound very different. So this time we wanted to focus on the guitar aspect from the start. </p> <p>Secondly, from a thematic standpoint we wanted the whole record to have something of a futuristic feel. So there are organs and things like that, but there are also other things that we excluded, because this is not, you know, our medieval record. This is our futuristic, urban-dystopia-metropolis record. So we knew it had to possess a certain sort of flair. </p> <p>Because if you want to make a futuristic record that is sort of Eighties-sounding, you would do that by using a lot of chorus everywhere. But that’s not what we were trying to do. Or you could make a Judas Priest or Iron Maiden–style record that sounds very futuristic. But that’s not what we were trying to do either. Sometimes you have to know what to leave out. </p> <hr /> <strong>It’s interesting that you were going for something futuristic with <em>Meliora</em>, considering that there’s always been such a strong vintage feel to everything Ghost does.</strong> <p>Well, of course we are retrospectively devouring our record collection to a point where there are a lot of things being filtered through our music that can be regarded as retro. But I think that unlike 95 percent of bands that are deliberately trying to be retro, we do not have one style or one band or one scene that we take from, and where we say, “Oh, we desperately want to sound like those guys.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case with most bands. </p> <p>With so many others, it’s like, they’re a stoner rock band so they automatically need to sound like Black Sabbath. But still, they’re only taking one ingredient out of Black Sabbath, and that’s the groovy, sort of heavy guitar parts. They completely forget about the Mellotron. They completely forget about all the symphonic stuff. They completely forget about the 12-bar blues songs. They only cherry-pick the one thing and then they overemphasize that and do it for 12 songs, album after album after album. And that just has a feeling of regurgitation. </p> <p><strong><em>Meliora</em> was produced by Klas Åhlund, who is a member of the Swedish band Teddybears, and is also well known for working with pop starlets like Robyn, Britney Spears and Katy Perry. Which seems like a bit of an odd pairing.</strong></p> <p>I think that the idea comes off as more weird in theory than it was in practice. Klas is slightly more of a household name here in Sweden, and, yes, he’s an eclectic producer that a lot of pop princesses want to write with. But Teddybears started out as a grindcore band. I saw them here in ’94, I think, at a local club, and they were a hardcore band at that point. </p> <p>So we’ve been following Klas all these years, and we were quite sure that there was more to it than what he does professionally now—that somewhere inside of him was that metal guy. And when we contacted him, it became very clear. He was like, “I’ve always wanted to do a record with a heavy metal band, but I’ve never found a heavy metal band to work with.” So we said, “Okay, do you want to work with us?” He said, “Yes, I do.” And lo and behold, it turned out he was a humungous fan of stuff like old Scorpions and Uli Jon Roth, and we have a lot of things in common when it comes to Genesis and Rainbow and Yes, things like that. </p> <p>And he’s a fucking shredder. So, pedigree aside, it wasn’t that weird at all. It’s just that he’s synonymous with being the pop guy. But with us he was definitely the rock guy.<br /> That said, it’s not like we had anything against working with a famous rock producer. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t matter what else that producer has done. </p> <p>If you call up Mutt Lange and say, “Yeah, we want to work with you because we want to make the next <em>Back in Black</em>,” you won’t achieve that. If you call up Bob Rock and say, “We want to make the Black Album,” it’s not going to happen. You have your own career and you’re making your own records. And you have to find your own way to do that. </p> <p><strong>When it comes to the production on <em>Meliora</em>, you managed to get some great vintage guitar tones—thick and warm, and not overly distorted. Can you discuss how you approached the guitars?</strong></p> <p>Sure. Apart from the first album, which was so sparse—basically just a Gibson SG through an Orange head—we’ve always gone for a very meaty, very rich guitar sound. This time around, the wall of guitars that you hear is actually the result of four different guitars, each played through three different amps. So you have four performances going through a total of 12 amplifiers. Which is obviously a little bit of overkill. [laughs] </p> <p>But we were fortunate that we had a producer and an engineer who were willing to let us spend three days just A/B-ing sounds. So we took our time finding really good heads, really good combos and really good cabinets that sounded very well together. It wasn’t just, “Give me the biggest, fattest wall of sound and jack it up to 11.” It was literally us going, “What’s missing here?” Then it was, “Well, there’s no midrange.” “Okay, what would produce a good midrange between a Marshall JCM800 and a Plexi?” Just asking each other thing like that. A bunch of grown men sitting around thinking, you know?</p> <p><strong>What are the four guitars you used?</strong></p> <p>We are a Gibson band but I’m actually going to blaspheme and say we used a Fender too, just to get that sort of twang in there that you can’t really get with a Gibson. But there are four guitars—two on the left and two on the right. </p> <p>Each side has an SG—one was a red model from the early Eighties, and the other was an older Sixties one. Then we had a Les Paul Gold Top, which sounded great, and which I think was probably the most expensive thing, other than the Neve desk, on the entire recording. It was a ’62, and it was really like a museum piece. We rented it from a guy in Stockholm. And then the last guitar was a Fender Tele.</p> <p><strong>How about amps?</strong></p> <p>All four guitars went through at least one Marshall—I think there were two Plexis and at least one JCM800. There’s also at least one Orange in there. And then we used a few different Fender heads, just because they produce this sort of fucked-up punk sound that is hard to get anywhere else. It’s not a sound that is necessarily good on its own for metal, but it definitely adds a rattle when you mix it in. Whatever you can get out of a Marshall, if you put a Fender on top of it, like an old Twin or something, it makes it sound very…motor-esque. And then we had a few other oddballs. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <strong>What is the main thing you look for in a good guitar tone?</strong> <p>I guess it’s the warmth. And trying not to sound to like a complete retro-philiac, but I don’t think there are a whole lot of records today that possess that. The greatest sounding record that I can come up with off the top of my head in the last couple years is the Daft Punk record, <em>Random Access Memories</em>. That is a brilliant-sounding record. But it’s not a rock record.