GLEN DROVER - Progressive Behaviour (Beyond The Realms Of ‘Deth - Part 1)

January 4, 2011, 9 years ago

By Carl Begai

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Former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover is back, raising a new kind of hell. Not that he went very far after leaving the band, but some fans and media hacks have treated news of his return to the spotlight as a surprise. Thus, as he gears up for the spring 2011 release of his first solo album, Drover is prepared and somewhat resigned to the fact that people will start asking questions and poking around with regards to his decision to leave Megadeth back in January 2008. Unfortunately for the drama-loving horde, his reasons haven’t changed and there won’t be any attacks on his former bandmates in the upcoming weeks and months of press. In case you missed it, however, Drover offers one more go-round of the otherwise low-key parting of ways.

“There was personal stuff going on in the band that I wasn’t happy about,” says Drover. “I think the one really unfortunate thing about that whole situation – and I really don’t understand it – was that when I did the initial press release after I left the band, everybody seemed to think that I left because I just wanted to be with my family and didn’t want to play music anymore. I said I was unhappy with the situation, meaning the band, so people thought I was out of music for good. I wish I could have done things differently with regards to that press release.”

The series of events that led to Drover leaving Megadeth remain under wraps on both sides. It’s a dead issue at this point (two years on) but some fans insist on trying to uncover the former Megadeth bandmates’ dirty laundry.

“There is none,” Drover states. “The bottom line is that, if you’re unhappy with something it kind of magnifies other things. In my situation, when things weren’t going so well in the band towards the end, that made me want to get out more, take a break, and move on to something else. Without getting into the details, I was unhappy and had to do something about it. It sucked, because how many times are in you in a situation where you’re in a band of that size with your brother? You know me well enough to know that I’m not so stupid that I’d jump ship for nothing.”

Since his departure Drover has been hard at work on what has become Metalusion, an instrumental album that embraces a variety of styles rather than being strictly full-on metal. That said, there’s no lack of shred either.

“I took a little break after leaving Megadeth for about half a year, and then I had the idea to do something that was still metal but adding different elements to it,” Drover explains. “Fusion, prog, all that kind of stuff, and doing it all instrumental. I contacted Chris Sutherland, who is Kim Mitchell’s drummer, and he was totally down with the idea. He recommended a bass player buddy of his, Paul Yee, and Jim Gilmour from Saga as well. I figured we could give it a try with a few cover songs to see if it would gel. We did the Al Dimeola song ‘Egyptian Danza’ and a couple other tunes, and they came out great. There was obvious potential for something decent, so we got down to writing actual songs. I wrote a few, Jim and Paul submitted some ideas, and we worked on it sporadically over a two-and-a-half year period. We did it when we wanted to, it was totally laid back.”
“I called the album Metalusion because it’s a little bit metal, and it’s got these hard-edged fusion influences in there. With Jim coming from Saga, the tunes that he wrote are geared in that progressive Saga-ish vein. There’s definitely a metal thing going on because of my playing, but we took different influences and style and brought them all together. As a whole I think the material is really cohesive, which is something I’m really happy about. It’s all about the music and being very self-indulgent in the writing. That’s really where it comes from. Getting hooked up with a decent record deal is the icing on the cake.”

Metalusion is earmarked as a Glen Drover solo album, but he considers it a group effort. A recently launched Facebook page under the Glen Drover Band banner, featuring a complete line-up and bio, drives the point home.

“They’re all cool guys. There are no egos, there’s no bullshit. These guys are doing it for the love of the music and there’s no ‘God, I hope this is going to pay off…’ attitude. Jim submitted some ideas which I formed into songs. Some of the tracks were written half by me, half by him. Same thing with Paul. All three guys definitely put their flavour into the music in terms of their performances. I let them do their thing and it turned out perfect. These guys are so good… everything they sent me was fucking cool right off the bat. It was really exciting to be sending out these song ideas and then everyone else adding to them. Yeah, it was my baby in the end, but I look at the album as more of a band effort, definitely.”

With regards to his own playing, particularly the solos, Drover says it was off-the-cuff. No intentional tips of the hat to other guitarists – in spite of what you think you hear on Metalusion – and no elaborate plans laid out for maximum effect.

“I just play. It comes out the way it comes out. There are two different types of guitar players: the guys that ad lib, and the ones that need to have everything structured so they know what’s coming next. I don’t think one is better than the other, but I definitely come more from the ad lib school of playing. When I approach a solo – and I’ve always done this – I’ll figure out where the solo section is and just start playing. I’ll eventually stumble on something that feels right and go with it. I don’t analyze it too much. For me, the best stuff I come up with is usually right out of the gate rather than looking it at it too much. If I start analyzing what I’ve done it gets stale for me. I just adapt and feed off the music without thinking about it too much.”

Drover goes on to say that at no time did he consider using a vocalist on Metalusion, making the album a complete change of pace given his previous outings with Megadeth, King Diamond and Eidolon.

“I didn’t think about that at all. The focus was on doing an instrumental project, so it was very cool that I hooked up immediately with people that were all on the same page musically and personally. Who knows what’s going to happen down the line vocally? For this album we wanted things to be this way, there was no second-guessing what we were doing.”
“It’s kind of funny that it took so long to finish the damn thing,” he adds, “but I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the songs once they were recorded. With this kind of music, when you first start recording it’s hard to tell where it’s going to go, if it’s going to stick with you or not. I couldn’t be happier, to be honest with you.”

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