Chris Broderick Compares Working in Megadeth to In Flames, Names Main Difference

In Flames guitarist Chris Broderick, previously known for his work in Megadeth, recently joined his bandmate Björn Gelotte in a chat with Guitar.com where they discussed the band’s new material and various other guitar-related issues. In Flames experienced some last-minute changes a few years ago when Broderick had to replace Niclas Engelin only two days before their US tour. Asked about this stressful moment in the band’s career and how Broderick swooped in to save the day, Björn replied:

“The tour was going to happen no matter what, so it was a weird position to be in. We asked our management if there was anyone available to fill in for Nick.

“We were presented with a bunch of names and, as soon as I saw Chris’s name, I knew, ‘We’re good!’ I’ve known Chris for so long; I know his skills and his qualities. He’s one of those students that can just absorb information and retain it.”

After Broderick jokingly asked “What’s your name again?,” Björn continued:

“[Laughs.] You need to take in a lot of information playing guitar in this band: not only the riffs but the melodies, the solos, the structures – everything. It’s intimidating if you’re not extremely proficient at your instrument. But I know Chris and what he’s capable of, so I was never worried.”

Chris was then asked how he managed to get his name on this list of potential last-minute fill-ins, he replied:

“I have no idea. A friend of mine heard from their management that they had lost Niclas and asked if I was interested. I said yes in a heartbeat. Knowing Björn and Anders [Fridén, In Flames’ singer], I was definitely interested, and the music is phenomenal so I knew I’d have a good time.”

Chris Broderick solo live playthrough of "Meet Your Maker" by In Flames

Björn then added:

“I don’t even remember any of the other names. I didn’t even think you were available; I didn’t know you weren’t in Megadeth anymore.”

Chris got in with a humorous remark:

“They got me to the studio and for some weird reason they had a stripper pole hooked up and they gave me some high heels. [Björn laughs.] And I obviously impressed them somehow.

Chris Broderick - "Pinball Map" by In Flames

“In reality, I was trying to retain all of the songs. I remember walking into rehearsals and Björn says, ‘Let’s do Leeches.’ I was like, ‘Which one is that?!’”

When the interviewer pointed out that Chris needed to “learn 25 songs for the tour,” Björn said:

“I don’t think it was that many before the tour but during the tour it continued. Chris learnt 15 songs in two days and then we started the tour.”

CHRIS BRODERICK (Megadeth) - Tornado Of Souls

During the chat, Chris Broderick also reflected on his work in Megadeth and how it all compares to working in a band like In Flames. What the interviewer reminded him were some of the differences between Chris’ heavier bands like Megadeth and Act of Defiance compared to something more “harmonic” like In Flames. Chris replied:

“I actually identify with Björn’s writing style quite a bit. He has a strong sense of melody but he also likes to present counter-melody, whether it’s within the rhythm line or whether you contain both an upper and lower melody within the rhythm line.”

“That’s stuff I’ve always gravitated towards. For me, it was like putting on an old pair of shoes. Whereas Megadeth was more of a rhythm- or riff-oriented structure – you have these riffs, then solos, then riffs – this was much more melodic.”

Chris Broderick: Why I LEFT Megadeth!

“It’s much more compositional in a way. Instead of, ‘I’ve got this guitar riff! And here’s the next guitar riff!’, it’s, ‘How am I going to build this melody into the chorus?’”

During the chat, the two also discussed In Flames’ latest album “Foregone.” Asked whether there it’s true that Chris had some influence in making the album sound more old-school and heavier, Björn replied:

“If you see us live, absolutely. That’s where you can see how it is. The record was written before Chris put his solos on there, but he has elevated the songs to a level that we couldn’t have taken it to ourselves. There’s so much skill and thought behind the melodies and solos.”

Megadeth [HD] Hangar 18 Live 2008 San Diego

Chris also commented:

“While he’s being so kind, you have to remember that every heavy riff and melody that you hear on Foregone, Björn wrote.”

Björn then added:

“I like the process of writing, especially when we’re in a good flow and all that, but I do not like the studio part. Recording turns this free, inspirational creativity into work: it’s mechanical. It’s on stage where these songs come alive and that’s where this line-up is the best we’ve ever had.”

IN FLAMES - Meet Your Maker (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)

In another interview conducted earlier this year, Chris Broderick reflected on his time in Megadeth between 2008 and 2014 and why he did his best to perform the band’s classic solos note for note. Asked whether he did this intentionally, Broderick replied:

“Yes. And I’ll tell you why. Because not only, at the time, was I thinking about probably what Dave [Mustaine] would want but also mainly, even more importantly, what the fans would want.”

“Because ultimately, they are now the owners and the keepers of that music, and they are the people that you’re playing to and that are listening to you.”

Chris Broderick plays "Altitudes" on Jason Becker's original numbers guitar

“So as cool as I think I can come up with some riff — like, ‘Oh, they’ll love this riff’ — it doesn’t belong in that song at that point.”

“So, for me, it’s all about recreating and trying to do [ex-Megadeth guitarist] Marty Friedman justice — in the case of Marty Friedman or Chris Poland [ex-Megadeth guitarist] or any of the others. So I definitely wanted to try and make it as authentic as possible.”

But going more into this topic, Broderick admitted that there will always be certain things cannot fully be replicated. He continued:

“The one thing that you can’t deny, though, is your own sense of phrasing, and for me, that comes down to timing and articulation and stuff like that.”

Chris Broderick plays Perpetual Burn on Jason Becker's original Hurricane guitar

“So, as far as the notes go, I really tried to recreate it as closely as possible, but then with my sense of timing and phrasing — maybe put it my own sense of phrasing.”

Photos: TannerWolff (ChrisBroderickbyTannerWolff), Will Russell (Dave Mustaine 2011)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.

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