For Chris Broderick, quitting Megadeth was the end of a six-year chapter of his life. The desire to release his own music led him to leave the thrash behemoths last November.
“I don’t know if it was amicable,” he says of his departure. “When you leave a band like Megadeth, it’s for good.” His aptly named new project, Act Of Defiance – with fellow Megadeth escapee Shawn Drover on drums, former Scar The Martyr frontman Henry Derek on vocals and Matt Bachand of Shadows Fall on bass – is Chris’s new purpose. Their debut album Birth And The Burial is full of the creativity Chris held back during his Megadeth days.
“Being in Megadeth was great for my career, and I’ll always be thankful,” he says. “It’s easy to point out the highlights; the Big 4 shows we did with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax were awesome. But the artistic side of me was calling for my own outlet. I didn’t consider it open to me to write whatever I felt like. It was all overseen by Dave [Mustaine] and subject to what he wanted to hear.”
The tipping point came when Dave was rounding up the band to record their 15th album. “My heart wasn’t in it,” explains Chris. “You don’t want to go into something like that and then decide to leave.” When asked if he planned to recruit Shawn after their near-simultaneous exit, he says it was a no-brainer. “We’d talked over the years about releasing things we’d written, so we were like, ‘Why don’t we get it together?’”
Chris says that the songwriting is “definitely a collaborative effort – Shawn and I equally wrote half the music, and Henry came in with some great lyrics.”
He describes the Act Of Defiance sound as “every type of metal fan, from thrash to Scandinavian black metal, going to town in a moshpit,” and says that he’s planning to take his new band on the road. In their short life, AOD have already caused a stir in the States: when single Throwback was released, it shot into US radio station Sirius XM’s rock countdown, Devil’s Dozen, and stayed there for weeks.
“For a new band it’s going awesome,’ Chris says. “I’ve always wanted to put out a heavy record that I think the fans want to hear, and it’s gone better than I could ever have hoped.”
*Birth And The Burial* is out now via Metal Blade