Act of Defiance may be a new band on the scene but it consists of some very familiar faces. Famous Drummer Shawn Drover is here to tell you everything you know about the band and their debut album Birth And The Burial so read on and enjoy!
Hey there Act of Defiance and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
I am doing great, thank you!!!!! Our new record Birth And The Burial was just released and we are beginning our world tour in October, so things are going very well right now.
First off, let’s clear one thing: is Act of Defiance just an all star project or are talking about the real band here, is this name built to last?
Act of Defiance is a real BAND!!! This is no project by any means, we plan on releasing records and touring for many years to come. I know Act of Defiance has been called a “supergroup” but this is a real band, believe me.
The band was started after you and Chris Broderick left Megadeth in 2014, was this material initially written for Megadeth or it was it done after the band was formed?
Chris had a few ideas he recorded previously in his studio, but most of what you hear on Birth And The Burial is all new music Chris and I wrote after we quit that band. I have never had an issue with coming up with new musical ideas and we were both really excited about expressing our musical ideas and vision, so making new music was not difficult at all, really.
Please tell us something about the other members Henry Derek and Matt Bachand, where did you find them, what criteria did they have to meet and how are you satisfied with the things they have brought to the fold?
I have known Matt for over 15 years, so he was already a friend as well as a great musician-Shadows Fall had just broken up so Matt was looking for a new band, so Matt is a great addition to AOD. Henry had also left his previous band and Chris and I really like his versatility as a singer, so they both worked out really well for us. We are thrilled to have them both in AOD.
I have been listening to your debut album Birth And The Burial these days and I can say that I cannot find the fitting tag for it, as it have elements various metal sub genres… maybe the best thing would be to call it just metal. What would you say about this classification?
Its great to hear you say this, because why does Heavy Metal have to have ANY classification other than HEAVY METAL??!!!! Some people want to put bands in these 150 sub genres of Metal, which to me is laughable – What would you classify a band like Queen?? They did so many different kinds of music it defied classification and I’m sure they loved that, so for me when people ask me what kind of music does AOD play, I say HEAVY METAL!!!!!!
Please add some info about the lyrical themes found on Birth And The Burial, is the album conceptual in some way or every song tells a different story?
The lyrics on Birth And The Burial are very sinister and dark in nature mostly, which matches the music very well. It wouldn’t make any sense to write lyrics about flowers and blue skies with music this heavy, really. I don’t like to talk about what exactly these songs mean because I want the listener to read the lyrics to these songs and make their own opinions to what they think they mean, which is how music should be.
It is not a secret that all the members of Act of Defiance came from big bands, do you feel that it makes things easier of harder for you guys? Do you think that the fans will give you the passing card because of your past?
At the end of the day, if your music is not good, then you won’t last no matter what band you were in from the past. We have had amazing reviews for Birth And The Burial so far and so much great feedback from new fans, so we are off to a great start. All you can do with any band is make the best record you can and hope that fans will like it and support the band. AOD are doing this purely for the MUSIC and I think fans are really starting to see this right away, which is a good thing.
Zeuss was responsible for the production work while Travis Smith did the front cover so it seems that you have taken care of every possible detail for Birth And The Burial. Please tell us something about these technical aspects of the release…
Zeuss was so great to work with!!!!! I contacted him after hearing the new Sanctuary record and I asked my buddy Warrel Dane who was their producer for their new record. He told me about Zeuss and said he was awesome to work with, and thats all I needed to hear, so I contacted him and he was on board with working with AOD right away. I did exactly the same for our artist, Travis Smith – same situation, Travis did the artwork for Sanctuary new record so I ask Warrel about that as well. I have been a fan of Travis from all the old Opeth and Nevermore records, so I contacted him about working with AOD and thankfully he was on board as well. So Warrel played a part in getting both of these talented people.
Have you already done some live gigs with Act of Defiance, are some future tours already planned? Are you guys ready to take this band on the road?
We begin our tour in North America in October and we are extremely excited about AOD playing live for the fans of Heavy Metal. I want AOD to be a hard working band who can play as many places as possible for people who want to see us. This is how you form a fan base, so playing live and touring is important for sure.
How did you come in contact with Metal Blade records and how are you guys satisfied with their work so far?
I was signed to Metal blade records back in 1999 for my old band Eidolon, so I have known all of them for many years now, so when I formed Act of Defiance with Chris, Metal Blade was the first company we sent our new music to. They were interested right away, which really made us happy as I wanted to be back with MB, so this was like a homecoming for me.
Since you are not new in this business please try to pick up the best and biggest memories from living the heavy metal way? What was the time you have felt that you have made it?
The first Eidolon record was released 20 years ago now (before we were signed to Metal Blade) so I have been doing this for a long time now. I have had a good solid career playing music and have many great memories of the things I have done over the years, but I truly feel the best times are going to happen with Act of Defiance – Birth And The Burial is the best record I have ever played on and written, so I am very excited about the future!!!!
That would be all for this time, I would like to wish you all the best with Act of Defiance! Please add some final words for our readers…
Thanks to you all – support Heavy Metal!!!!!
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic
- Answers by Shawn Drover