</p> <p>But it’s not only a good guitar sound I’m looking for. I like how guitars sound along with a great bass sound and a great drum sound. And I think that is the hardest part, getting everything to work together. I also think that is where most, or many—probably most [laughs]—records suffer. </p> <p>Especially nowadays, where everybody is so specialized in their thing, and you can almost hear from the sound of a recording whether the engineer is a drummer or a bass player or a guitarist, just by how each instrument is handled. Also, I hate to say this in a guitar magazine, but most rock bands focus too much on the guitars, actually. I think what really makes the guitars sound good is how they marry to the bass and drums. And if you can get an organ in there as well? Fantastic. </p> <p><strong>Moving over to the thematic side of things, you’ve talked about how <em>Opus Eponymous</em> was about the coming of the Antichrist, and <em>Infestissumam</em> was about the presence of the Antichrist. How about <em>Meliora</em>?</strong></p> <p>It’s about the absence of god. In many ways, it looks at how people are very detached from the idea of a higher being. Overall, there is this sort of atheistic way of life today, at least from a biblical point of view. But from a theological point of view, we have a situation where, you know, when the cat is out of the house the mice dance on the table. </p> <p>And that is pretty much the backdrop for this album. The lyrics deal with the void that happens when there is no god, when there is no one there to help you. But even then, there will always be some fucker there to give you guidance. And the band is basically portrayed as the religious party that comes in there with a guiding hand. We offer the one place in the world that is spiritual.</p> <p><strong>Lyrically, the album almost plays like a film of sorts.</strong> </p> <p>Yes. We have a very cinematic way of thinking. When it comes to writing and recording and putting together our albums, I’ll always make the analogy of comparing the songs to scenes in a film: This is the last scene; this is the scene where this happens; this is the love scene; this is the opening scene. So, yes, we’re all very keen movie buffs. And a lot of our pop-culture fascination comes from the cinematic world, too. As does the music—a lot of the music that inspires us is from movie scores, or comes from songs that we’ve heard in films.</p> <p><strong>Despite the niche factor of what you do—there’s only so mainstream a band dressed like you guys and singing about the Antichrist can get—you’ve made it clear that you want to be a big band.</strong></p> <p>We’ve never made a secret of our intention to try to take this as far as we possibly can. I think that any band that claims otherwise is just unable to do it. Most musicians want to become as successful as they possibly can. But I think sometimes people confuse the idea. They say, “Oh, you just want to make a lot of money.” Well, yeah. Of course. Who the fuck doesn’t want to be financially independent? But that is not to say that I think making money solves all problems. </p> <p>Or people say, “You just want to be famous.” But I think that the more well known this band becomes, the less of a craving I have to become famous myself. Because to the point where we get to be famous sometimes, I don’t envy other bands that are super-famous all the time. Because that changes everything around you. It changes the people around you. Whereas now we can just step out of it. I love that part of it. </p> <p><strong>You’ve certainly done an impressive job of maintaining your anonymity. At the same time, musicians tend to want recognition for the things they create. Do you ever find it difficult to just be a “nameless ghoul”?</strong></p> <p>I wouldn’t say yes. I would say…meh. There are definitely moments in everyday life where you wish it would have been different. From an image point of view, of course I wish sometimes that I was in a normal band where I could just sit and talk with someone and then go up onstage and be myself and play. But that is not to say that I do what I do because I want to be recognized. It’s just that sometimes it’s demanding to have to step into a role, let alone deal with all the practicalities that go along with that role. </p> <p>On the other hand, I think that we actually do get enough recognition, to the point where we feel we have everything we could ask for. Like, okay, we’re in a successful band. We live off of our music. We get to play in front of a lot of people. That’s pretty good. And when we are onstage we definitely feel that people give us recognition. </p> <p>So from that exhibitionist point of view, where I want to be recognized so I don’t have to stand in line at a restaurant, it’s not that important. But from a practical point of view you can sometimes envy all the other bands that get to just be themselves, because that seems very, very, very simple. Whereas we have to come up with a story every time. We have to make shit up, just because we can’t tell everybody the real story. But, at the end of the day, telling that real story will be a lot more fun—I promise you.</p> Ghost Ghost B.C. September 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:27:45 +0000 Richard Bienstock 25087 at Warren Haynes Talks New Acoustic Folk Album, 'Ashes & Dust' <!--paging_filter--><p>Warren Haynes’ name is more likely to be evoked alongside those of Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Paul Kossoff, Steve Marriott or even David Gilmour, rather than Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie. </p> <p>And yet there’s always been a literate storyteller’s heart beating within the powerful Gibson- and Marshall-fueled textures of his finest songwriting, going back to the emergence of his much-esteemed polymorphic group Gov’t Mule in 1995.</p> <p> The Mule’s debut album nestled the anti-racism commentary “World of Difference” amidst its gloriously retro-leaning psychedelic excursions. And Haynes’ line of insightful carved-from-life telegraphy has continued though the lost-soul’s portrait “Wine and Blood” from 2004’s <em>Deja Voodoo</em> and through the song of rebellion “River’s Gonna Rise” from his second solo album, 2011’s <em>Man in Motion</em>, and through the self-examining “Spots of Time,” a tune Haynes wrote with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and played during the last years of his quarter-century stand with the Allman Brothers Band.</p> <p> Haynes fully reveals his narrative abilities on the new solo set <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em>. The album teams the guitar potentate who’s also been part of the Dickey Betts Band and Phil Lesh &amp; Friends, and shared the stage and recordings with Dave Matthews, the Derek Trucks Band and even William Shatner, with yet another set of collaborators: New Jersey based roots-music wranglers Railroad Earth. </p> <p> “Having musical conversations without speaking about what to play is what I love,” Haynes declares. “That happened in a really organic way with Railroad Earth. I also love the fact that they all play multiple instruments, so we could talk about what might be good on a song-by-song basis and mix things up by varying instruments to tell the different stories on <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em>. We didn’t dwell on anything too much. We tried to capture as few takes as possible and grab the ones that felt the best.”