Amit Sharma of U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine conducted an interview with guitarist Herman Li of British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE at this year's Download festival, which took place June 14-16 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below.DRAGONFORCE is recording the follow-up to last year's "The Power Within" album, which was the band's first with vocalist Marc Hudson. Since his live debut with the group in July 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with DRAGONFORCE in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with IRON MAIDEN as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the CD.
With a newfound wealth of experience for the new singer and two years of playing together, the DRAGONFORCE machine was at its most powerful when it entered Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden in May with Jens Bogren to start laying down tracks. Known for his work with the likes of OPETH, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, AMON AMARTH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK and SYMPHONY X, to name a few, Jens will undoubtedly help DRAGONFORCE make a killer-sounding album. "The Power Within" sold 5,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 74 on The Billboard 200 chart. Asked if it was difficult to integrate Hudson into the band, Li told Metal Traveller: "I don't know if it was easy or hard, but we definitely spent a lot of time to make sure he integrated well in the band. Before he joined the band, we jammed, we rehearsed, we went to the studio and recorded some demos together — just to see how it's like, to understand his personality. After he joined the band, we didn't want him to be like, 'Hi, Marc, welcome to the band, record the songs in studio and see you on tour.' You have to be a real family, so we jammed and rehearsed a lot, and that really helped him to integrate the band. The first show he had to play with the band was with IRON MAIDEN, in front of 20,000 people. I didn't tell Marc until the warmup gig two weeks before." Regarding whether Marc was involved in composing the new songs, Li said: "Most of the music was already composed when we were auditioning him. After he joined the band, we had to change the voice a little bit to get the best out of his voice. We found out that he can sing very high, but also really low at the same time. So in certain songs, we explored his low range, like 'Seasons' or 'Give Me The Night', on which he goes from low to high. Then we tried to explore the high register, like in 'Holding On'."