Former MEGADETH and current ACT OF DEFIANCE drummer Shawn Drover recently spoke with the "Talking Metal" podcast. The full chat can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On ACT OF DEFIANCE's second album, "Old Scars, New Wounds":
Shawn: "I'm really proud of the record. It's a great progression from our first record. Like the first record, we kind of don't have any musical parameters — well, keeping it within the realm of heavy metal, of course, but that's a broad term in itself. We don't have any reservations about playing some thrash tunes, or having a progressive metal song, an old-school metal song, whatever we're comfortable with doing. As long as it falls under the category of heavy metal, we're quite comfortable putting it out. This record is a real reflection of that, even more so than the first record. It's quite diverse, but it definitely covers a lot of ground within the genre of heavy metal. I'm real proud of it."
On how the writing process differed as compared to the group's 2015 debut album, "Birth And The Burial":
Shawn: "It was nice to have a little bit more time to create music and have all four of us contribute as songwriters and lyricists. It made it a little more of a seamless record than the first one. The first one, Chris [Broderick, guitars] and I had so many hats to juggle, and deal with so many things. It was a little more hectic. This record was a little more laid back and seamless to do in terms of creativity.
"Whoever can write a great song for the band, and it works for the band, then that's great. To have four songwriters in our band... We all play guitar, so to have four guitar players in the band is definitely a beneficial thing in a lot of different ways. Certainly from a songwriting perspective, it's better to have everybody contributing musically instead of just Chris — 'Oh, he's the guitar player. He writes the songs.' It's a lot to take on, and it's good to have different perspectives and songwriting variations between the guys. I think it really works well for us."
On his favorite moments with MEGADETH:
Shawn: "It was all good stuff. I have nothing bad to say at all about that band. Dave Mustaine gave me a career, and I'll always be thankful to him for that. I was very good friends with him for 10 years, and at a certain point, I just wanted to move on and express my own musical vision and do the things I wanted to do before I got too old. I'm not a spring chicken — I'm 51 years old — so I just started to think, If I want to do something, the clock's ticking here. Oddly enough, Chris was kind of thinking the same thing, so we just made a decision: why don't we do our own thing? But I have nothing but good things to say about that camp. Dave gave me a career, and I have nothing but good things to say about him and the entire organization. I wish them the best."
On starting ACT OF DEFIANCE so quickly after leaving MEGADETH:
Shawn: "I let Chris and [David] Ellefson know that I'd left. I quit first, and Chris pretty much did it almost right away as well, so it was kind of a double whammy. I let him know what I was wanting to do. I wanted to get right back at it and express my own musical vision, and he was, like, 'I was thinking about the same thing.' I wanted to make sure that Chris, because Chris is such a shredder guy, I wanted to make sure he didn't want to do some kind of instrumental shred stuff. Although I love that stuff, that's not something you can go and tour with and be a real band — by and large, anyway. He was like, 'Let's do a full-on metal band, get a singer and the whole nine yards,' so that's what we did."
On how the band will approach touring in support of their new album:
Shawn: "For the last record, we did over 110 shows. A lot of them were headlining shows. Looking back, it was cool that we did that, certainly, just to go out there and grind it out and prove to everybody that we were willing to do whatever it took to get the band out there, and to show everybody that no, we're not some stupid-ass supergroup, project, whatever people want to coin us. This is a real band, and we want to tour and support every new release. I don't regret doing what we did at all, but going forward, I think it's better for us to be an opening band on a larger tour to get exposed to more people. It's all about exposure — you've got to get your product out and the awareness to as many people as possible, because there's such an overabundance of product coming out. Even stuff that's not released — there's so much on the Internet and YouTube, it's hard to keep track of it all. To go on tour — and that's the one thing that still remained true from the old days — bands back in the day, bands put out a record and they went on tour, and that's the only way you could see them. You couldn't watch them on YouTube, because there was no YouTube back then. That still remains true, even though anybody can pull up a show that you did last night because someone's going to film it, you're not getting the real experience. It's not the same watching it on your crappy little laptop as to going to a live venue and getting your head blown off from the sheer volume. It's a different experience. If you're not there, it's not the same. For us, we have that old-school sensibility of we have to go out and support the release that we're currently putting out, and we're going to play everywhere we can play as much as we can play, and get it into as many people's faces as possible."
"Old Scars, New Wounds" was released on September 29 via Metal Blade Records. The disc was mixed by Dave Otero, who has previously worked with CEPHALIC CARNAGE and CATTLE DECAPITATION, among others. The cover artwork was created by Travis Smith (KING DIAMOND, OPETH, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD).