Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover
Interviewed by EvilG
Thanks for doing this interview with us Shawn! Where are you checking in from today?
Hey dude, good to hear from you!!! I’m actually at home; Just returned from the European leg of the Super Collider World tour.
Do you get to do much “tourist” kinda stuff when you’re on the road or is time consumed by resting then playing?
If we have a day off I will usually get out of the hotel and see the sight’s, as it were. We had a day off in Oslo, Norway which is a city I really love, so that day I went out a lot and had a great day off. I try to get out on a day off, as being in a hotel room all day can be quite boring at times.
So congrats on the release of the new album Super Collider! What kinds of reactions have you read regarding the album? From what I’ve read, reactions are mixed…is that often the case?
Sure, it is always the case, as different people like different types of Metal and music in general. You can’t always please everybody, so we try to focus on making the best music we can.
Tell us a bit about the writing process for the album and what involvement you had.
We recorded Super Collider at our recording studio (Vic’s Garage) in California over the course of about 3 month’s or so. About 4-5 songs were pretty close to being written musically, while the other’s were created from musical ideas,etc. The tune “Built for War” was a song that I wrote most of the music for along with Chris and Dave. All in all I have good memories creating this record.
The new album has a slight shift in style making it perhaps more similar to Youthanasia. Was this planned or just how things came out?
Not at all, no. We never go into the studio to try to make a record that sounds like something we have done in the past. Sometimes you will hear some people say that some song sounds like something from a certain record we have done, but it is never intentional at all.
Super Collider debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 albums in the USA and #4 on Canadian Billboard charts. That’s the highest ranking since Youthansia back in 1994 so congrats! According to sales figures, Super Collider sold below Th1rt3en for week one…do you attribute that to changing times, illegal downloading, etc?
Of course it is!!!!!! We are certainly thrilled to have a #6 record on Billboard in America and #4 in Canada, but sales are way down for the entire music industry right across the board, which is a real drag. Internet piracy, torrent sites and all that are the reason why. Concert attendance for us is still great around the world, so we are definitely happy about that.
As this is the first Megadeth album since leaving Roadrunner Records, what has been the biggest difference you’ve noticed so far regarding promotion etc?
I have seen a ton of promotion for Super Collider in Europe while on tour, which was really cool to see. Just walking around town and seeing an HMV store with huge display’s for Super Collider was great.
Regarding your drumming on the new album, is there any song in specific that you are most proud of?
The song that I wrote for the record, “Built for War” has a quirky time signature in the verses of the song, which took a few seconds to wrap my head around in terms of how I wanted to approach it from a drumming perspective, but I really like the end result of it. Playing something like “Don’t turn your back” is always fun, as it has all that double bass drum stuff, that I enjoy playing. Honestly though, the entire recording process for me was a lot of fun.
I believe you are now the longest serving Megadeth drummer! So congrats for lasting so long. To what would you attribute your continued success with the band?
I think just respecting the legacy of this band and keeping myself grounded is a big part of it. Knowing how to conduct yourself as a person and as somebody representing this band is also a key factor in longevity, I think. We are all friend’s in this band, so we respect each other and laugh a lot, which is something I highly recommend to anybody. Life is too short to not have fun and enjoy what you are a part of, believe me.
Do you foresee a time that you will not be playing at this level and have plans for a post-Megadeth life? Or do you prefer to play it a day at a time?
I really don’t think about it too much, honestly. Of course, I doubt if we can do this, nor would we want to do this when we are 75 years old, but I do think we have many good years still ahead of us. We have been doing this for 30 years, so we must be doing something right to still have as many fans as we do.
Does Dave Mustaine talk about his politics and his other beliefs with the band, or does he keep that mostly to himself, or to interviews where he’s asked about such things?
Nah, we really don’t talk about politics that much, though like most people, we have opinion’s about this and that. For me, I would rather just let the music do the talking and keep whatever my belief’s are to myself. I always admired Led Zeppelin’s mystique they had back in the day and wished more bands would go back to that. I’m not sure if that is realistic in this day and age though, when anything you say can be spread worldwide within minutes on the internet, for better or for worse.
Some of Dave’s opinions have ostracized some of the fanbase with his comments on things like Obama and gun control, chem-trails, or whatever. Is this something that worries you in any way or is the subject just too touchy for you to even comment on.
No, it really doesn’t bother me at all.
