Catching Up With Ethan Brosh
Ethan Brosh is a guitar player of extraordinary talent. His heart and soul lie with such greats as Lynch, MacAlpine, Becker, Freidman and Vai. “Live The Dream” will prove to the world what Brosh has to offer and trust me it’s a shredder’s wet dream. I caught up with Ethan prior to his CD release party at the Hard Rock Café in Boston on May 31, check out what he had to say below.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Tonight (May 31) is the CD release party for your new album Live The Dream out now on Carmine Appice’s new record Label Rocker Records. Tell us a little about the record itself and how you found a home with Rocker Records?
The record took me two years to complete. I had been writing this material for quite awhile now. Some of the music was from years ago and I just had to complete certain tunes. I had some ideas and I just had to actually just finish them off, which is really the hardest part. But I’d say the actual writing process from the time I got on it and to finish recording it, then mastering it and getting the packaging completed took two years. Another year and a couple of months before it found a home on Rocker Records. Being on tour with Yngwie (Malmsteen) in 2013 distracted me from focusing in on the release of “Live The Dream”. It ended up working out just fine because Carmine Appice started his own brand new record label (Rocker Records) and it was just perfect. In fact I believe I’m the first artist on his new label. It was through my connection with my publicist that I came to the attention of Carmine’s business partner and somehow I was the type of artist they were looking for.
Who do you have playing live with you at this show and did they perform on the album as well?
The band performing tonight did not not perform on Live The Dream. I didn’t know the guys back when I started recording this album. I have John Anthony on drums tonight, a local guy here in the Boston area and he is one of the best drummers I have ever worked with. I have Giorgio Mongelli from Italy on bass. He played with me last year and I just lucked out that he happened to be in town this week. My other guitar player tonight is Nathan Montalvo who lives in Georgia and is a phenomenal guitar player and we are into the same type of styles and are really good friends. Lucky for me he wanted to travel up just to play this gig. Now I have my actual band performing with me tonight at the Hard Rock so I feel very comfortable with these guys. They are just all such top notch word class musicians and I feel very fortunate to have them. I didn’t really expect it but it just all worked itself out.
For fans of your first album Out of Oblivion what do you think will be the biggest difference between the two? Also was there a conscious decision to have a shift in style or presentation?
There was a decision to just go and explore a few areas that Out of Oblivion didn’t really touch upon. There was also a conscious decision not to change the style. I never liked it when bands pull a 180 and went into a completely different direction, like Metallica. If someone likes what you do you don’t want to change it very much. I don’t feel like changing it very much I just want to expand upon it and get better at it. I just want to explore different sounds, different moods and things like that. However it still needs to be in a rock n roll package. The production value on Live The Dream is much higher and I knew what I was doing and what I wanted on this record right from the first day in the studio.
You had renowned artist Derek Riggs (Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray) design Out of Oblivion. Who did you have work on Live The Dream?
The cover is an actual painting and it was done by Joe Petagno. He has done every Motorhead cover art since 1975 and worked with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Sweet, Nazareth. He is a great artist who is originally from Maine but is now living in the Netherlands. He really helped me out. I love his work. I have the painting framed in my house.
Having the legendary Max Norman mix Live The Dream and Bob Ludwig master the album is a dream for any rock guitarist. Did Max have any classic Randy Rhoades or Jake E. Lee stories for you?
Yeah he did tell me some Ozzy era stories but you should probably ask him that. I’d have to think about it to make sure I had all the details right. A little bit too crazy. I can get you in contact with Max if you’d like to interview him?
At last we spoke in 2013 you were just finishing up a tour with Yngwie Malmsteen having played the Wilbur Theater in Boston. Looking back now a year later what do you think you took most away from those shows and that experience?
Wow. I took a lot out of that experience. For me the biggest thing was that I had to prove to myself was that I can go out on a very intense tour that was really routed in a very crazy way and something that was very uncomfortable and just be able to jump up on stage and going on right before arguably the greatest rock guitar player ever and pull it off. I wanted to challenge myself in that way and just go out there and perform while managing to win over a lot of the crowds at these shows, something that really surprised me. I proved to myself that I could do it. Putting that whole tour together in just a two month span was an amazing experience for me. So many details to go over before even one show was performed. Of course getting to watch Yngiew every night was an added bonus. I really went out of way not to rip him off because there are a lot of players already doing that. He’s the best so why even go there or even try to touch that. The fact that he respected what I was doing meant the world to me. His approach to a live show was something I learned a lot from.
Now you’re also lead guitarist for Burning Heat. There is a 5 song EP available correct? Are you working on a full length album and when can fans expect that to be released?
Yes we are. I’m not sure when that record will be coming out. Probably next year because 2014 will be supporting Live The Dream. All the songs are written we just need to get in the studio and really figure it out and also find a way to release it.
When Burning Heat performs live is it an all original set or do you also perform covers as well?
We have enough material for it to be an all original set and it’s almost always an all original set but sometimes we like to throw in an Iron Maiden song or an Ozzy tune just for the hell of it.
Other than tonight you have two shows coming up on June 20 and 21 in NY playing guitar as a part of Drum Wars featuring Carmine and Vinny Appice. How did you become involved in that?
Since I’m now a featured artist on Carmine’s label we communicate a lot more. There was a guitar player (Former Ace Frehley Band bass guitar player Karl Cochran) that was supposed to play the shows but had a stroke and is now in a coma. He’s doing a bit better now but the shows were already scheduled and they asked me to step in. It just made sense. I’m learning the songs now. There was another Drum Wars show I opened for them in Buffalo and later just jumped up and did “Bark At The Moon” with them. I’m looking forward to performing the entire set with them it should be a lot of fun. All the best for Karl.
Do you have a preference in terms of how you obtain your music. Are you a download fan or would you prefer the physical product of a record or cd?
Physical product any day. 200% of the time for me personally. I’m not a fan of downloads or really of the digital age in obtaining music. I believe the music business was a lot healthier then when you could buy the cd, tape or record. It was a system that worked even though the business itself had a lot of unfair parts to it and was crazy. Today there seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the industry and to me it’s just a mess. The Newbury Comics in my town of Newton just closed two days ago so who knows? I guess we have to adapt to the digital world even though I don’t like it.
You have a guitar playing sibling in sister Nili Brosh who is based on the west coast yet you remain living in the Boston area and have stayed on the east coast. What do you think is the advantage or disadvantage of being known as an East Coast guitar player?
I don’t know that there are any advantages. Maybe that there are so few of us out here trying to make a name for ourselves? The West Coast (for the most part) is the center of the music industry so not being there can sometimes work against you. I’ve never lived in L.A. it’s been a dilemma of mine ever since I moved to the United States so maybe I’ll just have to move there. It would have to be for a very good reason not just a bum on the street!
Is your ultimate goal to be a solo artist or to be a part of a successful metal band?
Both. I’d love to do three things. Have my instrumental band, my own band with a singer (like Burning Heat) and also just be a lead guitar player in one of those giant 80’s bands like Whitesnake! Hey with Doug (Aldrich) just leaving the band I’ve been trying to reach out to David Coverdale to let him know I’m available! If you can offer any assistance it would be greatly appreciated.
Is your approach to playing as a solo artist live any different than in a band setting like Burning Heat?
I just have to be on my toes a lot more when I’m performing my solo stuff. It is a lot more involved. It’s 100% playing all of the leads and with Burning Heat I can sometimes take a step back and head-bang a little more and just enjoy playing riffs. I like them both. I like the challenge of the instrumental band and I also just like rocking out to just fun songs as well.
What is your guitar of choice at the moment and do you see yourself ever getting tied into playing just one brand of guitars?
I’ve never liked that idea of just one company. I do however understand why artists do it. Once I get the right deal with a company that could build the right instruments and enough of them, then I’d be open to it. I own a lot of guitars and have a lot of guitars I really like. There are certain guitars I only use in the studio and I don’t even take them out of the house any longer because I’m fearful that something could happen to them. Right now I play the Fender HM Strat live. It’s such a comfortable guitar and it just works really well for me. I bought it a few years ago from a friend and I’m not completely attached to it yet, but I’m getting there. I’ve been using it exclusively live for a few years now so I’m going to keep using it and hope nothing happens to it.
What does the future hold for Ethan Brosh?
I wish I knew the answer but I will just try to continue to do what I’m doing now only a lot bigger. I’m really happy what I’m doing but I want it to be a lot bigger and more successful.