There are many musicians who love to interact with artists all over the world and also don’t hesitate to share the abundant knowledge they carry about musical instruments. Today, on Artist Centerstage, we are talking about one such amazing musician and his name is“Bernth Brodträger”.
Hailing from Wiener Neustadt, Austria, Bernth is a guitar player and runs an online guitar course company. He studied Jazz guitar and instrumental pedagogics at the Vienna Music Institute and also worked as a session/live player for bands like Belphegor and many more.
So, Let’s find out, how this metal artist learned so much about music, and how his journey into music began!
- Introduce yourself to our audience, what genre of music do you consider your work to be?
My name is Bernth Brodträger, I am an Austrian guitar player focusing on a broad variety of musical styles in my professional career. I provide electric and acoustic guitar work for the Austrian Pop outlet Seiler und Speer (on tour and in the studio) while also having an extreme metal background, working as a session/live player for bands like Belphegor and more a couple years back. I studied Jazz guitar and instrumental pedagogics at the Vienna Music Institute and run my own online guitar course company over at www.bernth.at with hundreds of students from all across the globe. Most people know me from my free Instagram tutorials nowadays, I focus on delivering at least one in-depth lesson on there every week and I’m quite happy to reach such a big amount of players with these videos – I just started releasing a longer video for all these short tutorials over at YouTube too and will dedicate more time to this platform in the future. Another interesting project would be CueStack, this is an electronic metal band and we are currently in the studio for the debut record – you can already find the first music videos and singles online if you would like to dig deeper.
- What and who were your early passions and influences, What inspires you to make music?
My biggest influence growing up was Metallica – when I heard the albums ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘…And Justice for All’ for the first time I already imagined myself playing these iconic riffs on guitar and that was the final push I needed to pick up the instrument. I remember my biggest goal back then, it was playing the main riff to ‘Battery’. It had such a powerful level of energy and I loved the sound and tightness of the rhythm parts. As soon as I got more comfortable with playing stuff like that my focus switched to lead guitar, I remember obsessively learning the solos for these songs with hundreds of pages of tabs I printed out from the internet. From there on my influences opened up widely, especially when I began my Jazz guitar studies at the conservatory.
Today I’m influenced by music from almost any kind of genre, a great mention would be ‘The Aristocrats’ with Guthrie Govan, Marco Minemann and Bryan Beller – an entertaining blend of many styles with incredible and inspiring musicianship from all performers.
- Tell us about that one memorable performance and favorite venue which you still wish to happen again?
One of the most memorable shows happened only one month back, we got the chance to headline the world’s biggest music festival called ‘Donauinselfest’ with Seiler und Speer – 120000 people came to the show (it’s a free concert) and around one million people were watching the performance live on television! That was truly incredible, there was quite a lot of pressure to bring the perfect performance on stage but we all are really happy with how everything turned out and it was one of the best shows I had the honor of playing. I care a lot about absolutely delivering the best performance I can every night and there are some tricky guitar solo moments in the set that I’m obsessed with. Another highlight would be playing the main stage of the ‘Rock am Ring’ and ‘Rock im Park’ festivals, I remember watching the live stream on MTV when I was a kid, I never thought I would have the huge honor to perform there myself!
- Any funny story of a mess up during your performance where you handled that situation like nothing happened?
A funny situation that comes to mind is playing at the Nova Rock festival in Austria right before Marilyn Manson last year. We were all excited to play the show and also added a lot of visual effects to it – we have a special part in the middle of the set with a lot of fire effects and heavy riffing which is quite funny for a Pop act. That one always works great when we play Rock festivals and hopefully surprises the audience a bit every time! After the heavy part, I switch to a simple chord pattern played with fingers and I’m the only one playing here – since we are using samples like strings, brass sections or other effects live we need to play perfectly in sync with the click so they are played on time.
