Archive for the ‘Dragonforce Ticket’ Category

Dragonforce: Faster Than You

August 18, 2006

Check out Dragonforce Tickets here.

Nobody on Ozzfest sounds like Dragonforce and that’s cool with founder and guitarist Herman Li. The band, formed in the United Kingdom in the late ‘90s, draws from metal’s most outdated influences – the Power Metal, Speed, Thrash and Progressive sounds that were all the rage in the ‘80s updated with furious musicianship, slick production and over the top vocals. It’s a recipe for being big in Japan and Germany however the band’s Inhuman Rampage was released on Roadrunner, is selling records in America even though radio doesn’t know what to do with the band, and their popularity forced Ozzfest organizers to add the band to their main stage for this year’s tour.

Herman called in to discuss Ozzfest, video games and if it bugs him that some hipster kids love the music that they play as a way to be ironic…

U Weekly: Herman, enquiring minds want to know… Dude, how do you shred so hard?

(Laughter) I don’t know! That’s one of those hard to answer questions. We just play what we think sounds cool and if people think that’s cool then we have something in common.

U Weekly: It does surprise many that you never took any formal lessons in your life…

No, I pretty much learned from watching videos and listening to music, things like that. I never had any guitar lessons or anything like that. I just played and tried different things and work it out and see what works and what doesn’t. I can’t read music either. I did think about (taking lessons) but I never really had the time. I used to skip my music lessons when I was in school, anyway. All that stuff about timing and reading, I just skipped it and didn’t go.

U Weekly: You call yourself “Video Game Metal.” Where does that come from?

Our musical influences actually come from video game music! Games in the ‘80s had great melodies because back than, with such shitty sound to work with then, I guess they had to make great melodies.

U Weekly: Is Dragonforce the only “real” metal band on Ozzfest?

It’s hard to define what metal is. I think there are a lot of metal bands on Ozzfest – you can say they pretty much are all metal bands – but metal has evolved. As times progress, things change and people approach it differently. People think that metal has to have solos – which I actually don’t disagree because metal is the only kind of music that you really can kind of let your guitar go sometimes – but I think there are a lot of great metal bands on Ozzfest like Strapping Young Lad. There are some cool bands onstage.

U Weekly: Whether it’s “real” or not, Dragonforce plays a form of metal – Power Metal – that was almost extinct save for a few dinosaurs and purists. What attracted you to this kind of music?

I always liked many styles of metal, not just Power Metal. I love Progressive Metal like Dream Theater and Symphony X, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Hard Rock… Even though a lot of people like to call us Power Metal, the only influences that come from that is the melodic vocals. But I find it sounding more Hard Rock. Maybe it’s because we have Dragon in our name… But I don’t think that we sound exactly like the traditional older European Power Metal bands.

U Weekly: Regardless of what it exactly is, bands that sound like you are not getting signed to big labels such as Roadrunner and playing Ozzfest. What do you think accounts for your rapidly growing popularity?

I think it’s because the way we approach the music; us mixing up styles makes us different from those other bands. That and our live performance is what make us Dragonforce. We do have an identity, people hear our songs and they know who we are.

U Weekly: Dragonforce is attracting fans who do not usually like this kind of music – indie rock hipster kids are digging your sound. Does that crossover surprise you?

We definitely notice it and we think it’s kind of cool. We always thought that in our songs, even though there are lots of guitar solos and it’s really intense, that there’s a lot of melody there and our songs are memorable. Maybe they like this kind of guitar playing but they’ve just never heard it before.

U Weekly: Would it bug you if some people listened to you because of the ironic factor?

To be honest, I’ve never thought about it. I can’t judge someone’s motivations for listening to us by the way they look. Really, I don’t care. As long as they enjoy it, that’s cool.

Dragonforce Concert Dates

Dragonforce Tickets – 9/8/2006 – Wiltern LG – Los Angeles CA
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/9/2006 – Warfield – San Francisco CA
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/19/2006 – The Pageant – Saint Louis MO
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/22/2006 – Bogarts – Cincinatti OH
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/23/2006 – Harpos – Detroit MI

Brian O’Neill/U Weekly

P. S. Check out Dragonforce Tickets here.

Metal File: DragonForce

April 21, 2006

In two months U.S. record stores will, at long last, be able to stock an album by British power-metallers DragonForce. While the band’s been around since 1999, the sextet’s presence in the U.S. hasn’t been felt much, considering DragonForce’s three albums – 2003’s The Valley of the Damned, 2004’s Sonic Firestorm and 2006’s Inhuman Rampage, which was issued four months back — haven’t been released here. Hell, the band has yet to set foot on American soil, so DragonForce fans here have been deprived to say the least.

But that’s all about to change, guitarist Herman Li said. Visa problems kept DragonForce from performing at New York’s CBGB club back in November, but Li said that’s not going to happen again on April 30, when the band plays its first U.S. gig at the New England Hardcore and Metal Festival. But he did warn fans that DragonForce shows aren’t like most metal shows.

“We’re famous for accidents onstage now,” he said. “We have trampolines we jump on and four different boxes of different heights, which allow us to jump in the air and spin around. Even though the music is really fast and complicated, we’re jumping in the air, playing the guitar upside down … it’s fun. We finish each tour with bruises on our legs and everything.”

Eight additional U.S. club dates have been lined up: May 2 (New York), May 3 (Philadelphia), May 4 (West Springfield, Virginia), May 5 (Cleveland), May 6 (Chicago), May 8 (Denver), May 10 (San Francisco) and May 11 (West Hollywood, California), with Protest the Hero and Sanctity. Most of those shows have already sold out, but Li did mention that the band’s working on securing a spot on an American festival tour, like Sounds of the Underground or Gigantour 2 — so fans who miss them this time around might be able to catch the ‘Force this summer. But Li said the band hopes, in time, to be headlining tours in the U.S.

First, though, there’s the matter of getting an album on store shelves. On June 20, Roadrunner Records will release Inhuman Rampage in the U.S., but DragonForce have already begun writing new material for that record’s follow-up. Fans, Li said, can expect the new stuff to be just as fast, frenetic and technically perverse.

Most of Li’s guitar stylings have been inspired by video game music, he said. In fact, on Inhuman, he tweaked and scratched the strings to create sounds he claims he borrowed from “Pac-Man.” And those sounds are difficult to replicate live.

“When we finish an album, it’s like, ‘Whoa — we’ve got to learn these songs? It’s going to be tough,’ ” Li said of the recording process. “But it’s better that way because it makes you a better player afterwards.”

Dragonforce Concert Dates

Dragonforce Tickets – 9/8/2006 – Wiltern LG – Los Angeles CA
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/9/2006 – Warfield – San Francisco CA
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/19/2006 – The Pageant – Saint Louis MO
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/22/2006 – Bogarts – Cincinatti OH
Dragonforce Tickets – 9/23/2006 – Harpos – Detroit MI

Chris Harris and Jon Wiederhorn

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