Linkin Park, DragonForce, Chthonic, Etc. Members Speak Out On Anti-Asian Violence And Experiences With Racism

As part of a new piece for Heavy Consequence, members of Linkin Park, DragonForce, Chthonic, Sinergy, and more recently discussed anti-Asian violence and their experiences with racism. You can find the full article HERE and read some excerpts below.

Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park):

“In general, just not having any Asian role models in music meant I didn’t have anyone to look up to in that way. But more specifically, our A&R once asked us to stop using a certain logo because it ‘looked like a sticker for an Asian car club.’”

Herman Li (Dragonforce):

“I remember doing a show with Atreyu, on an off day during Ozzfest, and someone threatened me and wanted to beat me up after the show was over. There was no real reason, it was just outside in the carpark.

“There aren’t that many Asian guitar players, Chinese [guitar players], it’s even less. Another experience, before Dragonforce got big, I used to get phone calls at my house almost every single day, sometimes at 4:00 a.m., sometimes at 7:00 p.m., of someone making a funny accent and insulting me and just prank calling me and it went on for months. I had to get the police involved, they couldn’t trace the number.

“All of these things that happened, but I was able to channel that energy to make a stronger self and to make Dragonforce more successful. I think the metal scene is in denial of racism in it. I have so many crazy stories but we don’t really talk about it and when I do interviews I’m not ever asked about it because they think it doesn’t exist.”

Freddie Lim (Chthonic):

“In 2013, when we toured the U.S., there were allegedly Chinese students who sent threatening letters to our booking agent and tour manager saying they will kill us when we’re onstage — that was a bad experience. But we decided to go on with the show and not give a shit about them. It could have been Chinese students studying in the U.S. or hired hands by the Chinese government – we’re not sure if it’s really Chinese students or not [who wrote the letters].”

Kimberly Goss (Sinergy):

“Recently I had someone tell me to, ‘Go back to North Korea you f**king gook’ in a direct message on Instagram. I remember one time on tour with another band I played in, some guys were harassing me outside the venue, mocking some Asian accent and laughing at me. Then they saw me onstage and asked for my autograph after the concert. I looked at them and did the same mock-Asian accent and said, ‘I no understand you.’ In person, it was rare, but online I definitely used to read comments from people referring to me with Asian slurs. They usually got shut down pretty fast by other fans, though, so that restored my faith in humanity.”

[via MetalSucks]

DragonForce Cancel North American Tour

DragonForce have cancelled their North American tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. The band commented:

“Hey everyone, we will unfortunately be cancelling our upcoming March 2021 dates due to safety concerns in regards to COVID-19. Refunds will be made available at your point of purchase. We will be rebooking an extensive North American run for 2022 when it’s safe to play live concerts again. Stay safe and looking forward to seeing you all on the other side of this!”

DragonForce’s Herman Li Praises Phoebe Bridgers’ Awesome “Saturday Night Live” Performance, Offers To Let Her Smash One Of His $5,000 Guitars

Indie rock artist Phoebe Bridgers was the musical guest on the February 6 episode of “Saturday Night Live” and she finished her set with an epic guitar smash. It was a cool rock and roll moment and something that many artists have engaged in for years, but some idiots chose to complain about it. However, others have praised her performance including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and DragonForce’s Herman Li, the latter of which offered to give Bridgers a $5,000 guitar to smash.

Li said the following on his Twitch channel:

“People complain rock and metal music is dead. You can’t do anything crazy and fun anymore. It was cool. People that have never seen the kind of thing go, ‘Oh my gosh you’re destroying something,’ and it’s like, ‘Sorry, it’s part of the show. It’s not really such a big deal. Welcome to the world of music or rock.'”

He went on to say that he also liked her theatrical presentation and stage design, before adding:

“If I’m gonna criticize this, the main problem I have is that the guitar is too cheap. It’s only $500 for that guitar [edit: it’s $85]. Next time she’s gonna smash up a guitar make it a $3,000 guitar”

“I’ll give her one of my $3,000 guitars. You can take one of my signature guitars, smash that up. How about that PRS [points to guitar]? Take that PRS, smash that up, that’s like a $5,000 guitar.”

