Metal Wani's editor in chief Owais "Vitek" Nabi recently conducted an interview with guitarist Herman Li of British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Speaking about the reactions from metal music elitists in North America about the style of the Japanese teenage girl pop metal band BABYMETAL — considered to be by far one of the most polarizing acts in metal today — Herman said: "I think metal fans, or generally people in rock and metal are divided anyway. People that like, say, DREAM THEATER, a lot of them don't like the metalcore stuff, and people that like metalcore don't like some of the other stuff; they don't like power metal, for example. Obviously, there are people that like different kinds of music, but it's a matter of taste, and there's no way… No one is forcing them to listen to it, and the same thing is, no one is forcing them to listen to BABYMETAL."
He continued: "BABYMETAL, in a way, the funny thing is… The way they combine the music and the show together with metal and the J-Pop stuff, they actually unite people that don't listen to rock and metal into metal… I believe they're definitely a band which is able to influence a lot of people that don't listen to rock or metal and discover guitar music — rock [and] heavy metal stuff — and I think that is a great thing."
Herman added: "Usually, it's not very easy to be able to inspire people and influence them into a new style; you really have to do something interesting that's never been done before. So BABYMETAL have done that combination that hasn't been done before. Like SLIPKNOT, when they came out, they were doing something different too. I was never a fan of that music, but I recognized their approach and how good they were doing what they do. So I view it as some kind of the same way."
BABYMETAL's song "Road Of Resistance" (formerly referred to as "The One"), which was debuted during the band's November 8, 2014 concert at the Brixton O2 Academy in London, England, was a collaboration between BABYMETAL's production team and Li and Sam Totman of DRAGONFORCE, whose guitar playing can be heard in the studio version of the track.
DRAGONFORCE recently began recording the follow-up to 2014's "Maximum Overload" album at Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden with producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with OPETH, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, AMON AMARTH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK and SYMPHONY X, to name a few.
DRAGONFORCE will release a comprehensive career-spanning "best-of", "Killer Elite - The Hits, The Highs, The Vids", on July 23 through Spinefarm. The 22-track set contains two hours and 30 minutes of music, featuring both studio and live material, with promo clips added to the deluxe set.
DRAGONFORCE will headline the ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta on Wednesday September 7 and a special "up close and personal" show at St. Vitus in Brooklyn on Saturday, September 10. At both shows, the band will play a "best-of" set to reflect the track listing of the "Killer Elite" album.