While onboard the Axes & Anchors cruise this year, we had a chance to interview Chris Broderick, most widely known as the ex-guitar player of Megadeth and Nevermore.  He is now playing with his new band Act of Defiance, who we also had a chance to interview.  Our interview with Chris Broderick is below:

Kyle: “So right to it: give me the run down on your pick holder.”

Chris: “The advantage that you have with it is that it opens up every style of guitar playing possible. Fingerpicking without having to hold it, two handed tapping without palming the pick. The reason for it was that: I don’t know why, or who designed thumbpicks, but they do not work for me at all. And everyone I talk to feels the same way. The depth is way too deep, the angle is unusable, the material is usually pretty cheap. So I tried using that, then I started cutting off the tips of thumbpicks and gluing on the tips of other picks. It was a huge pain. So I came up with the Pick Clip design. Made out of titanium, totally bendable, just switch different picks in and out of it. It’s been very valuable to me.”

Kyle: “A lot of our readers are self-taught, it’s the internet/bedroom age, and everyone’s trying to get better while retaining their unique sound. As far as being a well-rounded musician, did you think that improving your technique or improving your theory knowledge helped you develop the quickest? Ideally you do both, but what’s the focus? And once you have all that, how do you retain your musicality, as opposed to just shredding up and down because you’re capable of it.?”

Chris: “Well remember that theory is just the identification of what musicality is. It’s not a rulebook, it helps you assign names to thing. That’s what misconstrued about it. People think that once you know theory, you have to adhere to that. First off: no you don’t. Secondly: if you feel like you’re lacking some angle of musicality, you just don’t know enough theory. Because there’s a theory for everything. That’s why I’m a big advocate for theory. It really can provide all the answers. Let’s say you know your pentatonic and everything’s good, but you get a little bored. Someone says to try the Hungarian Gypsy Minor scale, and all of a sudden you have a means of exploring a new tonality. It provides room for expansion and new ideas.”

Kyle: “Theory helped me out simply because if I was confused I went to theory, ‘I like the sound of that, what is that? Oh that’s a seventh and when you resolve it releases the tension’ and that’s really cool. Or learning your modes, it gives you options.”

Chris: “Right or resolving the 7th normally, or the deceptive cadence, or maybe I resolve it down a halfstep to a minor chord. I use a lot of theory, it’s not that I’ve formulated it, but I don’t know who formulated it. I have my own ways of thinking about things. Once you find one thing you like you can transpose it to different keys, change the rhythm, and it’s permanently in your artistic palette.”

Kyle: “What are some non-metal influences you have that helped you develop that musicality?”

Chris: “Chopin, Beethoven. Flamenco music. John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Especially Paco DeLucia.”

Kyle: “On to the gear side of things, your USA hardtail signature just came out. Was that so more people that like the bodystyle and specs but don’t like trems can enjoy it, or are you personally finding a use for the hardtail as well?”

Chris: “I definitely wanted a hardtail. There’s obviously always a use. The tone is different, the pitch is more stable, and let’s face it, it’s a lot easier. They all have their purpose.”

Kyle: “Another question, for me personally, because I was just thinking about this and forgot: what are your Dimarzios based on?”

Chris: “The bridge is a D-Activator and the neck is the PAF Pro, with a boost at 550hz on both and a little bit more top end. I talked to Dimarzio about releasing them for individual purchase, but it hasn’t happened yet. I get a lot of requests for it, so they could be in the future. I’m not in a hurry, though.”

Kyle: “Awesome, a lot of guys are getting killer signature pickups from Dimarzio, like Dave from Revo for his Jackson.”

Chris: “He has Dimarzios and a signature Jackson in the works? That’s amazing. Good for him. I was blown away when I saw Revocation live and met him about 6 months ago. I’m really happy for all the success Revocation has had. Deathless start to finish is great. He’s another theory advocate. He just knows how to make things sizzle. Everything is so well thought out. He has feel.”

Kyle: “Thanks for all of your time Chris, I had a blast and I’m sure our readers will enjoy this.”

Thank you for reading our interview with Chris Broderick.  Don’t forget to check out his new band Act of Defiance!

This article was written by Kyle Karich, our editor located in Florida.

If you like the idea of a Chris Broderick Signature Jackson, don’t forget that we’re now fully authorized dealers for Jackson in the US.  View our current Jackson inventory here.

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