Pamela Porosky of Pitch Black magazine recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Pitch Black: What can you tell us about the song "Head Crusher"?
Drover: Dave (Mustaine, guitars and vocals) went to L.A. for some meetings and I was in the studio with Andy [Sneap, producer], and Dave said rather than taking a day off and going to beach, which was an option, he said, "If you want, why don't you put down any ideas that you have and record them," and I said, "Well, I have a bunch of ideas." So the next day, me and Andy went to the studio and came up the song "Head Crusher". When Dave came back, we had a great-sounding demo of a song, which, lucky for me, made the record. There were a couple of things he didn't like that he wanted to change, so it ended up being a collaboration.
Pitch Black: How were the rest of the songs written?
Drover: (Dave's) compiled so many riffs now, some are really new, some he's had for several years. I call it the Pandora's Box of metal riffs. It's just file after file of these guitar riffs and partial songs and so many of them were so great that we were just like, "Oh my God, let's take this piece and work on that, and let's take this piece and put it with it and see if it works." Although it was a collaboration, when we actually went in there and physically haggled it out and got the tracks down, it all really came 90 percent of it, besides my songs, and a song that Chris [Broderick, guitar] wrote called "The Hardest Part of Letting Go", was all stuff that Dave had from the past, or had brought to the table and we just worked on it and worked it out.
Pitch Black: As a full-time, professional drummer, how do you stay excited about playing?
Drover: It's pretty exciting waking up every morning and not having to go to work. This is what I was put on this Earth to do. Did I ever think that I was going to get to this level? I hoped I would, but with the EIDOLON stuff, we pretty much accepted what it was and were happy. We weren't willing to slug it out in the clubs for months on end and come home broke and lose our houses, that wasn't an option for us, so we kind of decided to make it more of a studio project, play a couple of festivals in Germany, we'd play a couple of shows in Montreal, in Toronto, in the States, and we were okay with that. We put out (seven studio) records. That's a small amount of success. Success is subjective anyway, so we were happy with that, but I'm much happier now knowing that I have the freedom to do this for a living and to be at home and spend 100 percent of my time with my family when I'm off tour. It worked out pretty good for me.
Pitch Black: Did you always want to play metal?
Drover: Always rock music, certainly. I come from the school of RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH and RUSH and all that kind of stuff. And then I discovered JUDAS PRIEST in '79 and IRON MAIDEN shortly after. Over the course of time, it went heavier and heavier, but at the same time, I like a lot of jazz too, but ultimately that harder rock and the metal was the stuff that really appealed to me.
Pitch Black: What kind of advice could you give to a starry eyed kids who just got their first drum kit and dreams of being in a metal band destined for world domination when he or she grows up?
Drover: I would do what we did when I was a kid, and that's putting on the headphones and playing along to records that you like. Start off with something that's not too hard to play. When we started, we were playing along with BLACK SABBATH and stuff that wasn't unattainable. I didn't start off trying to play, RUSH because there was no way. It was physically impossible for a 13-year-old guy who had just started playing to play that kind of stuff, so I worked my way up. Another important thing is to play with other musicians. Get some guys at school or wherever and form a band and start playing. Playing with people and interacting and trying to become better and learn how to write songs was a really important part of the process of becoming a decent musician in our teenage years. All those things are really important to evolving.
Read the entire interview from Pitch Black.