Ethan of SDMetal conducted an interview with former MEGADETH and current ACT OF DEFIANCE drummer Shawn Drover at this year’s NAMM show, which took place January 22-24 in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about performing at smaller venues with ACT OF DEFIANCE compared to the places he played as a member of MEGADETH, Drover said: “I’ve played everything from Yankee Stadium down to clubs, and, to me, as long as the band has a good night and the people like it, that’s what matters to me. I’ve played to really big crowds in the past where the crowd was kind of iffy. So you’re initially all jacked up about it, but you leave the stage [feeling] bad. It could be at a festival or whatever the case may be. Sometimes not everybody is always into it, and that kind of leaves you with… It left me with kind of, like, an empty feeling, you know what I mean? With a big crowd… You would think that everybody would say, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s gotta be fifty thousand people and up.’ And for me, it’s not true, because I’ve done it all. I’ve done all the different scenarios — hockey arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums and smaller places… theaters, I love playing theaters. And I’ve played lots of clubs as well. Again, I think it’s a matter of, if we have a good night, and we feel good about what we did, and the crowd dug it too, then that’s what matters to me the most at this point.”
Drover also talked about ACT OF DEFIANCE‘s musical approach and where he sees it going in the future. He said: “When Chris [Broderick, ex-MEGADETH guitarist] and I started that band, the rule we had was as long as it was metal, that’s all that mattered. We could have written a record with ten death metal songs, we could have written a record with ten old-school metal songs. We wanted to have kind of carte blanche — as long as it’s heavy, then that’s all that matters.”
He continued: “I don’t wanna limit myself or put myself into a category that someone else tries to define us. If you listen to our record, you really can’t say, ‘Oh, they’re a thrash band,’ or, ‘They’re an old-school band,’ or, ‘They’re progressive.’ We’re all of those things. To me, we’re just a heavy metal band; that’s all I want us to be. Whether somebody wants to put us in some kind of a subgenre box, I really don’t care.”
Drover added: “With the stuff that we write in the future, I’m never going to be concerned about what somebody else thinks I should write. It’s gonna be what I wanna do. If I write a song, it’s gonna be what I want. I’ve been doing this for over thirty years, so I know… You know what I mean? As long as it’s metal, that’s what matters to me, ultimately. I don’t do it to try to be super popular. Look, if it gets to be that, that’s fantastic. But I wanna do it the real way — organically, something that I really mean instead of trying to sell records because the record company tells you you should write this kind of [music]. I would never do that. Luckily, we’re with a great label who gives us the creative freedom to… It’s nice to have a label who doesn’t pressure you to try to do something to sell more records so they can gain from it. We do it the way we wanna do it, and that’s what matters.”
In addition to Drover and Broderick, ACT OF DEFIANCE features ex-SCAR THE MARTYR singer Henry Derek Bonner and SHADOWS FALL‘s Matt Bachand (bass).
ACT OF DEFIANCE‘s debut album, “Birth And The Burial”, was released on August 21, 2015 via Metal Blade Records. The CD recording was split between three studios in three different states: Broderick handled vocal and guitar production at his own Ill-Fated Studio in Los Angeles, Chris “Zeuss” Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, REVOCATION, MUNICIPAL WASTE) worked with Drover tracking the drums in Dexter’s Lab in Milford, Connecticut, while Bachand laid down his bass at ManShark, in Southampton, Massachusetts.