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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Interviews 2013 Dragonforce Hermann Li




tells us how Dragonforce are still having fun doing it their own way...




Dragonforce is a huge band with a huge sound driven by crazy guitars and giant riffs THEY ARE LOUD AND RAW AND WILL KICK YOUR ASS - THEY ARE ALSO COMING THIS WAY SOON. WE CAUGHT UP WITH GUITARIST HERMANN LI ON A MISTY MORNING....



Mark: It’s great to see you guys coming over for the Soundwave festival, in a few weeks, but before that you are playing the 70,000 Tonnes of Metal tour in the US, how does that work, Metal bands on a cruise ship, sounds crazy!!




Hermann: It can be chaotic, but I have been on that before, and it’s a really cool cruise, just hanging out on the ocean. It will be interesting.



Mark: A good sign that metal is alive and well in 2013, you are also playing a festival in the Philippines after you leave Australia?




Hermann: Definitely, I think rock music and metal in general, are getting well covered now.



Mark: We love the album, “The Power Within”, it’s gone down particularly well here, I haven’t seen a bad local review, you have been on the road with this since last April, is this a particularly long tour for you guys?




Hermann: We have been constantly on tour for months, and this is what we have been doing for years, flying around doing shows is what we like to do.



Mark: There are some great songs on the album, like “Holding On”, “Heart of the Storm”. How do you feel your music has changed over the years, and has your writing partnership changed, with Sam, over the years?




Hermann: Yeah, I think it’s been a gradual, slow evolution, I don’t think we’ve changed, I think it’s just the way we have grown musically, together, individually, how we look at music. We still listen to, and like the same type of music, it’s not like next year, we say we love this band, let’s copy it!! It’s not like that, we know what we want, and it’s great that we have that same type of vision. I think now, our music is more diverse, with the new album we are continually pushing for diversity, and pushing Dragonforce a bit harder.




Mark: I think that’s the appeal of Dragonforce, and you are the sort of band breaking in to the mainstream consciousness, you were the faces of the capitol 1 commercial ad. How did that happen?




Hermann: We have been asked to do commercials quite a few times, and that one we thought would be a cool idea to do. It was natural and it was fun, and we had a script, that’s how we did it.




Mark: We got a huge response from people when we asked them to send us some questions for you. It just shows that you have a legion of fans here in Australia. Will you be filming the tour, for a live DVD?




Hermann: What I have been doing is experimenting with cameras, so I will be shooting a lot of footage, but we are not going to be filming a DVD.




Mark: How have the new songs been going down, live?




Hermann: They’ve been going down better and better, as more people hear them live, the more they know the songs, and some people know the new songs better than the old songs, which is good. I think we had a better response to “Cry Thunder”, than to “Through the Fire and Flames”, which is cool.




Mark: How have the fans taken to Mark? (Dragonforce's new singer)




Hermann: Mark’s been doing really well, and we are really happy that the fans have accepted him. I was kind of scared, with a change; you never know what’s going to happen when you change a band member. We are lucky that Mark fits in really well, and that the fans have accepted him.




Mark: He has a wonderful voice, and a great range, and suits the music. It was an amicable split, I heard, have you listened to ZP’s new CD yet?




Hermann: No, I’m not very up to date with what’s been happening, I’ve just been really busy with the band.




Mark: What do you get up to in your spare time on the tours? Is there anything special you have planned for your trip to Australia?
Hermann: I pretty much don’t have any spare time, in a funny way, I enjoy doing Dragonforce stuff! In Australia on our days off we will just hang out, wherever we are, otherwise we just concentrate on the show, which is what I like to do.




Mark: If you were approached to do the soundtrack to a fantasy film, would that be something you would be interested in?




Hermann: Why not? Depends on what company, I think we could put an interesting spin on that, and be different to what people are used to hearing. We were doing a soundtrack thing for something, for some kind of project. It was an interesting challenge putting the guitars on to a video image.




Mark: It’s good that you are diverse and open to things, and these days you really need to be. Gone are the days when a traditional band is supported by the record companies, and so you have to get out there and explore every opportunity. Plus, I guess that makes things more interesting as an artist.




Hermann: I think when we did the Capitol 1 commercial, it was the first time for me, in I don’t know how many years, to sit in another studio and someone else record me playing the guitar, I haven’t done that for a long time, and that was interesting to do that, to sit recording without doing a video.




Mark: You have a lot of festival dates in the early part of the year, are you looking to add any smaller, lower key dates?




Hermann: I’m not sure, to be honest; it’s hard to say other than the confirmed dates, it could happen or it could not!




Mark: You are playing the Philippines later on in the tour, is there anywhere yet, you haven’t played, that you hope to get to one day?




Hermann: Well, we haven’t played in Africa, that’s a continent we haven’t played; it would be interesting to play there one day! I am happy to play anywhere; I’d like to play India too!




Mark: I think rock music is growing everywhere, and places like South America are crazy for it! Out of all the tours you have done, either as headliner or support, which one has been the most fun?




Hermann: I find all of them are fun, actually, I can’t really think of one! Actually, the last few shows we did of our European tour that has just finished, were fun, we went to Eastern Europe, and I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was great to pick up the smaller places there, and there were people going insane, I caught it on video.




Mark: That’s great, I’ve been told there are a lot of good clubs out there, and the fans are supposed to be like the South Americans, pretty wild!!




Hermann: Yes, they were pretty fired up.




Mark: Now for one of our questions, if you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any piece of music, at any point in the history of rock, what would it have been and why?




Hermann: I don’t know, but I would have been in one of those crazy ones!! One where people get drunk and just play insane music, without realising it!! I don’t want to be in any kind of structured one, maybe one of the Van Halen albums!




Mark: That would be very interesting!! What sort of a person are you off stage?




Hermann: I am very serious when it comes to work, everything else, I don’t really care that much! I am very relaxed, and I don’t get offended by much. But, when I am working, I am very serious and very particular, and the rest of the time I am pretty chilled out. We generally joke around when we are not working.




Mark: It will be great to see you over here in February, for the Soundwave festival, so, have a safe trip over, and see you then.




Hermann: I will see you at Soundwave, be sure to come and say Hi.




Mark: I will thank you for your time.




By Mark Diggins January 2013




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