Australia’s Wall Of Sound recently conducted an interview with DRAGONFORCE guitarist Herman Li. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Wall Of Sound: It’s no secret that much of the music world sees you as the most talented guitarist on the planet. Is there a pressure to maintain the unbridled pace and scale of your uplifting musical capabilities to a certain standard?
Herman: “Thanks for that! But, to be honest, I’m very serious, right; Sam [Totman, DRAGONFORCE guitarist] and I have never said in interviews that we are great guitar players, and we don’t think we are. We just do our best and have fun. That’s what we’ve always done. Our approach to music is to have fun, not trying to be cool and outplay the other guy, or think we’re better. We just have fun. I don’t think I’m an extraordinary guitar player, and neither does Sam think he is! We just try to do what we can.”
Wall Of Sound: So whatever comes out, comes out? I guess that’s often the best creative approach.
Herman: “Exactly! Anything that anyone writes on the Internet that says we’re horrible, terrible guitarists, we never get upset, because we never thought we were that great anyway. [Laughs] It doesn’t make any difference to us. Just, like, ‘Oh, yeah. Maybe they’re right. We’re not that great, but whatever.'”
Wall Of Sound: Do you guys get competitive in the band to try and musically outdo each other?
Herman: “I think these days we’re less and less competitive with each other. I don’t think we ever really were, but if there was an element of that, I don’t think we really have it anymore. We try to get the very best out of each member and use their skills. We recognize that no one’s good at everything, and we need to use the best of each person and what they’re doing. If I can’t do a certain thing, it’s, like, ‘Well, you do that, because you’re going to do it better.'”
Wall Of Sound: I read that bassist Frédéric Leclercq was doing a lot of writing for [the new DRAGONFORCE] album [“Reaching Into Infinity”].
Herman: “Yeah, that’s true. Fred has written more songs now than he used to before. We needed something a bit different, so that’s why we needed Fred to help out and bring in a different kind of vibe as well. Sam and I have been in the band since the beginning, so it’s always good to get some ideas we haven’t thought of before and work together afterwards from it. In the early days, there was more of Sam and I going, ‘Okay, we’re going to do these songs. That’s it. You don’t need to write songs for us. Thank you very much.’ [Laughs] I guess you can call that a bit competitive, if you want. But these days we don’t care who writes. We just want to make the best album, so whoever wants to do it, come on, help us out!”
Read the entire interview at Wall Of Sound.