“Come on, you’re on Saturday Night Live, you can’t be smashing a $500 guitar — too cheap! You got to take it to another level. Smash it up, burn it, make it expensive! Annoy people even more!”

“So, Phoebe if you’re listening to me, if you can watch this video, which obviously no chance you will ever see this video, you’re not watching my Twitch for sure. If you wanna smash up another guitar, let me know, let’s get you a real guitar to smash up. My last guitar sold for $16,000 [for charity], so maybe one of those.”

He also advised her to destroy more things:

“She should’ve smashed more stuff up. Smash some of the mics up, go more full out — smash an amp. It sounds better when you smash an amp up, it’s more fun. You’re smashing a monitor — it doesn’t do enough.”

He then concluded with his approval of the performance:

“It’s a thumb up from me and everyone else is probably going to hate me now who were complaining about it. They’ll probably go, ‘Oh my god, Herman’s full of shit, he has no idea what he’s talking about.’ But that’s my take on it.”

[via Loudwire]

Watch DragonForce, Animals As Leaders, & Polyphia Members Perform “Through The Fire And Flames”

DragonForce guitarist Herman Li and bassist Alicia Vigil recently performed “Through The Fire And Flames“ with Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi and Polyphia guitarist Tim Henson as part of “RazerCon.” You can see footage of that below:

[via The PRP]

Herman Li Says DragonForce Are “Almost Finished” Writing Their New Album

It looks like DragonForce are almost done with the writing process for their new album. Herman Li confirmed the news during an appearance on Nuclear Blast’s “Saturday Night Lockdown.”

Li said the following:

“We played our first show [in support of our eighth full-length LP, ‘Extreme Power Metal’] on the album release date [last September], which was on TwitchCon, which is a Twitch convention. And we got that streamed to, like, 1.7 million people. Everything started out great — it was awesome. We had a sold-out tour happening. Everything was going well. We were gonna film a music video for every single DRAGONFORCE song on the album, and we got halfway through it, and COVID-19 happened. So the tour stopped. And some videos, we can’t complete them. We filmed all of it, but we need some more footage. So we’ve got videos on hold now. And instead, we’re writing a new album. Why not? Just like everybody — you just write a new album when you’re sitting at home. And strangely enough, it’s almost finished. [Laughs]”

He also added:

“The way DRAGONFORCE work is the only time you can write is when you’re not touring. So if we don’t write something now and work on something now, we can never finish it, because the touring starts next March at the moment. I looked at my dates and [went], ‘When is this gonna stop?’ And I kind of thought, ‘Well, is it really gonna start next March?’ Depending on the country. So, it’s, like, we’ve gotta get this album recorded — most of it — before the touring starts. You basically have to finish it before the touring starts — that’s my view. That’s only possible, obviously, if you can record yourself, and we always record most of the album ourselves.”

[via Blabbermouth]

DragonForce Announce Rescheduled U.S. Dates

DragonForce have officially announced the rescheduled dates for their U.S. tour. The trek is now scheduled to take place in March 2021. Here’s the dates:

03/12 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
03/13 Worcester, MA – The Palladium
03/19 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
03/20 Pittsburgh, PA – Roxian Theatre
03/21 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
03/23 Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
03/24 St. Louis, MO – Red Flag
03/26 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

DragonForce Working On New Music

Since virtually everyone is stuck at home right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, DragonForce are using their time to work on new music. Herman Li confirmed the news during a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar.

Li said the following:

“We were originally not planning to work on any new songs. I was supposed to still be on tour right now. But we actually started writing new songs already. You have to take that time away to write new songs. Now that we’ve been sort of forced away, we’ve started to write new songs together. So we’re already working on songs for a new album which isn’t going to be out for ages.”

He also added that he doesn’t mind the current downtime:

“I’ll be honest with you, the virus has not been a good thing, but I’m happy this has happened in a really strange way. Don’t take it the wrong way, but it’s like, given me a moment of breathing space to be at home.

