INTERVIEW: Dragonforce’s Herman Li

It’s always tough on fans when a singer leaves a band. Sure, Van Halen did fine with Sammy Hagar, and AC/DC didn’t exactly flounder when Brian Johnson joined, but there’s always that moment of “Oh jeez, will this work?” Post-Lane Warrant, heck, even post-Hagar Van Halen – there’s lots of scope for a misstep. Well the new Dragonforce album, The Power Within, will immediately shut up anyone who expects the band to lose some of its edge following the departure of ZP Theart. About a year after Theart walked, Dragonforce announced they’d enlisted Marc Hudson as their new voice. And what a voice. Dragonforce still sounds like Dragonforce, but even more musical, more powerful and more exciting. For a band who dishes out killer riffs and impossible guitar licks as easily as walking, kicking it up a notch is quite a feat. But The Power Within delivers.

Hi Herman! We haven’t met before but I remember you kicking around on the Jemsite forums back in the day.

Oh yeah! I still go to Jemsite. It’s got good information.

It’s been great to see forum regulars like you and James McIlroy (Cradle of Filth) going on to such big things. 

Yeah! Actually James gave me the contact with Ibanez to get my deal!

No way! 

Yeah!

Well, first question: What did the switch to Marc bring to the creative process?

With the switch of singer we definitely turned the whole recording process, the rehearsing, the whole band thing upside down and changed everything around. I think it was going to happen anyway, because after we finished the last album I wanted to really look back at the ten years we’d been doing the band – y’know, how we did it, how we wanted to change things, how we could make it better. So for this album and the recording process, I suppose I can almost say it’s completely different from the last album, the last two albums.

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AmpKit gets Retina graphics, new gear

AmpKit, the killer amp sim app by Agile Partners, has just been updated to feature Retina display resolution as well as a few new gear models: the Trace Elliot 1215 bass amp, Rocktron Metal Planet Distortion and Rocktron HUSH Noise Reduction. And save 33-40% on new gear and 50% on AmpKit+ for a limited time.

Agile, of course, also recently announced AmpKit Link HD, an incredible new iOS interface which not only captures your guitar sound in higher fidelity than before, but also allows you to charge your iPad while still using it for your amp sim. Here’s a great video of Kenny Wayne Shepherd demonstrating AmpKit (and talking up the great Guitar World Lick Of The Day app) at NAMM 2012.

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NEWS: Dave Mustaine signature Marshall?

In an update on the Megadeth forums, mainman Dave Mustaine dropped what appears to be a hint about a possible signature Marshall amp in the near future. Dave has used Marshalls off and on throughout his career, when not using a Bogner Fish, Rocktron Prophecy, or most recently a custom, not-available-to-the-public Line 6 amp.

In the posting on megadeth.com about preparations for the band’s next album, which will be produced by Andy Sneap, Dave said: “On the tech side, I am going to be continuing on with my Dean VMNT’s as my guitar of choice, and I will be using my Signature GHS Dave Mustaine Progressives 10-52 gauge strings, Jim Dunlop Tortex picks and my signature Dave Mustaine Live Wires by Seymour Duncan, and DigiTech‘s killer GSP1101. I am proudly using Marshall Amplifiers and Cabinets, and boy do we have a surprise for you, but I will leave that up to the noble Marshall family to say.”