http://pitchblack.ca/2009/11/01/megadethPitch Black Magazine
Napsala: Pamela Porosky
“When I was growing up in small-town Montreal, I would travel 40 minutes on the train just to go and get one record. I’d buy it, and then on the way home I’d look at the artwork and read the lyrics and credits and everything, just frothing at the mouth until I could run home off the train and play the record for the first time, never having heard it. Those days are long gone for the most part, but I’m glad that some people still enjoy that,” says Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover.
[color=brown:3fbeb40095]"Vyrůstal jsem v městečku Montreal a když jsem si chtěl zakoupit album, musel jsem cestovat 40 minut vlakem. Koupil jsem ho, a cestou zpět jsem si prohlížel obal, přečetl všechny texty a popisky ......[/color:3fbeb40095] ( ... pokračování snad někdy příště. Uvítám dobrovolníky, kteří by se chtěli podílet na obsahu stránek megadeth.cz. Napište)
And to look at record sales of the thrash band’s latest musical offering Endgame [Roadrunner, 2008], it would seem there are others out there, like Drover, who still like the feel of a new album in their hands, and even, to an extent, the frustration of trying to get that plastic wrapper off quick enough.
Drover, formerly of the Quebec-based power metal band Eidolon, has noticed that too.
“The reaction, from what I’ve been seeing, has been really good. We charted at number four in Canada on the overall top 200 chart. We’re number one in the hard rock charts. In America, we’re number nine, so I really can’t complain. It’s been really great. Almost to the point where it’s a little bit shocking.”
Shocked, how’s that?
There are so many reasons. Right off the bat, just look at how the industry is right now with Internet piracy. Sales are down, I would think, 50 per cent at this point. So many people are just burning it and giving it to their buddies, sending it from email to their iPods directly. So to get all these high chart positions and good sales, to me, it’s a bit of a surprise. A happy surprise, though.
When it came to recording this time around, how was your part of the recording process different from your first Megadeth record, United Abominations [Roadrunner, 2007]?
It was totally different in the fact that when recorded United, we recorded most of the tracks in England, and then recorded more drum tracks in San Diego, Calif. With Endgame, we had our own studio constructed, so all the demo work and creating of the album, the entire recording process from beginning to end, was done in one place. There was a lot more familiarity with me showing up every day and being very comfortable in my surroundings. You walk into another studio and you’re on the clock and every minute is counting and costing money. For us, once we had our studio built, if we wanted to record for 24 hours straight, or if we wanted to take a day off and go to the beach, we could. Knowing that and having that comfort was really a luxury for me. Although I loved both processes, it was certainly more relaxing doing Endgame.
Working with Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Exodus, Kreator, Machine Head, Opeth) on this one – what does he bring to the table?
Laughter, fun and metal. He’s, obviously, a great producer. He was in a band years ago – and still does to this day, a heavy metal band called Sabbat – so he’s all about making stuff heavy and making it sound as good and heavy as possible. That’s the same cloth that I come from, so right off the bat we became really good friends. And he was involved right from the beginning, even with the construction of the studio. It was like having a fifth member for the recording in a way.
You had worked with him before, right?
We had Andy in for the end of United Abominations he came in right at the end of the recording, so we kind of got a glimpse of what he was like and what his work ethic was. We found out very quickly back then that he would be great to work with on the next record and he kind of felt the same way about us.
What do you love about being in the recording studio?
I love the whole creative process of being in the studio. Waking up and not knowing what’s going to happen that day, that’s kind of exciting for me. The polar opposite of being on the road, where you wake up, you have a schedule and try to follow it. There’s a lot of sameness being on the road, although that’s a great experience as well.
What is the key ingredient for you for capturing drums in that studio environment?
Knowing the track is certainly helpful! I like to know what I’m doing and that’s a good reason why this record was so comforting to me, because we demoed and recorded everything in the same studio with the same drum set and the same mics with the same tones. Nothing changed when we went from the finished demos to recording the record. Being comfy and familiar with everything that’s going on puts my mind at ease, just knowing that I can focus on executing the track and not having to worry about outside interference, whatever that means.
What can you tell us about the song “Head Crusher?”
Dave (Mustaine, guitars and vocals) went to L.A. for some meetings and I was in the studio with Andy, 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.
How were the rest of the songs written?
(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 per cent of it, besides my songs, and a song that Chris 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.
Did you miss having your brother, former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover, in the studio this time around?
Are you guys still finding time for Eidolon?
No. You know, we kind of laid that band to rest. There’s just physically not enough time to devote the time needed to do another band. We put a lot of work into that band, and the end result was not a lot in terms of record sales which is a real bummer, but that band got us into Megadeth. Had we not put those records out, we would not be having this conversation right now. I’m thankful for that. But to do something like (Eidolon) you really have to – I don’t want to do it half-assed. If we ever do anything in the future, maybe if Megadeth ever calls it a day, if Glen and I ever did anything in the future, it would be something completely different, too. I don’t see a reason to go back to something that wasn’t successful in the first place. I mean, why go back to that and struggle again? We might as well start fresh and try something new; but, for now, Megadeth is my main source of musical expression and takes up a lot of my time.
As a full-time, professional drummer, how do you stay excited about playing?
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 per cent of my time with my family when I’m off tour. It worked out pretty good for me.
Did you always want to play metal?
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.
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?
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.
Speaking of world domination, being in one of the most popular metal bands in the world comes with the lovely perk of fandemonium, so I’m wondering if it’s true: do you really carve your own drumsticks with heat vision?
Yes. But no one’s supposed to know that. I see you’ve been reading the “Shawn Drover is Awesome” thread. Everything that’s on there is true. No. But it sure is funny!