I have so many things to do and I couldn’t do it — I had no time to do it between touring. Now the world seems to have slowed down for a moment and it has given me time to catch up on stuff.

I don’t know if people can relate to it but I am living in Los Angeles right now, as opposed to living in Europe. Everything is a bit slower in Europe, you have more time to relax and vacation and it feels like you have more downtime to yourself. Being in the U.S., you don’t really get that. It’s kind of slowed down altogether and people are coming together. It reminds me of living back in Europe.”

DragonForce Postpone Remaining U.S. Dates

DragonForce have postponed the remaining shows on their U.S. tour with Unleash The Archers and Visions Of Atlantis due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rescheduled dates are expected to be announced soon.

DragonForce Drummer Gee Anzalone To Miss U.S. Tour Due To Health Issues

DragonForce drummer Gee Anzalone will be missing the band’s U.S. tour after being hospitalized for Myocarditis. Aquiles Priester (ex-Angra, etc.) will be filling in.

The band commented:

“Everyone please send Gee a get well message!

DragonForce are sad to announce that drummer Gee Anzalone will not be performing on the upcoming US tour. Gee has been hospitalised for Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. Virtuoso drummer Aquiles Priester (Angra, Tony MacAlpine) will perform on the upcoming Dragonforce US Tour while Gee recovers.”

Guitarist Herman Li added:

“We will miss our brother Gee on the upcoming US tour, but health is most important. We wish Gee a speedy recovery and we know he will be back on tour with us soon. We want to thank our friend Aquiles for stepping up and helping us out on short notice.”

DragonForce Recruit Bassist Alicia Vigil (Vigil Of War) For Upcoming Touring

DragonForce have recruited Alicia Vigil (Vigil Of War) to play bass and sing backing vocals on their upcoming tours. She is taking over for Frédéric Leclercq (Kreator), who left the band last year.

Vigil commented:

“So beyond stoked that DragonForce chose me to be a part of this! I can’t wait to travel the world and play these new cities with them and be a part of their legacy!”

DragonForce guitarist Herman Li added:

“Alicia was recommended to me by a number of musician friends in L.A. She impressed me with her playing, her professionalism, and her ability to learn the DragonForce songs really quickly! I’m excited to have her playing on this tour and I think the fans will really like what she brings to the show.”

Here’s DragonForce’s current dates:

With Frozen Crown & Athanasia:

02/03 Antwerpen, BEL – Zappa
02/04 Utrecht, NET – Tivoli
02/05 Tilburg, NET – 013
02/06 Cologne, GER – Essigfabrik
02/07 Karlsruhe, GER – Substage
02/08 Strasbourg, FRA – La Laiterie
02/09 Lyon, FRA – CCO
02/11 Paris, FRA – La Machine du Moulin Rouge
02/12 Bordeaux, FRA – Krakatoa Club
02/13 Toulouse, FRA – Metronum
02/14 Marseille, FRA – L’Usine
02/15 Pratteln, SWI – Konzertfabrik Z7
02/16 Lausanne, SWI – Les Docks

With Unleash The Archers & Visions Of Atlantis:

03/05 Phoenix, AZ – Club Red
03/06 Los Angeles, CA – The Regent
03/08 San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
03/10 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
03/11 Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
03/13 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line (no Visions Of Atlantis)
03/14 St. Louis, MO – Red Flag (no Visions Of Atlantis)
03/15 Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
03/17 Cleveland, OH – The Agora
03/18 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
03/19 Pittsburgh, PA – Roxian Theatre
03/20 Worcester, MA – The Palladium
03/21 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw

With Hammerfall:

03/24 Odense, DEN – Posten
03/25 Aarhus, DEN – Train
03/26 Copenhagen, DEN – Amager Bio
03/27 Partille, SWE – Partille Arena
03/28 Stockholm, SWE – Annexet

DragonForce:

05/16 Manila, PHL – Pulp Summer Slam
06/26-27 Dischingen, GER – Rock am Hartsfeldsee
07/02-04 Barcelona, SPA – Rock Fest
07/16-18 Balingen, GER – Bang Your Head