By Jeb Wright
Ethan Brosh is an up and coming heavy metal guitar player on the brink of making his name well known in the genre. Amongst his peers, he is already well respected. So much so that Yngwie Malmsteen has chosen him to open for his USA tour. This big break will help Ethan get directly in front of the peeps that will want to be buying his CDs once they hear the power and passion of his music.
Ethan is a melodic Shredder, who pays attention to detail. Every note, every move, every phrase and probably every bit of guitar face is examined by the muse to make sure it is being done the right way. Brosh loves guitar soloing and when his second release, Living the Dream, is released, he should wake up to a much larger audience of guitar playing wannabes lined up to learn how he does it.
The album was mixed by legendary studio wizard Max Norman; can you say Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman? Yep, THAT Max…the same Max that produced Megadeth and many other top bands in Metal. Norman knows a good thing when he hears it and believe you me, he heard it with Brosh.
The interview below sees the musician talking in-depth about his music, his plan to make it and his favorite band. Trust me, if you go see Yngwie on his USA tour this year, be sure to get there early because you don’t want to miss the opening act. Once you see and hear Ethan Brosh then you will be a fan; he’s that good.
Jeb: Let’s just start off with a hard one…There are a lot of Yngwie, Satriani, Vai type players around these days, so, what makes your playing standout in the genre?
Ethan: I believe it's my songwriting also I was never hung up trying to copy one player. I have many different influences and my own way of approaching the instrument. Don't get me wrong, I still play within the hard rock style, but I try to always come up with fresh ideas and be as creative as I can.
Jeb: You have done many projects before, but this is a great way to get your name, Ethan Brosh, out there as a solo artist. How did you land the gig with Yngwie?
Ethan: I believe this tour will help my journey of getting my music out there. I have a great manager and he got the contact and later Yngwie had to take a look at me himself.
Jeb: Ethan, Marketing 101…you should have the new solo album released BEFORE the major tour [laughter].
Ethan: No kidding! Trust me, the music business doesn't work the way you want it and at the time you want things done...Been through the Marketing 101 course!
Jeb: On the song “Live the Dream” you not only show you can play the six string, you show a great sense of melody. Many Shredders don’t get the power of melody, but you do.
Ethan: In this world, you tend to get good at whatever you give importance to. A lot of Shredders give most of the importance to metronomes and playing fast. I've given lots of importance to melody and harmony, years before I even started playing guitar. Thank you for noticing.
Jeb: “Space Invaders” has kind of a DIO type thing going on during the rhythm. Are you a fan of his? Talk about this song.
Ethan: Absolutely, DIO is such a legend and I'm still having a hard time dealing with the fact he's no longer with us. I was also hoping to, one day, play guitar for him. “Space Invaders” was based on the main riff I came up with. I wanted a 16th note based riff that has a very in your face sound and then place a good melody on top of it. I had the first half of the melody for months before the second part came to me. Even though it is a pretty straight forward tune, it might be the best song on the new record. The sleeve on the CD has my comments on all the tunes.
Jeb: The album Live the Dream is produced by Max Norman. Not a bad guy to man the controls. He did okay with Ozzy. What is Max like to work with?
Ethan: Max was a pleasure to work with. We had a great time in the studio. We are both very detail oriented, so things progressed very slowly, I thought he was perfect because he is picky just like I am, so it was a match made in heaven...or hell...depending how you look at it [laughter]. He's a real legendary producer and I talked him into coming out of retirement to mix my record and I am very happy with the results, which I never am.
Jeb: Back to the Yngwie tour…will you guys ever jam out on stage, or will Yngwie not deem you worthy!
Ethan: [laughter] I don't see that happening with me, or any other guitar player for that matter. I don't intend to ask about it.
Jeb: Dave Ellefson is playing on your solo album. How did you meet and what does Dave bring to the table?
Ethan: I meet Dave through Rhino, the drummer, when we played in Angels of Babylon. Dave is a great guy and knows the business so well. He's a very professional and reliable guy. I love that about him. His bass playing is amazing and perfect for the style. I've always been a fan of his playing and also his bright tone. There are very few bass players out there who really understand the style and the right tone for the style, that's what Dave Ellefson brings to the table.
Jeb: What are your goals as an instrumental guitarist? What does it take to make a name for yourself in this genre?
Ethan: I am getting some radio play and doing nice interviews, like this one doesn't hurt either. I'm still trying to figure out what it takes to make it happen in an almost none existent music industry nowadays. I believe playing live out there all the time, as opposed to jamming in your bedroom on YouTube, is part of it. I try to be the total package and cover everything, as far as trying to have great songs and be a great and original player, like having a great tone, great stage presence, the best artwork, the coolest clothes etc. etc. I spend all my time and attention to everything related to what I do. It's a long uphill battle, but I'm here to stay and not planning on quitting any time soon.
Jeb: Are you a guitar instructor?
Ethan: Over the summers, I teach guitar at the Berklee College of Music. I love being at Berklee because it makes me focus on music all the time. Recently, I decided to take on a few students on Skype too. I’ve been teaching for years.
Jeb: You also have a band called Burning Heat.
Ethan: Burning Heat is a band with a singer named Carlos Adrian Araiza. We are an original hard rock/rock and roll band with fun catchy choruses and cool sounding riffs and solos. There are very few bands like that out there anymore and we want to bring the fun back to this game.
Jeb: You have toured with a lot of musicians. One guy you played with is Eddie Money. Not exactly a heavy metal dude, but I love Eddie’s songs. What was the Money Man like? I hope he was sober on your tour!
Ethan: [laughter] Eddie is a straight shooter for sure! He was nice to me and wanted me to teach his son guitar. I guess his son went to Berklee too and is a rock guitar player. I love Eddie Money's songs because they have those huge melodic ‘80’s choruses in them.
Jeb: Did you play with Pat Travers?
Ethan: I did play with Pat Travers! I love his music, He's a bad ass blues player with songs that have a real attitude. I became a huge fan of his writing and playing after playing with him. Cool dude for sure.
Jeb: Go back in time and share with me who inspired you to pick up the
Ethan: It's a band called Iron Maiden. When I was 10 years old, I found my older brother had a cassette of The Number of The Beast. The cover that [artist] Derek Riggs did on this record just grabbed my attention right away and that got me to start listening to Maiden, which lead me to start playing guitar. Derek Riggs did the cover for Out of Oblivion, my first record and now is a good friend of mine. It’s interesting how life works sometimes. And Maiden is still my favorite band. I need to open for them at some point.
Jeb: Last one: In a total all out guitar war between you and Yngwie, who wins?
Ethan: [laughter] If you were me, what would you answer? I'll let the people who care about that contest decide for themselves. Yngwie is a huge inspiration on me, and many other guitar players and that will never change. He came long before I did and I have the greatest respect for that. I see him as one of my teachers, even though I didn't take lessons from him.
Ethan Brosh Website http://www.burningheatband.com
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