Nili Brosh

Bright Horizons
Nili Brosh
Nili Brosh: Tim Salaz.

The saying goes, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it.” But don’t ask Nili Brosh. She’s too busy. With projects like playing Eddie Van Halen solos for Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson’s One show in Las Vegas and awesome gigs with Danny Elfman and Dethklok, she barely has time to breathe – and the creation of compelling new music is first and foremost.

How do you maintain your sanity with such a busy schedule?
I definitely have moments where I feel it’s a lot to juggle. My mind is being pulled in a million directions. On the other hand, I’ve wanted this juggling act for so long that I had to find a way to make it work. Putting my foot down to make time for myself is a big one. And even then, good luck turning it off in your mind (laughs).

What’s at the top of your to-do list?
I have two new singles, “Song for Hope” and “Lavender Mountains,” which has a music video. They were written during the pandemic. There’s also going to be a long Dethklok tour with Baby Metal and Jason Richardson from All That Remains as a special guest. That’ll be a nice long U.S. run. Then I’ll be doing Cirque du Soleil shows and solo shows.

The video for “Lavender Mountains” is gorgeous.
It was so cold that day and I just wanted to get through it, but it ended up working out. I thought the song should get the simple video representation with the lavender mountains in there. I heard the song in my head and I’ve always been inspired by the mountains around me. During the pandemic, I had a lot of time to go into the desert, so I tried to turn that into music.

What was it like working with Wes Borland when he joined you and Danny Elfman?
It was the coolest thing ever. It’s such a special band and lineup, and we want to play together again. Wes is one of my favorite people. Our playing is so different, and the colors we bring are so different but end up being such a great mix for this band. He’s so right for that band, with all the weird sounds he brings to the table. He really likes noises, feedback, and sound design. I’m not the person who’s going to provide that, fully, so that’s why we work so well together.

How does this experience contrast with working with Dethklok?
That gig is so meticulous, with right-hand picking technique, riffing, and fast stuff. You really have to be in shape to play that stuff well. The difference between locking in with drummer Gene Hoglan and almost locking in with him makes all the difference in how that band is going to sound. You want it to be on and locked in, and luckily, he makes it unique. Dethklok is more of a technical challenge. It’s such a fun band. If you’re there and not having fun, you’re probably at the wrong gig (laughs). It feels like home in a lot of ways.

What’s your main guitar?
My Ibanez LA Custom RG770. It’s got a [humbucker/single/humbucker] pickup configuration, which was missing from Ibanez in recent years. I wanted to base something off the yellow Ibanez RG550 that I found to be more versatile than people think. We started from there, and a lot of the specs aren’t that different, but the pickups were important to me. The fret markers are yellow exclamation points (laugh). Under stage lights, it’s very helpful.

What’s with the pickups?
They’re passive EMGs, which is something EMG does very well, and they’re overlooked. My yellow guitar has the Marty Friedman signature set, and there’s an S1 in the middle. I liked where that was going with the passive thing. So I talked to my rep at EMG and asked him what he could recommend in that direction. I wanted a passive single-coil in the middle and neck, and he completed the picture for me.

How about amps?
I’m using the Mesa Boogie Triple Crown TC-100, which is an awesome amp I used for the two singles. It’s a great amp – also, the Headrush stuff for modeling, and my fly rig.

When do you make time to write?
I’m always trying to get more writing time because the two singles are part of a bigger story. There are tunes that have been in the works longer than I’d like to admit, and I want to get them out there as soon as I can.

This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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