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GETTING TO KNOW YOU- WITH HERMAN LI (DRAGONFORCE)

Posted on December 5, 2009

DRAGONFORCE are currently on an extensive tour of the UK to finish off the touring cycle for their current record ULTRA BEATDOWN and so we took some time when they were in Glasgow to have a chat with guitarist Herman and hit him with our Getting To Know You questions.

What were you doing when I interrupted you to do this?
I was playing with my new Nokia phone with Fred. We were trying to do some tour updates for our website using the phone, but it’s not working yet.

Date of birth?
It’s the 3rd October – so Wikipedia is totally wrong! It would be ok having two birthdays if I got presents for both, but I don’t get any for either!

Where did you go to high school?
I went to Elliott School in Putney. They pretty much didn’t like me there, but then everyone who listens to rock and metal is pretty much an outcast anyway, right? It doesn’t matter which school, I can relate to anyone who’s at school right now with these ‘chavs’ who think they know better than us – I’m sorry, they don’t!

When you were at high school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really had no idea what I wanted to be. I studied just because I had to – I was studying physics and maths, not because I wanted to be a physician, it was just something to do and I was better at those subjects than things like history and French.

What was the first instrument you ever played?
The recorder! I learned that in the French school I went to when I was about ten, and to this day I still only know one song- I can’t remember any of the others. I think I learned it because I was going to get in trouble if I didn’t know it. I learned it just to shut them up! I moved on to guitar when I was 16. I used to miss music lessons at school- they’re just total noise pollution, it’s a disastrous room to be in! I love music but being in that class disturbed me. It was like five bands playing at the same time.

Tell us about the first band you ever played in.
The first time I played a gig was at lunchtime at school, we played Enter Sandman, by Metallica (of course)‘Only’ by Anthrax and ‘Countdown to Extinction’ by Megadeth. I think we were called ‘Power Gone Insane’ or something like that!

What’s your favourite food?
I guess Chinese food. What most people don’t understand is that there’s so many types of Chinese food from all around China. In England everyone’s used to just the southern, Cantonese style, but there’s so many different types of Chinese food, you wouldn’t believe it.

Beverage of choice?
If I was Sam [Totman – guitarist] I would say free booze, but I don’t really have any favourites to be honest. I’m trying to stay healthy on tour so maybe smoothies at the moment!

Album of the moment?
Actually, I’ve been listening to Steel Panther and the new Five Finger Death Punch albums.

Song of the moment?
Not really – my ringtone?! It’s been the same song forever! It’s the theme to an old Taito arcade game called Ninja Warriors. If you’re a nerd you’ll understand.

Movie of the moment?
I haven’t watched anything – I’ve been playing video games instead.

Biggest pet peeve on the road?
I think every morning when I get out my bunk, Sam’s suitcase, bag, computer bag, jeans, belt, everything all over the corridor. He throws it all off his bunk when he goes to bed, he doesn’t care about anybody – so I chuck it all back in while he’s asleep.

Random fact about you?
I am a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

There’s a week left on the DragonForce tour. Check the TOURS page for the remaining dates and for buy links. Current album ‘Ultra Beatdown’ can be picked up online HERE.

If you missed the previous Getting To Know You features in the series, work your way back from the previous one with Chris from Black Stone Cherry HERE

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