At this show, I got quite excited and performed some rather extreme headbanging, that resulted in me losing both my in-ear headphones right before the clean section that needs to be on time perfectly for 12 measures. I moved back to our drummer and tried to signal that he has to give me the time (by counting quarter notes on the Hihat for example) because I can’t hear the click anymore – and absolutely failed to find the right gesture while playing the pattern. It ended up looking quite mental as we were communicating with widely opened eyes and shaking heads and I’m sure I was only confusing him more and more with every measure. But it all worked out, I kept the time correctly and we finished the song without killing the samples and click tracks there.
- If you could collaborate with any musicians(dead/alive), who would you collaborate with and why?
That’s a really interesting question and I guess the list is much too long to go into detail here. It’s fascinating for me to find out about the different approaches of artists concerning composition, studio recording, arrangement and more and I’d love to see how some iconic players handle their workflow. Just to name a view I’d love to work with Guthrie Govan, John5 or Kiko Loureiro because they inspire me so much on the guitar. I would also love to work on a record with producers like Tyler Bates, Bob Rock, Rick Rubin or Ross Robinson just to see what they would come up with when presented with demos or a pre-production since they worked on some of my favorite albums.
- Any Tips to keep the balance between professional and music life?
Since music is my job for a couple of years now it’s becoming more and more relevant to balance that out with my private life. I turned my biggest passion into a job that is providing for everything I need and that’s a privilege not many players get to have – I absolutely know that and treasure to be in this situation but it can be challenging too. You’re never done with work every day, it’s not like leaving the office at 5pm and relaxing at home until the next day starts. I also work every weekend of course, have a company to take care of with my online courses and a brand that I want to build online aside from many live and studio jobs – but I really don’t want to complain here, it has been an incredible ride so far and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring!
- What has been your biggest challenge as a Musician? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
The biggest challenge aside from obvious factors was turning this into a career. It took me 6 years of living in a one bedroom apartment with close to no money – I worked really bad call center jobs in the morning or at night that paid for my apartment/conservatory fees and played shows on the weekends to afford anything else I needed to live. It was a real struggle and I was always late for work or late for lectures because the jobs and studies overlapped and always tired because I played gigs during the week but somehow managed to push through all that. During these times I got close with the producer Daniel Fellner who I love working with – we worked on many projects and albums together and maintained a great relationship over the years. Through him I got my permanent gig with Seiler und Speer, that was the one that made it possible to quit my crappy job and to build my career and life around music and the guitar.
- What Tools and techniques you use to improve your singing/instrumental playing?
The only real ‘tool’ for me is maintaining a constant focus on improving. Whenever I find something I don’t like or struggle with in my playing I work on it tirelessly until it’s resolved. By playing every day and recording all these tutorials on challenging parts or licks I stay in shape and by overpreparing for any kind of gig or studio job I make sure to deliver more than what is asked of me.
- What type of Gadgets and instruments do you use while practicing? And, Do you have any specific name of your instrument?
My main guitar is the Ibanez SHRG1Z, a quite rare model featuring one of H.R. Gigers paintings etched into the zinc plate covering its body. The only gadget I love and use often is the Gruvgear Fretwrap, that always helps with recording tricky sections since it dampens the strings that are not supposed to ring through.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to become an Artist?
Be the first and last guy in the rehearsal room or studio. If you want to turn this into a career you have to be the best player you can possibly be – but also remind yourself that you need to be easy to work with. If you want to be hired for big jobs you have to be on time, always prepared for any possible situation and 100% reliable. For my first big session/touring job I was given the task of recording one guitar cover at home before the audition – of course I recorded 2 covers and learned way more songs than I had to for the audition to be prepared for changes or tests. Tiny details like that will help you immensely every step of your way. If you need any help learning about technique and theory and everything else that made this career possible for me make sure to visit www.bernth.at and check out my course ’10 Steps to Modern Shredding’!
So, this was the amazing guitar player Bernth. Want to know how you can follow him on social media? Then, check out the links below: