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Chris Broderick of Megadeth: "There was definitely a metal scene in Denver back in 1988"

Lakewood native Chris Broderick on stage with Megadeth last summer at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre.
Lakewood native Chris Broderick on stage with Megadeth last summer at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre.
Brandon Marshall

See Also: Megadeth live review at Fillmore and interview with David Ellefson

When Megadeth plays the Fillmore next Tuesday, February 28, it will be a homecoming for guitar prodigy Chris Broderick, a Lakewood native and alumni of the University of Denver, where he studied classical guitar. A onetime member of Jag Panzer, a power-metal outfit from Colorado Springs, Broderick first caught the attention of Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine while he was playing as the touring guitarist with Nevermore on the first installment of Gigantour. We recently caught up with Broderick to talk all things Denver.

Westword: You will be making your second appearance at the Fillmore with Megadeth on February 28. Do you feel a certain pride when playing in front of a hometown crowd?

Chris Broderick: I would call it more pressure than pride [laughs].

Will there be many of your family members in the audience?

Definitely. There will be a whole herd of Brodericks.

With Megadeth, you've circled the globe several times. How does the Denver audience compare to the rest of the world?

They've been awesome. The funny thing is, though, I used to generalize like that and would say, "They're over the top" or "This place is really mellow" and stuff like that. But I've been through multiple places enough times, and it kinda depends on what time you go through. Sometimes a place is really over the top, and sometimes it's really mellow. So I can't really attribute it to any particular place.

Also read: David Ellefson of Megadeth: "We had punk attitude with metal chops"

What was the experience like to play a sold-out show at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre in front of 19,000 people while Megadeth was on the Mayhem tour? For you, that must have been an overwhelming experience.

The funny thing about it was not only was there stress involved, but the stress that we were recording that show for a couple of singles that we were going to put on an import. Not only was it my hometown, with my friends and family there and 19,000 other people and fans, but we were recording it, as well. It definitely had a little bit of stress involved, but it was cool.

I noticed a camera on your guitar strap during that show. Was that something for you to keep a record of that gig?

That was actually part of the Mayhem festival. What they did was put together some video of different songs. They were the ones who put the camera there.

You studied classical guitar at DU. What was it like when you returned with Megadeth in 2010 and played on campus at Magness Arena?

It was cool to go there. It was a return to school in a way, because I spent so much time at that university. It was definitely a very cool experience.

Were you greeted by any of your professors or instructors at the show?

I wasn't...

Interview continues on Page 2.

 

Were you greeted by any of your professors or instructors at the show?

I wasn't. The University of Denver is a very traditional music school -- so they don't have an understanding when it comes to the metal side of things. I could have invited them, but if they did show up, it would have been out of courtesy, not really because they would have wanted to be there.

Megadeth has not played a show at Red Rocks since 1998. Have you nudged Dave Mustaine and said, "Hey, we should play a gig here"?

He definitely knows that it's my dream gig to play Red Rocks, and I can't wait for that day. It will be awesome to play Red Rocks.

It's every local musician's dream to play at Red Rocks, and the irony is that you have played in bigger venues than Red Rocks with Megadeth.

To me, it doesn't matter. Red Rocks has that charm, it being the iconic venue that it is.

What personal goals do you have related to Colorado and your music? Would you like to play with the Colorado Symphony, receive a key to the city or anything like that?

I don't think I have anything in particular that I would really like to do, except for playing with other local musicians and rekindling what I was doing on a local level back when I lived in Denver.

Do you mean with your former bandmates in Jag Panzer?

Not necessarily just with them, but also with members of other bands I was in, like Industrial Eden. I wouldn't be opposed to that. I talk to Mark Briody and Rikard Stjernquistall [Jag Panzer members] all the time -- they're great guys. So I would never be opposed, that's for sure!

What it was like during your formative years growing up in Denver?

Well, I barely caught a glimpse of the tail end of the metal movement. There was definitely a metal scene in Denver back in 1988, in that era. You could play warehouses, parties, or you could just rent out rooms. You could throw a party, and it was guaranteed to pack a place. It was just awesome. That was when I began to play gigs. That ended very quickly, and then it became playing empty bars [laughs].

What were some of the venues you played in town when you were just jamming?

It would be the Iliff Park Saloon and other bars of that nature. Every once in a while, we would rent out a warehouse, when they wouldn't shut it down before the gig actually occurred. It wasn't that often we would play out. We didn't play any covers of any sort. So that made it ten times harder.

You live in L.A. now. What do you miss the most about Colorado?

My friends, definitely! The people I know, all of my friends and family.

Okay, Chris, it's time for a lightning round about your favorite local haunts. Favorite venue?

Definitely Red Rocks!

Favorite local record store?

I don't know if it was my favorite, but it was the one I visited the most: Second Spin on Colorado Boulevard.

Favorite local band?

I would say Angellic Rage, from back in the day.

Favorite restaurant?

The Blue Bonnet, on Alameda and Broadway.

Favorite bar?

I really don't have one. I don't drink that much, so the bar scene was not one I was really into.

Favorite mountain recreational activity or favorite mountain town?

Snowboarding, for sure. I love all of the mountains' weather. It's Keystone, Breck or even Loveland, when it gets good snow. That's a great mountain to go hit.

Also read: David Ellefson of Megadeth: "We had punk attitude with metal chops"



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