Jackson artists Chris Broderick from Act of Defiance, Phil Demmel of Machine Head, Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Andreas Kisser from Sepultura teamed together on Saturday afternoon for an hour-long autograph session at the Jackson NAMM booth.
While they cordially greeted, signed and took selfies with fans, it was clear that these guys also just enjoyed the chance to catch up with one another.
“You go around NAMM and there’s many different genres and styles of music,” said Ellefson. “One thing I noticed when I showed up today at Jackson, this is where all of my friends hang out. Sitting next to Phil Demmel, Andreas Kisser, Chris Broderick—we shared the stage for many years together in Megadeth—and you see just a ton of guys. We all grew up together. We are all kind of part of the same community. There’s a certain way we all play, there’s a certain way we think. And I remember coming here as a young teenager when I first moved to California and we started Megadeth, and they used to actually sneak us in the back door at NAMM—me and Dave Mustaine—because you weren’t supposed to be here unless you were somebody, and we were just a lowly little thrash band starting out. I remember going, ‘Well it will be great if one day we can be that.’ Jazz music was always, because of the proficiency of the playing, they were always really the leaders and now our genre, especially us thrash guys, we are the people who get called to the music stores to do the clinics. We have our names on our guitars and most of my friends have signature models and so many of them here at Jackson. It’s terrific. I really feel like we are a family who grew up together.”
And thanks to the autograph session, you might see some of these guys slinging some new axes.
“Phil Demmel and I actually just had a conversation and I think we might barter instruments,” said Ellefson. “He said, ‘What do i have to do to get a Kelly Bird?’ I sat there and he said, ‘You want to do a swap?, and I said, ‘yeah, I want one of your guitars. I love your guitars.’ He’s got the Flying V with his own slots in the back that are evil and wicked looking. It’s very metal. It’s great.
“Jackson has done so much in the last four or five years of new upgrades, of different features,” he continued. “I think if you play a certain type of metal, this instrument just falls into your hand. Certain guitars you pick up and songs fall out. Jackson guitars, you pick them up and riffs fall out. It’s that kind of instrument.”