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]

Numerous Rock And Metal Guitarists To Take Part In Fundraiser For Jason Becker

Numerous rock and metal guitarists will be teaming up to raise money for legendary guitarist Jason Becker, who has been battling ALS for over 30 years. The fundraiser will take place throughout March and April and it will be hosted by DragonForce‘s Herman Li.

Here’s what the fundraiser will include:

“1) A livestream telethon-style fundraiser on Twitch: special guests will appear on Herman Li’s Twitch channel to play, jam and participate in fan-generated challenges with all money raised going directly to Jason’s medical trust. Over $13,000 has been raised so far. Visit Jasonbecker.com or twitch.tv/hermanli for a full schedule of livestream guests.

2) Artists will donate signed guitars, merch and other rare items which will be sold via a special Reverb shop to benefit Jason. Details to be announced.

3) Three of Jason’s most important guitars will be auctioned off later this year, including the guitars seen on the covers of “Perpetual Burn”, “Speed Metal Symphony” and the original “Numbers” guitar played by Eddie Van Halen. Details to be announced.”

Here’s the musicians that will be taking part:

  • Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth)
  • Steve Vai
  • Joe Satriani
  • Steve Lukather (Toto)
  • Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge, Tremonti)
  • John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
  • Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth)
  • Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders)
  • Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper)
  • Orianthi
  • Devin Townsend
  • David Ellefson (Megadeth)
  • Michael Angelo Batio
  • Guthrie Govan
  • Tim Henson (Polyphia)
  • Alex Skolnick (Testament)
  • Albert Lee
  • Matt Heafy (Trivium)
  • Zoltan Bathory (Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons Of Apollo, ex-Guns N’ Roses)
  • Satchel (Steel Panther)
  • John 5 (Rob Zombie)
  • Gus G (Firewind)
  • Nili Brosh (The Iron Maidens)
  • Jason Richardson (All That Remains)
  • The Dooo
  • Jared Dines
  • Ola Englund (The Haunted)
  • Steve Terreberry
  • Tyler Larson (Music is Win on YouTube)
  • Cole Rolland
  • Thomas McRocklin
  • Rusty Cooley
  • Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen)
  • Sam Totman (DragonForce)
  • Chris Broderick (Act Of Defiance, ex-Megadeth)
  • Lari Basilio
  • Sophie Lloyd
  • Federico Mondelli and Fabiola Bellomo (Frozen Crown)
  • Alex Lee (Holy Grail)
  • Stevie Salas
  • Elliot Easton (The Cars)
  • Mika Tyyska
  • Daniel Dekay (Diemonds)
  • N&M Creation

Li commented:

“I’ve been a huge fan of Jason Becker since I was young, and it’s one of the biggest honors of my life to be able to help organize this tribute and raise money for him. I still have a Jason Becker poster in my studio in London. It’s been very inspiring to see everyone coming together to celebrate Jason.”

Becker added:

“I am so grateful for all the love and support everyone has given to me and my family. As far as selling my guitars being sad, and that I shouldn’t have to do it, I just want you to know that isn’t how I feel. It makes me happy to see others playing my music. I feel good about passing on my guitars, thinking they mean something to others. I can’t play them now, but other folks can. That’s a good thing. And, I want myself and my family not to have to worry about money, if possible. Thank you for all the love, I send it right back to you.”

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 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 Begin Recording New Album

DragonForce have hit the studio with producer Damien Rainaud to begin recording their new album. The effort will be released in 2019 and fans can watch livestreams from the studio via Twitch. Everyone who follows Herman Li on Twitch will have a chance to win his signature guitar. He will give it away at 10,000 followers. Li commented:

“We’re really excited to be recording again after finishing one of our biggest tour cycles ever. We’ll be streaming our recording live on Twitch, and fans can participate in the process by letting us know what they think of our solos! The new album will have a lot of surprises that both old and new fans will really enjoy. We’re also especially excited to kick off our next tour cycle on the Megacruise. You know if you’re seeing DragonForce on a cruise, it’s going to be crazy, and we can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re planning. It will definitely be something fans have never seen before.”

[via Blabbermouth]