</p> <p> Despite the desperation ticking within tales like country songwriter Billy Edd Wheeler’s “Coal Tattoo” and Haynes’ own “New Year’s Eve,” <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em> has the vibe of a feel-good album thanks to the relaxed and intuitive performances that guide its mostly acoustic playbook. Haynes’ acoustic guitars and trusty D’Angelico New Yorker twine with the fiddle, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, piano and resonator guitars in Railroad Earth’s front line to craft spider webs of angelic melodies on numbers like his new tunes “Is It Me Or You” and “Blue Maiden’s Tale,” and to propel Lesh’s Dead-like chord structure on “Spots of Time,” which makes its first recorded appearance.</p> <p> The sound of Haynes and Railroad Earth—sweeping and swirling with rich, rooted influences—is perfect for these songs, which pluck images from the North Carolina mountains where Haynes grew up, the landscape of the Civil War, gospel tent revivals and urban wastelands to tell <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em>’s distinctly American tales. And true to the great storytellers Guthrie and Dylan, there’s even a streak of protest in songs like the satirical greed-head anthem “Beat Down the Dust” and the blight-ridden “Hallelujah Boulevard.” Haynes also pays tribute to a lost storyteller in “Wanderlust,” a 4:50 biography of country-rock innovator Graham Parsons. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p> The album has an eclectic—naturally—guest list that includes Grace Potter duetting with Haynes on Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman,” vocalist Shawn Colvin and harmonica player Mickey Raphael on “Wanderlust,” and Allman Brothers’ bassist Otiel Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinines on “Spots of Time.” </p> <p> Although the Allmans folded their hand last fall, Haynes has kept up a juggernaut pace, directing most of his energy into Gov’t Mule. In the past year the Mule has teamed up for instrumental concerts and a live album with groove-jazz guitar hero John Scofield and released live recordings of the band covering Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and classic reggae tunes. And the quartet continues to make every live show available for purchase on their <a href=""></a> web site. </p> <p> It’s a wonder Haynes had time to cut 30 songs with yet another group of collaborators. “But the truth is, I’ve been writing these more traditional songs all my life and I finally needed to create a home for them,” he says. “They didn’t necessarily fit the Allman Brothers or Gov’t Mule, or even my last solo record. They were looking for a little more acoustic and melodic treatment. And they just couldn’t wait any longer.” Haynes was taking a rare and well-deserved break at home when we spoke.</p> <p><strong><em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em> really celebrates storytelling, with vivid characters living in a vivid American landscape. What took you there?</strong> </p> <p> The kind of imagery and almost talk-singing thing—like John Prine, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan stuff from certain eras. When you heard those tunes, they took you on a journey. By the time the payoff came there was an excitement level that you couldn’t achieve in a regular love song, which is what most songs are. If you look at stuff I’ve written in Gov’t Mule, a lot of those songs come from that kind of folk influence. I’m also much happier being challenged as a songwriter. </p> <p> That storytelling approach is not the easiest thing in the world to do unless you’re Dylan and can write “Hollis Brown” in eight minutes. To get a story to come to life in a reasonable amount of time is a challenge. Once a song like that is written, it’s up to the singer to keep the narrative interesting and the instruments are kind of ornaments, decorating the picture. </p> <p> The acoustic settings of these songs also let me use my voice differently. Not having to sing over electric instruments lets me sing in a more warm and relaxed way. That helps to keep the stories in these songs intimate and real—like I’m just telling them to you, without any big production. </p> <p> <strong>How did your D’Angelico New Yorker, a big box hollowbody you’re not often heard playing, become the star guitar of these recordings?</strong></p> <p> It has flat wound strings on it, so it’s not a guitar that I would want to play blues or rock solos on. But it’s really good for that vintage-y kind of Fifties/early Sixties sound when flat wounds were prevalent strings for a while. It makes me play a certain way. </p> <p> When I’m not bending strings, for the most part, and playing in a jazzier or more melody-oriented way, the D’Angelico’s sound fits in with the acoustic instruments. So on “Coal Tattoo,” all that jazzy stuff at the end was tracked live with the D’Angelico, which is a reissue I’ve had for about 15 years. The slide is an overdub on one of my Les Pauls. Most of the songs have only one guitar lying in the tracks, but when there are two, chances are that’s the D’Angelico tracked live and the Les Paul added.</p> <p><strong>How does your acoustic guitar approach differ from your electric playing?</strong> </p> <p>Mostly I’m trying to capture the vibe of the way the song was written. In some cases, I might start out playing it on acoustic guitar and realize I can get the same vibe on my D’Angelico or an ES-335, and feel like I can play a nice solo at the end of the song that takes it out of the acoustic realm. But playing acoustic guitar for me is much more tender, delicate. I’m more comfortable with an electric guitar in my hands, as far as performing is concerned. To be able to embrace the acoustic side and try to get better at it is a nice challenge.</p> <p><strong>The album’s acoustic aesthetic also makes the Celtic influence that’s been a vein in your electric guitar playing more prominent.</strong></p> <p>At the bottom of the traditional music from the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky is a thread of Celtic music. That’s part of what they call Appalachian music, brought over from the British Isles by the area’s settlers. I’ve had such a hybrid of influences. </p> <p>My dad had a beautiful voice—still does—and he was listening to Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Hank Williams and eventually George Jones and Merle Haggard. So I heard bluegrass and country early on, but not a lot more. And my two older brothers had every type of music under the sun. I was exposed to so many things that they all found their place in my music.</p> <hr /> <strong>A lot of the big, explosive trademark sonic guitar palette we’re used to hearing on Gov’t Mule albums and your last solo album is absent here.</strong> <p>I used hardly any effects. The vintage Gibson Falcon amp I used on “Hallelujah Boulevard” and “Gold Dust Woman” has a weird tremolo in it that has some sort of sweeping modulation effect. It’s a very unique sounding tremolo. Other than that, we added a little slap-back or delay to some of the slide stuff. It’s a very organic sounding album. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>How important is it for you to carry the American songwriting tradition forward?</strong> </p> <p>It’s important to take the seeds your music grew from and plant them somewhere else. And I’ve always felt that it was especially important to take whatever tradition in roots music you grow up with and carry it forward in whatever ways you can. All the types of music I love are huge parts of music history and need to be carried on. </p> <p>I also thought it was important that I acknowledge the Asheville area writers from previous generations that were influences and, in some ways, mentors to me. There were three in particular: Ray Sisk, Larry Rhodes and Billy Edd Wheeler, and I recorded songs by all of them for this album. Billy Edd’s the most famous of all the Asheville area songwriters. He wrote “Jackson” for Johnny Cash and has written songs for Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens and Judy Collins. </p> <p>I believe he just turned 82 and is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He and I became friends when I was in my early twenties. We used to drive back and forth together from Asheville to Nashville. He had houses in both cities and we wrote some songs together. I was lucky to pick his brain a little bit. And Larry and Ray were local singer-songwriters that I would sneak into this folk club to hear when I was 14. We became friends and the next thing you know they’re teaching me about songwriting and we’re playing together. </p> <p><strong>Was there something they saw in you?</strong></p> <p>It was at least the gumption it took to sneak into a place I wasn’t supposed to be, called Caesar’s Parlor. This was a drinking establishment and could get pretty wild and decadent. Eventually word gets around, “Oh, this kid is a player. Let’s get him up onstage.” Simultaneously, I was studying blues, rock, jazz and other styles, but the singer-songwriter folk-influenced part of me was blooming.</p> <p><strong>Which artists that you listened to as a kid prepared you to hear the very adult songs—about dying coal miners and guilt-ridden bounty hunters—these Ashville writers were performing?</strong> </p> <p>Dylan, who obviously changed everything, and I was starting to hear people like Jackson Browne and James Taylor, whose songs were a little more commercial but drew on a deep well. The local guys were writing songs that were on par with these artists, and since I had never heard any of it before, it was all affecting me equally. When I was a teenager the music scene in North Carolina, everywhere, really, was thriving and fertile. </p> <p><strong>It seems like the substance and depth that was present in a lot of pop music then—a time when Hendrix, Dylan and Neil Young were all played on mainstream radio—has dissipated today.</strong></p> <p>I agree.</p> <p><strong>There was an 18-year break between your first and second solo albums, so does delivering <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em> only four years after <em>Man in Motion</em> indicate you’ll be doing more frequent recording under your own name?</strong></p> <p>There will probably be one or two follow-ups to <em>Ashes &amp; Dust</em> fairly soon, since we recorded somewhere around 30 songs. We toyed with the idea of releasing a double CD or two albums simultaneously, but this group of songs felt right together. And, of course, I’ve always got ideas for a few more albums in the wings. </p> <p><strong>How did Railroad Earth become your backing band for this music?</strong> </p> <p>Six or seven years ago they opened up for the Allman Brothers at Red Rocks, and shortly after that I was booked to do a solo acoustic performance at DelFest [in Cumberland, Maryland] and they were on that bill as well, so I invited some of the guys to join me for a few numbers. It was pretty impromptu. We rehearsed a little in the dressing room and it went rather well. </p> <p>Not too long after that I was going to do another solo acoustic performance at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, and invited them again—this time with a little more rehearsal. It was really fun and beautiful and the chemistry was nice right from the very beginning. At that point I thought they’d be right for tackling this project.</p> <p>We tried to record as live as possible. We were all set up in the studio so we could make eye contact and play like we were performing onstage. The majority of the music was captured that way. Even some of the vocals are live on the final tracks. We usually overdubbed the banjo—one reason being that banjo is so loud it tends to bleed into other microphones—and some of the slide guitar stuff was overdubbed. </p> <p><strong>You have such a varied career. What do you see as the glue that bonds all your work together?</strong></p> <p>It all stems from knowing that I would never be happy just pursuing one musical avenue. I write songs in a lot of different directions, probably because I listen to and love so many different types of music. </p> <p>Somewhere along the line I realized that it's a luxury that some people aren’t afforded—to be able to pursue the different directions that they love—and I don’t take that for granted. </p> <p>I think more music should be made in the way of people creating music that they love, and building a like-minded audience. I’ve never wanted to second-guess what people expect from me. I’m not sure if that’s great advice to give to a young artist, but it's worked for me so I consider myself fortunate.</p> <p><strong>AXOLOGY:</strong></p> <p><strong>GUITARS:</strong> D’Angelico New Yorker, Gibson Warren Haynes Signature model Les Paul, Gibson ES-335 1959 Dot Neck reissue, Epiphone ES-335 style 12-string, Washburn Warren Haynes Signature model acoustic, Rockbridge Traditional Dreadnought acoustic, Seventies Guild acoustic<br /> AMPS Gibson Falcon, 1965 Fender Super Reverb, Carr combo, Homestead combos<br /> <strong>STRINGS:</strong> GHS Burnished Nickel Rockers (.10–.46), GHS Precision Flatwounds (.12–.50) on the D’Angelico New Yorker, GHS Vintage Bronze Acoustic (.10–.46)<br /> <strong>SLIDES:</strong> Dunlop glass Moonshine slides, Coricidin slides</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/warren-haynes">Warren Haynes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> D’Angelico Railroad Earth September 2015 Warren Haynes Interviews News Features Magazine Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:24:37 +0000 Ted Drozdowski 25088 at Shred Fest II: Chris Broderick and Gus G Teach Each Other Shred Licks — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>What's it like when two master shredders get together to exchange ideas, talk technique and more? </p> <p>We caught a glimpse in our first <a href="">"Chris Broderick and Gus G shred fest" video last week</a>—and now we're back with a brand-new clip!</p> <p>This time, <em>Guitar World</em>'s <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=GusChrisVideo2">latest cover stars</a> teach each other a host of shred licks, discuss their new projects and more. Check it out below!</p> <p>A few things while we have your attention: </p> <p>• <strong>Check out</strong> the new issue of <em>Guitar World</em> (with Chris and Gus on the cover) <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=GusChrisVideo2">right here.</a> </p> <p>• <strong>Enjoy</strong> Gus G's brand-new music video, <a href="">"Brand New Revolution."</a> </p> <p>• <strong>Check out</strong> this Chaos Theory lesson by Chris Broderick, <a href="">Adapting Keyboard-Style Arpeggios to Fretboard Tapping, Part 1 (with tab and video).</a></p> <p>• <strong>Watch</strong> this video of <a href="">guitarist Eva Vergilova playing instrumental versions of Prince's "Purple Rain" and Scorpions' "Sails of Charon."</a> </p> <p><strong><em>For more about Chris Broderick, <a href="">head here.</a> For more about Gus G, <a href="">head in this general direction.</a> Stay tuned for the next exclusive GW video featuring these two shredders!</em></strong> </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=GusChrisVideo2"><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%2011.50.40%20AM.png" alt="Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 11.50.40 AM.png" width="620" height="809" /></a></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gus-g">Gus G</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/chris-broderick">Chris Broderick</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Chris Broderick Gus G September 2015 shred shred fest Videos Interviews News Features Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:09:01 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25094 at Slayer's Tom Araya: "Practice, Practice, Practice. That's the Best Advice I Can Offer." <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>What influenced you to pick up an instrument?</strong></p> <p>My older brother was learning to play the guitar. So, basically, to accompany him. I started doing that when I was 11 or 12 years old. By the time I hooked up with [Slayer guitarists] Kerry [King] and Jeff [Hanneman], I was 19 or 20. I’d been playing for seven or eight years already. </p> <p><strong>What was your first bass?</strong></p> <p>My first bass was a Vox acoustic guitar with four strings on it. When my brother started to take his guitar playing seriously, he bought a $20 guitar and amplifier, a Sears Roebuck model, from our neighbor. Then I took the Vox and put four strings on it, then learned how to play. </p> <p><strong>What was the first song you learned?</strong> </p> <p>It was probably a Beatles song. I can’t think of the exact song, though. I think the first riff I learned was “Satisfaction.” And you know, you follow it with Deep Purple “Smoke on the Water.”</p> <p><strong>What do you recall about your first gig?</strong></p> <p>It was at a party at a friend’s house and we were just learning how to play one song and we played it all night. I can’t think of the song. Maybe it was “Johnny B. Goode.” </p> <p><strong>Ever had an embarrassing onstage moment or disaster show?</strong></p> <p>It was with a band that I had formed with my brother, his friend and two other friends. We played at this 15th or 16th birthday of some girl. That was a nightmare gig because we played the same songs over and over again. We got paid, so it was kinda cool I guess.</p> <p><strong>What’s your proudest moment as a player?</strong></p> <p>Oh, man. Oh, wow. I’m amazed that I did what I did at such a young age. I just picked up an instrument and learned how to play it. I took the initiative and learned how to read music and write music. That was an accomplishment, because my brother took music lessons. He was in band class. I wasn’t. I just went out and bought charts and really put my head into learning how to read music. </p> <p><strong>What’s your favorite piece of gear?</strong></p> <p>I use a standard Marshall bass head, which is a really good head. And they made me a couple of cabinets that sound really cool. But yeah, I just use a standard rig. It’s not hopped up; it’s not the “Tom model.” It’s just a Marshall bass amp, which sounds awesome. And I have an ESP signature bass that I use. Lately, I’ve been using the passive pickups that sound really amazing. </p> <p><strong>Do you have any advice for young players?</strong></p> <p>Practice. Practice, practice, practice. That’s about it. That’s what I did. Religiously. Same with the band. We practiced all the time. I mean, 24/7. We practiced a lot until our first album with Rick Rubin, which was [1986’s] <em>Reign in Blood</em>. Covers, whatever. We just practiced all the time to make sure we were tight, tight, tight. So that’s the best advice I can offer. </p> <p><em>Photo: Jimmy Hubbard</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/slayer">Slayer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Inquirer September 2015 Slayer Tom Araya Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:59:39 +0000 Randy Harward 25089 at Randy Bachman on "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," Working with Joe Bonamassa and New Solo Album, 'Heavy Blues' <!--paging_filter--><p><em>With the Guess Who, Randy Bachman made radio listeners “come undun,” and as the co-leader of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, he “took care of business,” but what <em>Guitar World</em> readers really want to know is…</em></p> <p> <strong>You cut your new album, <em>Heavy Blues</em>, with a female rhythm section: Anna Ruddick on bass and Dale Anne Brendon on drums. Was it any different working with two girls in the studio than with a bunch of guys? — Lester Trolley</strong></p> <p>Yes, it was, and only in a good way. These two girls had never played together before, but once I got them together, it was as if they’d been lifelong bandmates. Things gelled very quickly. I saw Dale Anne at the premiere of <em>Tommy</em> in Stratford-Ontario. </p> <p>I was sitting with Pete Townshend, and he leaned over to me and said, “That drummer is amazing—sounds just like Keith Moon.” I said, “Yeah, and it’s a girl.” Pete couldn’t believe it: “A girl can’t play like Keith Moon.” But sure enough, Dale Anne can. After the show, I went back and met her. I knew I wanted to work with her.</p> <p>Neil Young had told me, “When you do your next record, don’t do the same old shtick,” and that stuck with me. After meeting Dale, I saw Anna play in a Crazy Horse–type band, and she was brilliant. I met her and found out that she liked Jon Entwistle. I thought, I should work with these chicks. That would be different. They nailed first takes in the studio. Everything they did, it was like Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire</em>. They didn’t just play their instruments; they attacked them.</p> <p><strong>You’ve got some guitar greats on your new album: Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Peter Frampton. Did you give them ideas or direction, or did you just let them go? — Danny Klez</strong></p> <p>We did the album in four days. One day I got a call from [producer] Kevin Shirley, who had gone to Australia, and he said, “I got my next door neighbor, Joe Bonamassa, to do a solo.” Kevin sent me the track, and it was incredible. Joe’s solo really stood out and complemented the one I had played. That gave me an idea to use a solo of Jeff Healey’s. </p> <p>I called his widow, and she said she was okay with it, so I wrote “Confessin’ to the Devil” to match up with Jeff’s guitar playing from a track he had done. Meanwhile, I emailed Neil Young and Peter Frampton, and I got them to do tracks for me. I just told them, “Here’s the tracks. I know how you play, so just give me your heart and soul.” That’s what they did, and I couldn’t be happier. Absolutely amazing performances.