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Dragonforce

Dragonforce
June 13, 2007 |  Author: Reza Nasseri

dragonforceOld school power metal band Dragonfroce were recently in Australia shredding up stages with their epic tunes, lightning fast licks and ample hair. Reza Nasseri spoke with Dragonforce guitarist Sam Totman

Reza: Your latest release “Inhuman Rampage” is fast, in your face and a lot of fun to listen to. Tell us what you guys did differently this time around as opposed to your last release “Sonic Firestorm”?
Sam: Well every time we do an album, we obviously try to do the best we can, like I guess most bands do. We just decided to crank everything up a notch and create something more intense. We still sound like Dragonforce on this album, if anything we’re just doing new tricks in the studio. The album was done in Pro Tools, and this time around we had more crazy plugins to experiment with.

How was Dragon Force conceived?
We actually formed in London in ’99, although I’ve known Herman much longer from when we used to play in a Black Metal band together. We found Z.P. through an ad at our rehearsal studio, then Vadim and Fred through contacts like friends and people who the work in the (music) industry.

How did Dragonforce spread its reptilian wings beyond the London scene into the international market?
I think a lot of it had to do with Herman’s promoting the band over the internet. We’d get a lot of hits at  www.mp3.com which really helped get our name out there, but now our label Roadrunner helps out a lot with the promo as well as our manager. You can be the best band in the world, but if you don’t promote yourself as much as possible no one will know who you are.

Dave is a lightning-fast sticksman, Herman; an eccentric fretboard magician and Vadim ; a Nordic keyboard god. What are you band members like as people?
At first I thought they were all geeks (laughs), and just a bunch of guys that I used to enjoy playing music with. I mean Z.P. is stuck in the 80’s and Vadim is like a “born again Emo” (laughs).  I used to never hang out with them and go partying, but after being on the road with the guys for so long I’ve gotten to know them really well and we have our own style of humour and enjoy each others’ company. Basically my best mates now.

Tell what to expect when seeing Dragon Force perform live.
Our live shows are a huge priority and we make sure they are as hectic and energetic as possible. When we first started playing shows, we all used to jump off the drum-riser, then that evolved into getting trampolines on stage and playing guitar in mid air. People used to bring plastic swords to shows but that’s kinda died down with bigger venues and security. The main idea is just to have a drink and have a laugh.

How do frustrated guitarists break the mould and take their playing to the next level? I know a lot of musicians that have been playing the same tired ideas for years.
I’m trying to write new songs for Dragonforce right now and having just that problem. If anything my approach to phrasing has changed, where I try and think of a melody in my head before I pick up my guitar.

Do you guys ever get teased by other bands that can’t play very well and are simply jealous of how much you all rule on your instruments?
Actually we’re the band that other bands like to listen to. When we did the Ozzfest in 2006 a lot of the bands that we played with like Black Label Society, Aiden and Atreyu said they really liked us. Even the guys in Fall Out Boy said they like us.

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