You and your brother Glen played and recorded a number of albums with Eidolon. Is the band totally over or is it moreso on hiatus? If so, what would you like to see eventually happen or under what circumstances could it continue?
No, Eidolon stopped when Glen and I joined Megadeth back in 2004. Honestly, we worked hard making those 6 records, to little response, but Eidolon served a greater purpose in it ultimately got us the Megadeth gig. Had we not made those record’s and Dave not hearing some of it, I would not be here today, so I’m grateful for Eidolon. Going back to that though for me, would be like stepping back into obscurity, so I have no interest in doing that.
Do you miss playing in a band with your brother? Do you ever just get to jam with him when you’re visiting?
Oh sure, Glen is such a great player and I played with him for so many years, as you know. He lives in Toronto, while I live here in Atlanta, so the chance to jam does not happen very much these days. He is working on his newest solo record, which what I heave heard of it is awesome, so he is certainly staying busy with music, as I am.
Your Megadeth.com bio mentions the following: “Where/when would you go in a time machine?: Back to 1984-1989 and stay there forever.” What were you doing in that period that makes it such and awesome memory/time for you? Were you in Canada then or had Eidolon begun?
I was in Toronto from 1984-1988, then I moved to Florida and ultimately met my wife, Jodi on the beach. Musically speaking though, those years were so awesome for Metal on MTV, etc. it was just exploding everywhere. I remember first going to Madeira Beach, Florida back in 1988 and it was filled with Metal people cranking Metal all over the beach and bringing couches, Snakes, and all kinds of wacky stuff to the beach. For a 21 year old frost bitten Canadian dude who just landed in Florida, it was an awesome time, let me assure you. Those were great years for me.
Can you recall the first time you heard someone playing drums and you thought to yourself “damn, I’d love to hit shit too!” (ha!)
I took up drums after hearing “All the world’s a stage” by Rush back when I was 12, back in 1978. Glen brought it home and when he put it on, I could not believe a human being could play drums like that in a rock band. Glen had just taken up guitar at that point, but hearing that record really made the light bulb go on for me in wanting to become a drummer. A local drummer in high school, Blair Bentley, who actually was quite good, had a bunch of extra drums at his house, which I bought over time, piece by piece. It took a while, but I paid for all of it myself.
Do you get asked to do many clinics for Ddrum, Sabian, etc? Do you find them rewarding?
I do Drum Clinics at times, depending on if I actually have enough time off to do them. I find them actually a lot of fun to do, as really it always ends up being about Megadeth related questions, etc. which is fine by me. 99% of those who go to a clinic that I do are Megadeth fans, so why not give them what they want and make them happy? I do try to play more obscure songs that we usually don’t play live, which is also quite fun for me.
I know you also play some guitar. Do you just slam a few chords now and again or is it a regular passion? Do you ask for playing tips from your brother, Dave, or Chris?
I have been playing Guitar for over 30 years, though of course, I am nowhere as good as Glen, Dave or Chris. I can hold my own though, as I wrote most of all the Eidolon song’s and have written both “Headcrusher” and “Built for War” which is on the new Megadeth record. Being able to play both drums and Guitar have been an asset to me in terms of being able to write song’s, that’s for sure. Plus, what is more fun than Blasting a guitar through a Marshall stack turned to 11???!!!
What new albums have you been listening to recently and do you stay on top of what’s going on in metal/hard rock and check out a lot of new albums?
Man, I really like the new Saxon record!!!! I can’t believe Biff Byford can sing better now than he ever has after playing Metal for over 30 years!!!! To me, Saxon have really had a lot of really strong Metal records in the last 10 years, and certainly over their career as well. I really like the new Suffocation record as well, Pinnacle of Bedlam. It’s just sheer brutality and I love that band!!!!! Sacrifice put out a record about 3-4 years ago that I just love-“The ones I condemn” that is pure 100% hateful old school trash Metal. Rob Urbinati is a friend of mine, and I keep telling him they need to do a new Sacrifice record.
What do ya think of the new Black Sabbath?
I have only heard 1 song online, and I really liked it a lot!!! It really had that old Sabbath record vibe to it, so I’m excited to BUY their new record.
Is there anything else going on in your world that you’d like to let readers know about?
A big THANK YOU to our fans in Canada who bought Super Collider to make it #4 on the Canadian Billboard charts!!! It means a lot to me.