Interview with Shawn Drover
The longest serving Megadeth drummer, Shawn Drover shares with our readers some of his thoughts on creativity, motivation, Dave Mustaine’s non public side.Shawn seems to be a man that is not afraid to speak his mind, and his long and diverse presence in the music business definitely gave us a lot of interesting things to ask about.
Metal-Rules.com: Hello, Shawn! It’s Hellias Papadopoulos from Metal-Rules.com, I am very happy and glad for this interview and greetings from Greece! First of all, how are you doing? And where are you checking in from today?
Hello Hellias! I am fine! Thanks! Got back home after the US Super Collider Tour. Now, we have a small break before the next tour comes.
Metal-Rules.com: Let’s kick off with questions about the latest and fourteenth Megadeth album, SUPER COLLIDER. What’s the feedback about this album to till now?
I know SUPER COLLIDER is ranked in the highest position on Billboard 200 regarding the previous ones. This didn’t happen before with any other Megadeth album. We are thrilled with this success which indicates that the album people liked.It’s a very good reason to keep pushing forward to write good music.
Metal-Rules.com: Yes, indeed! The album debuted at Number 6 on the Billboard 200, making it the band’s highest-charting album since 1994’s YOUTHANASIA and the Megadeth album with the second highest rank ever (COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION entered the Billboard at Number 2, the band’s highest position ever) butthe album received a largely negative response and many fans seem to have mixed feelings about it.
Look, fans know only the musical score, the album and its songs, but before that there is a musical equation that leads to this musical result. Just like in maths! Given the conditions, we always try to carry out the best we can. Dave (Mustaine), Dave (Ellefson) Chris (Broderick) and I did enjoy the time we have available for the recording of SUPER COLLIDER. When I listen to this album, and all the albums we have made together, I always remember the good time, the fun, the joy of being together and writing music. That’s all. I don’t know if this is a cliché, but in the case of Megadeth is true.Maybe there are some who did not like the album,but there are those who did like it. You cannot satisfy everyone with your work or ‘product’. You know, we do know who we are and after 30 years of professional musicianship, no matter we all played in different bands before, we know what to do and how to do it.
Metal-Rules.com: How did the recording sessions came up? Please give us some details of SUPER COLLIDER’s birth!
As a drummer, I am the first one who records his parts. We came back inVic’s Garage (w.n.: Megadeth’s own recording studio) in California and the recording sessions did last about 3 or 4 months. Most songs have been composed by Dave Mustaine, but we all contributed more or less to all of the songs. Especially, I wrote most of the music of “Built for War”, along with Chris and Dave. We tried just pushing the boundaries of songwriting in heavy metal. As I told you before, we have had fun playing and making fool of ourselves!
Metal-Rules.com: I know you play guitar as well as drums. Right? Do you ever been considered to slam some chords in live shows with Megadeth? I be aware of one event you were playing guitar during Megadeth’s “Blackmail The Universe Tour” in Kawasaki in 2005 and Glen sat at the drums playing “Paranoid” and the second half of “Peace Sells”.
Actually yes! My brother and I did it in some gigs but it was only few times. You know, we did that occasionally in Eidolon live shows. We all did know how to play other instruments. This doesn’t happen with Megadeth. Things are more specific and always follow the program. But I will never say no! hehe!
Metal-Rules.com: Was your intention to create an album without Vic Rattlehead on the cover? Metal fans would like to see again Vic. He is totally missed!
Yes you are right! I don’t know much about the artwork and layout of the albums as Mustaine is the only who handles those matters. He might make his appearance in the next record as far as I know.
Metal-Rules.com: SUPER COLLIDER is the first Megadeth album since leaving Roadrunner. Can you explain the reasons for that leaving and the how are the things at your new label?
Yes, of course. It’s so simple. We had a 3-year contract with Roadrunner and it just ended up.
Metal-Rules.com: Of course, you expect me now to ask you why there isn’t any contract renewal and you just search for another label.
You insist! Hehe! As you expect me to say that Dave is in charge and absolutely his call. He is the right person to ask about those things. I am just a drummer! Hehehe!
Metal-Rules.com: Now you are the longest serving Megadeth drummer! What’s your opinion about the previous ones?
I do respect all of them, they are pretty amazing players. Don’t care about the past. The only thing I get in mind is what I can do with Megadeth. I do always try to represent the band in the best way.
Metal-Rules.com: Dave Mustaine is undoubtedly the Mega-boss. The other 3 band members have the same cut of the pie? I mean, Dave Mustaine is the guy who tells the last word on everything or everybody contributes to this?
No, not at all. He is the boss, the Mega-boss as you said. It very cool to have the biggest slice of the cake. Especially Chris and I were the last who join Megadeth, the 2 Daves (both laughs!!!!) have already 20 years with Megadeth in their backs. So, it quite sane for them to taste more the good things, isn’t it?
Metal-Rules.com: You personally have been playing for the past 25-30 years in Megadeth and Eidolon. I’m sure you had many difficulties throughout this time… What makes you always keep pushing forward?
I always try to be low profile and keep myself grounding. I think it’s the best way to see things in life clear and deal with the problems that always come out of the blue.Try to be better than you are in the last show. That’s my motto. This keep me pushing forward all the time and getting better and better. You know, Dave Mustaine works very hard for his band. Nothing is easy and nothing comes to us with open hand.
Metal-Rules.com: Dave Mustaine is a guy who doesn’t afraid of talking about politics. What about you?
Don’t care about politics. Don’t waste my time with politicians and their ‘deeds’. I got a big family and I am responsible for them. Besides me, I work for them and I always will. Keep your eyes on your own things; this is my mom’s motto! Hehe!
Metal-Rules.com: Do you know any Greek heavy metal acts? Are there any Greek metal bands that you really like or want to share the stage? Rotting Christ, Firewind, Suicidal Angels, Firewind, Gus G. to name a few.
I am very familiar with Gus G. he is a good friend of mine. Also, I know Firewind; I do like their music!
Metal-Rules.com: I have beholden that heavy metal changes through the decades. Heavy and Thrash metal dominated over in 80’s, Death, Black and Power metal in 90’s and Metalcore and Nu Metal in the 00’s in general. 2010 was the beginning year of the new decade. What do you see for the future?
Don’t know. The good thing is that there is a variety of genres. Metal fans stay, pop fans always move on.
Metal-Rules.com: If you could pick only one musician to work with, who would that be and why? Jimi Hendrix because he is what he is.
Metal-Rules.com: Drummer you really admire: amazing Rush’s almighty Neil Peart!
Metal-Rules.com: You are of the few metal musicians that can say what elements make a good metal metal song and album as well.
Hm, complicated thing! I’d say overall feeling is the key! The classic bands did it, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath wrote very very simple songs to touch the crowds.
Metal-Rules.com: Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:
Music: my life
Best band of all time: Rush
Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Strip show: Too old for that hehe!
Metal-Rules.com: You are a very young grandfather! I admire it! Is your family into metal music?
My son is. He do like classic stuff, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and now Megadeth hehehe!
Metal-Rules.com: Of course your grandson will be another family fan of you! Shawn, thank you for this interview. I wish you and the rest guys of Megadeth all the best!!!
I wish! Hehehe! Thank you very much! Have a nice day!