We are extremely happy to share with our community another exclusive interview! Our second interview with DragonForce! This time with Herman Li, he colloborated with BABYMETAL for "Road Of Resistance" played with BABYMETAL twice at Download Festival 2015 and Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2015! Please read our interview with Herman Li of DragonForce!
Herman Li talk BABYMETAL & "Road Of Resistance" in interview with Newswire!
This interview is very special for our team and community. DragonForce but specially Herman Li is not only a great supporter, fan and friend of BABYMETAL, he also collaborated with the band for "Road Of Resistance", played live with them Twice and also follows Newswire on Twitter!
Newswire: Before starting the interview, thank you stopping by and talk with us. On DrangoForce's Website you are introduced as the guitarist, songwriter and producer of DragonForce. But what inspired you to become musician?
Herman Li: "I started playing music just for fun and always try the best I can while enjoying what I am doing. I never thought about being a professional musician, it just happened that way."
Newswire: When was your first live performance?
Herman Li: "My first ever performance was playing 3 metal cover songs with friends in high school. I was 17 and played guitar for a year then. We played Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax songs."
Newswire: DragonForce started as "DragonHeart" with you and Sam Totman, please tell us how DrangonForce idea came out and how do you feel about it almost 20 years after. Have you imagined touring the world and being considered one of the best guitarists of the world?
Herman Li: "The idea of starting DragonForce was to have a good time. Sam and I both just wanted to make a band so we can play some shows and have fun! I am happy that years later we are still improving and doing what we love regardless of what people have to say. We are very fortunate to be able to tour the world, inspire people along the way and make people smile!"
Newswire: "You are also popular by collaborating with such awesome musicians from Joe Satriani to Paul Gilbert, we also remember you playing as special guest with Marty Friedman's band in 2014 during Marty's European Tour when shared stage with BABYMETAL's God Of Guitar Takayoshi Ohmura. But also collaborated with BABYMETAL in the studio for "Road Of Resistance". How the idea of creating music for BABYMETAL came out?
Herman Li: "BABYMETALs production team contacted us back in 2013 to work together. We already knew about the band since 2011 and always liked them. We thought it was really fun and kawaii. Sam and I immediately said yes and were very excited to be part of it because we knew it would be something special unlike anything out there."
Newswire: We also asked this to Frederic in our interview last year (Interview here), but we would like to know your point of view. How your band mates reacted when they were told that you were working for BABYMETAL? Also how was their reaction when they listened the final song?
Herman Li: "Everyone thought it was going to be interesting and they all loved how it turned out. J-pop + DragonForce’s style metal. What a unique combination right?"
Newswire: Indeed! BABYMETAL is very special. You guys played with BABYMETAL twice, first at Download Festival 2015, BABYMETAL was your special guest there, and then together played "Road Of Resistance" and "Gimme Chocolate" at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2015. We know you guys played at Download without rehearse. What are your impressions from those performances with the girls?
Herman Li: "The girls were very professional as we expected. The show at Download was a bit scary at first because we have never played together before. It was very well received despite a technical problem with the microphone. After a few hours of rehearsal the day before Golden Gods, all of us were very confident for the next show. It was a huge success at the Golden Gods! It really shocked the live audience."
Newswire: From your point of view what are the differences between a DragonForce rehearsal and a rehearsal with BABYMETAL?
Herman Li: "We were mentally more focused with the BABYMETAL rehearsal because we only had a few hours to do it and it was a 1 off, 1 shot show. We said to ourselves there can be no mistake. That evening DragonForce put everything we had in that show to make sure Babymetal get us at 100% power. Both band’s reputationa were on the line. It was a high risk situation but it really paid off. It was a lot of fun too."
Newswire: Many artists from Metal scene have shown support towards BABYMETAL, starting from DragonForce to Judas Priest, Metallica, Rob Zombie and many more. But there is other segment of people that hates BABYMETAL because "is not metal". Everytime sites like Metal Hammer publish information about them one can see a complete brawl of people discussing about how much they love them and how much they hate them. What do you think about this love & hate about BABYMETAL?
Herman Li: "I think every band that comes out with something original will be loved and hated. They must be strong mentally because they are handling it incredibly well."
Newswire: Before getting into DrangonForce Album and Tour, what do you think about the Kami Band? You know some of them like Takayoshi Ohmura, please share your thoughts about them. Have you seen Red Hot Chili Peppers performing live with BABYMETAL? You already played with the girls onstage but not with Kami Band. You would like to share stage with Kami Band someday playing Road Of Resistance?
Herman Li: "The Kami band musicians are extremely talented world-class performers, I really enjoyed seeing them perform. Each one of them brings their own style of playing and they works together really well. I would love to play with them one day, they are simply awesome!"
Newswire: Now talking more about DragonForce, the new Album "Reaching Into Infinity" which came out on May 19! What songs can you recommend to BABYMETAL fans?
Herman Li: "I believe BABYMETAL fans love great melodies in songs, so hopefully they will like every song on the new album (Laughs!) The new video Ashes of the Dawn is a good start, it has over the top production."
Newswire: DragonForce and Japan have a beautiful relationship, you guys are going to there in Japan in June, there is anything preview of what DragonForce has in store for their shows in Japan?
Herman Li: "We always make an extra effort to our loyal fans in Japan of so many years. I’ve met many fans that love DragonForce as much as BABYMETAL, some discovered us through BABYMETAL. We will have something special for them in the set for sure in June."
Newswire: "We can't wait for the release of "Reaching Into Infinity" and the very expected shows in Japan! Thank you for your time, in name of BABYMETAL's community thank you for your kindness and support towards BABYMETAL!"
Herman Li: "We’ve had lots of love from the BABYMETAL community, thanks so much for the support. We are glad to be part of BABYMETAL’s history and will always support them. They are amazing people, I still have the birthday card from the girls stuck on my fridge door!"
Get DragonForce "Reacing Into Infinity" on CD JAPAN.
Read our interview with Frederic Leclercq, CLICK HERE.