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>Is it true that Kevin Shirley told you to “shut up and listen to him” in the studio? If so, did you take offense to that? — “Gentle” Jim Manna</strong> </p> <p>No, I didn’t. When Neil Young told me that I had to reinvent myself and do something different, I took that seriously. So, no, I didn’t get mad when Kevin told me I had to listen to him. When you produce yourself, you write a song, the band tells you it’s great, you record it, and that’s it. I’ve done that, and you wind up with a certain kind of record. </p> <p>When you work with a producer who pushes you and who doesn’t just tell you everything you want to hear, you’re gonna wind up with another kind of record, and it might be a better record. Kevin was honest with me, and that’s what I wanted. He told me, “I’ll do the record, but I have to be the captain. I’ll listen to your opinion, but it means nothing to me.” I was okay with that.</p> <p><strong>I read that you recently bought some guitars on eBay. Isn’t that a tricky way to buy guitars? Don’t you need to try them out first? — Lynda Channing</strong></p> <p>It is tricky. It can be a little like joining an internet dating site: You get an old picture of a chick when she was much younger. Then you go to meet her and you’re looking around for this tall, slim blonde, but the only woman is this huge, gray-haired old lady. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for me. I got these black Supro archtops with no f-holes. They’re really cool, rare guitars, and the Valco pickups in them are incredible. I was looking for one of these guitars for a while, and I couldn’t find them. Then one day I found three, so I bought them all. I love ’em.</p> <p><strong>I know you’ve played a lot of guitars through many different amps over the years, but what’s the best guitar-amp combination you’ve ever had? — Dr. Robert Meckler</strong></p> <p>That’s changed, because it’s hard to take your favorite amp on the road these days unless you’ve got a bus or a truck. A lot of guys like me do fly-ins, so you’re using the backline of whatever the venues give you. When I can get them, I like Fender Hot Rod Deluxes. They have a nice clean headroom, and they’re dependable. I play my ’59 Les Paul reissues, which are chambered—the old guitars are too heavy. So give me the ’59 reissue and the Fender Deluxes—that’s a good combination.</p> <p><strong>What was the secret to your songwriting with [Guess Who frontman] Burton Cummings? — Tim Okenfeld</strong></p> <p>We studied the best. Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Brian Wilson; for ballads, we studied Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Whatever was on the hit parade, we studied it, and we took note of who wrote the songs. We tried to write follow-ups to whatever was big on Billboard, and those songs became our own. We tried to have memorable intros and huge hooks. You had to be able to sing every part of the song, even if it was a guitar part. “American Woman”—you can sing that intro guitar part. You’ve got three minutes, so make every second count.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>You said in an interview that “Undun” is your favorite Guess Who song. Which begs the question: What’s your least favorite? — Roarin’ Robert Feller</strong></p> <p>All the others. [laughs] How’s that for an answer? Honestly, it’s hard to say, but yeah, “Undun” is my favorite. I always thought it was very different, and it stood out from everything else that was on the radio. It reminded me of “The Girl from Ipanema”—nothing sounded like that, either. In the late Sixties, everybody was rocking out, and here you had this dreamy, jazzy song. The song just lifted you up and carried you away. Burton Cummings sang his face off and did a little flute solo. How could you not love that?</p> <p><strong>Did you ever record a version of “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” without the stuttering? — Chip Damone</strong></p> <p>I tried. When I stuttered on the original version of the song, it was never supposed to be on an album. It was a work track that I was going to send to my brother, because he stuttered. It was supposed to be a tease. The head of our label heard the song and loved it—he said it was our next single. I tried to record a version without the stuttering, but it didn’t work. I sounded like a lounge singer, a little like Frank Sinatra or something. So we kept the version with the stuttering, and it was a smash.</p> <p><strong>Brave Belt, your band that became BTO, was rejected 26 times by record labels. With all of your success from the Guess Who, why did no label want to sign you? — Custer Bingham</strong></p> <p>When I left the Guess Who in 1970, I didn’t want my next band to be a second-rate version of the Guess Who. I went in an opposite direction and did a country-rock thing. I went over-the-top with it—pedal steel, accordion, fiddle. It was almost like what Gene Clark was doing. Radio wasn’t interested in Brave Belt and labels didn’t want it. </p> <p>Finally, I got a deal, but the head of the label said that we had to put my name, Bachman, on it. So it became Bachman-Turner Overdrive—same guys but a different name. We didn’t do the country thing. We played gigs and noticed that no one danced to the country songs; whenever we played the heavier rock songs, that’s when people danced. I grew up watching American Bandstand, and I knew that if people danced to the songs, they became hits. It’s pretty simple. </p> <p><strong>You’ve written a lot of hits. Did you know they were hits when you wrote them, or were you always surprised? — Daisy Menzies</strong></p> <p>Every song’s a hit when I write it, or else I wouldn’t finish it. What always happens is that the people at radio have their own ideas. You write a song and you think it’s a hit, but the radio people say, “No, not that one. That one—that’s a hit.” And then they play it, and you see what kind of reaction you get and whether it clicks with the fans. No, I’m usually surprised at the songs that become hits, and I’m especially surprised—very happily so—to see radio still playing my songs 30, 40 years later. </p> <p> <strong>Were you offended by the band that called itself Kathleen Turner Overdrive, or did you think it was funny? — Joseph Demba</strong></p> <p>I thought it was funny; I thought it was great. I was with BTO and we were traveling, and we were told by a guy at our hotel that Kathleen Turner was in town. She was doing [1986’s] <em>Peggy Sue Got Married</em> at the time. What was amazing was, Kathleen Turner Overdrive was playing at the Holiday Inn next door. So we went to their show, got a T-shirt, signed it, and left it for Kathleen Turner at the hotel desk. We never got to meet her, but we left her the shirt. No, I wasn’t offended at all by the name. I thought it was terrific. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Bachman-Turner Overdrive Dear Guitar Hero Randy Bachman The Guess Who Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:59:10 +0000 Joe Bosso 25090 at Bullet for My Valentine Discusses the Anger That Fuels Their New Album, 'Venom' <!--paging_filter--><p>“I try to go into the studio armed to the teeth with as many licks as possible,” says Bullet for My Valentine lead guitarist Michael “Padge” Paget. “So if people don’t like a certain solo idea, I can say, ‘Well, what about this instead?’ That’s much better than being put on the spot and going, ‘Duh, I don’t know what the fuck to do.’ ”</p> <p>This strategy certainly served Paget well on the band’s new album, their fifth to date, <em>Venom</em>. With full throttle aggression and an onslaught of six-string mayhem, the disc more than lives up to its name. Which was very much Bullet for My Valentine’s goal when they entered London’s Metropolis Studio earlier this year to record <em>Venom</em>. There was a general feeling that the band had lost some of their edge on their previous album, 2013’s <em>Temper Temper</em>. </p> <p>“We kind of lost it a bit, from what the band had been—especially lyrically,” admits lead singer/rhythm guitarist Matt Tuck. “So we tried to get back to what we thought was lacking on <em>Temper Temper</em>. Which means that <em>Venom</em> is more angry, with more dark lyrical content, which is what we’re pretty much renowned for. It was just a matter of looking back retrospectively on what made us the band we are today, and revisiting that, but in a fresh and new way.” </p> <p>The process of getting back to where he once belonged wasn’t entirely easy for Tuck. These days, he just isn’t as pissed off and anguished as he was back when Bullet for My Valentine first rocketed out of their U.K. town of Bridgend, Wales, with their 2005 debut album, <em>The Poison</em>.</p> <p>“Life is good for me right now, so it’s really hard for me to write angry lyrics.” he says. “It’s not where my head’s at anymore. I have a beautiful family; I’m happily married. There’s really not that angst or anger anymore. So it was more about revisiting the place where I was in the late Nineties, when I was in my teens and nobody gave a shit about me or my music or my ambitions. It was hard to relive that, but once I got my headspace back there, things started sounding good.”</p> <p>And while it was difficult for Tuck to revisit those days when nobody cared about him or his music, he says the process of writing <em>Venom</em>’s angry anthems has given him a new sense of perspective on his band’s decade long journey. He definitely counts himself among those whose lives were saved by rock and roll. </p> <p>“It’s made me who I am, anyway,” he says. “And 10 years down the line, it was important for me to not forget that. We lost our edge for a bit, but it’s definitely back now.”</p> <p>Knowing that a lot was riding on the new album, the band took extra care in preproduction. “We demoed everything at my house, where I’ve got a little home studio,” says Paget. “It took us about a year to demo everything. Me and Moose [BFMV drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas] were writing a lot. The whole band was writing a lot more than we’ve ever done before. I think the preparation and thought that went into it has really benefitted the album.”</p> <p>“It’s the first time we’ve worked on songwriting this much as a group,” Tuck concurs, adding that tracking on home turf also had a positive influence on the project. “This is the first time since <em>The Poison</em> that we’ve recorded back in the U.K. We’ve done the last few away from home. But this time we wanted to keep it locked down in the U.K. It was just very relaxed. Everyone was in a good mood. There wasn’t that feeling of being locked in a studio a million miles from home and being pissed off because you don’t want to be there.” </p> <p>Tuck handled rhythm guitar duties on <em>Venom</em>. “That’s what I do best,” he says, “and I’m proud of it. I’m a rhythm player. I didn’t play lead at all on the record, which is the first time that has happened. Although, for the last two records, Padge has really stepped into that role of being the lead guitar player. And I was more focused on writing songs and the lyrics this time. So it was good not to have to worry about that other stuff. Padge is such an amazing lead player in his own right.” </p> <p>“Every album has been different for me, lead guitar-wise,” Paget notes. “And hopefully it’s getting better. A challenge is good. I don’t know the names of scales or anything like that. I just sort of put my fingers on the dots or between the dots. I just like that sort of fast, neck-pickup shredding, really.” </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Bullet for My Valentine Michael Paget September 2015 Interviews News Features Magazine Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:01:32 +0000 Alan Di Perna 25091 at Five Finger Death Punch Announce New Album, 'Got Your Six' <!--paging_filter--><p>Five Finger Death Punch have announced a new album, <em>Got Your Six.</em></p> <p>The album is set for a September 4 release through Prospect Park in North America and Eleven Seven Music outside North America. You can watch the video for the album's first single, "Jekyll and Hyde," below.</p> <p>Fans who <a href="">pre-order</a> the album will immediately be able to download a new song, “Hell to Pay.” </p> <p>They also can pre-order the album with an exclusive merchandise package through the <a href="">band's website.</a></p> <p><iframe width='620' height='365' src=';autoplay=0' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Five Finger Death Punch News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 19:57:15 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25080 at Prince Announces 'The Hit & Run Album,' Streams "Hardrocklover" <!--paging_filter--><p>Prince's band, 3rd Eye Girl, revealed today in a <a href="">BBC Radio 6 Music interview</a> that the always-prolific rock legend will release a new studio album later this year. </p> <p>The release, which will be called <em>The Hit &amp; Run Album,</em> features "Hardrocklover," a track Prince shared on his Soundcloud account earlier this month, plus deep cut "1,000 Hugs and Kisses" and a new version of "This Could Be Us," which is originally from last year's <em>Art Official Age</em>. You can hear "Hardrocklover" below.</p> <p>"Super-hardcore Prince fans know every song he's ever recorded; we refer to them as 'The Purple Collective' or 'The Purple Army'," 3rdEyeGirl told BBC Radio 6 Music. </p> <p>"This album is absolutely for them, because it's super funky. It's weird, there's a lot of experimental sound. It's just hit after hit and definitely caters to those fans who just love to hear what Prince has to say, rather than wanting to always hear that classic <em>Purple Rain</em> Prince sound."</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=";color=ff5500"></iframe></p> 3rd Eye Girl Hardrocklover Prince News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 19:15:15 +0000 Jackson Maxwell 25078 at The Fratellis Unveil "Baby Don't You Lie to Me" Music Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Ahead of the release of their forthcoming album, <em>Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied</em>, the Fratellis have unveiled the video for their new single, "Baby Don't You Lie to Me!" </p> <p><em>Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied</em>, which is set for an August 21 release via Cooking Vinyl, was produced by Tony Hoffer, who also manned the controls for the band's incredibly successful debut album, 2006's <em>Costello Music.</em></p> <p>You can watch the "Baby Don't You Lie to Me!" video below. Let us know what you think in the comments and on Facebook!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> The Fratellis Videos News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:02:41 +0000 Jackson Maxwell 25081 at Weezer Unveil "Go Away" Music Video Featuring Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino <!--paging_filter--><p>Weezer have unveiled a zany new music video for "Go Away." </p> <p> The song, which happens to be the latest single off of the band's critically acclaimed 2014 album <em>Everything Will Be Alright in the End,</em> features Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino as a special guest. </p> <p>You can check out the video and the band's current tour dates below. Enjoy!</p> <p><strong>Weezer on Tour:</strong></p> <p>07/24 Columbus, OH @ CD102.5 Summerfest<br /> 07/31 Portland, ME @ The Maine State Pier<br /> 08/1 Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival<br /> 08/2 Bridgeport, CT @ Gathering of The Vibes<br /> 09/6 Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Summer Concert Series<br /> 09/12 Detroit, MI @ Chill On The Hill<br /> 09/19-20 Toronto, ON @ Riot Fest (playing Pinkerton and The Blue Album)<br /> 09/25 Las Vegas, NV @ Life Is Beautiful Festival<br /> 09/26-27 Franklin, TN @ Pilgrimage Music Festival</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weezer">Weezer</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Best Coast Bethany Cosentino Weezer Videos News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:19:37 +0000 Jackson Maxwell 25077 at Ghost Premiere New Song, "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" <!--paging_filter--><p>Ghost have premiered a new song, "From the Pinnacle to the Pit." </p> <p>The track is from the Swedish occult rockers' new album, <em>Meliora,</em> which is set for an August 21 release via Spinefarm Records. You can pre-order it <a href="">right here</a>. </p> <p>You can check out the song below, and let us know what you think in the comments and on Facebook!</p> <p><strong><em>Meliora</em> Track List:</strong></p> <p>01. Spirit<br /> 02. From The Pinnacle To The Pit<br /> 03. Cirice<br /> 04. Spöksonat<br /> 05. He Is<br /> 06. Mummy Dust<br /> 07. Majesty<br /> 08. Devil Church<br /> 09. Absolution<br /> 10. Deus In Absentia</p> <p><strong>For more about Ghost, follow them on <a href="">Facebook.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Ghost Ghost B.C. new song song premiere News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:14:59 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25079 at Gus G Unveils "Brand New Revolution" Music Video; New Album Out Today <!--paging_filter--><p>Along with today's release of his second solo album, <em>Brand New Revolution</em>, Gus G has premiered the music video for the album's title track. </p> <p>The video, which was directed by Patric Ullaeus (In Flames, Arch Enemy, Within Temptation), features Jacob Bunton (Adler, Lynam) on vocals. You can watch it below. </p> <p>For more about the making of <em>Brand New Revolution</em> and Gus G's other projects, check out this month's <em>Guitar World</em> <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=BrandNewRevo">cover story</a> on him. </p> <p>Along with "Brand New Revolution," you can check out another new song, <a href="">"The Quest,"</a> plus an exclusive <em>Guitar World</em> video featuring Gus and Chris Broderick talking guitar and trading licks (bottom video). Enjoy! </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gus-g">Gus G</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Gus G Videos News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:01:51 +0000 Guitar World Staff 25075 at Joe Satriani Demos and Discusses His Signature Ibanez JS25ART Limited Edition Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><a href="">Although we've already reported on Joe Satriani's new limited-edition JS25ART guitars from Ibanez,</a> we have an update!</p> <p>In this brand-new video—posted this month by DiMarzio—Satch demos and discusses the JS25ART guitars, which happen to feature DiMarzio Satch Track and Mo' Joe pickups.</p> <p>You can check it out below.</p> <p>“Ibanez approached me and asked if I’d do something special for the 25th anniversary,” Satriani told <em>Guitar World.</em> </p> <p>“They didn’t know what I was going to do, but I decided to illustrate some guitars myself. The idea took a lot of setup, because I had to figure out, ‘Am I going to paint them or use pens? What would the process be? Could I erase?’ So I wound up using these color pens. I spent about a week down in L.A. late in 2014 doing the illustrations and it was a lot of fun. But it was intense. With the pens, you can’t really put color on color. Nor can you erase. Some of the ones I did are more detailed; others are just line drawings. They’re all signed.” </p> <p>Technically speaking, the JS25ART embodies all the design refinements distilled over Satriani’s quarter century of collaboration with Ibanez. Besides his signature DiMarzio pickups, this includes a maple, JS Prestige neck with hand-rolled fret edges, a hi-pass filter on the volume pot, a coil tap on the tone pot and a low-profile Edge tremolo bridge. </p> <p>Longtime fans of Satriani’s visual art many recognize some of the bizarre faces and characters depicted on some of the guitars. Many of these characters are soon to come to life in an animated sci-series, tentatively titled <em>Crystal Planet,</em> that Satch is working on with fretless guitarist and digital animator Ned Evett.</p> <p>Satriani's new album, <em>Shockawave Supernova,</em> is out now.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/joe-satriani">Joe Satriani</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> DiMarzio Ibanez Joe Satriani Satch Videos Electric Guitars News Features Gear Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:18:55 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25074 at Deep Purple Perform "Smoke on the Water" on NBC's 'Today' Show — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Deep Purple performed "Smoke on the Water" on NBC's <em>Today</em> show Thursday morning, July 23.</p> <p>The performance, which took place live from New York City's Rockefeller Plaza, was billed as a "Throwback Thursday" event.</p> <p>Three members of the current Deep Purple lineup appeared on the original 1972 recording of the song: vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice. The band is rounded out by guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey.</p> <p>Deep Purple's next studio album will be produced by Bob Ezrin, who helmed their latest effort, 2013's <em>Now What?!</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deep-purple">Deep Purple</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Deep Purple NBC Smoke on the Water Today Show Videos News Fri, 24 Jul 2015 12:41:10 +0000 Damian Fanelli 25072 at