Magazine article Guitar Player

Herman Li on the Making of Dragonforce's Maximum Overload

Magazine article Guitar Player

Herman Li on the Making of Dragonforce's Maximum Overload

Article excerpt

WHEN DRAGONFORCE TACKLED ITS SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM, Maximum Overload [earMUSIC/Metal Blade], the band decided for the first time to turn over control to an outside producer, Jens Bogren. The move resulted in a production that was heavier and more brutal than the band's previous releases--a perfect soundcape for an album that evokes the constant onslaught of information absorbed by people today.

What was in the gear armory for Maximum Overload?

I used my signature model, the Ibanez E-Gen 18, as the main guitar. I also had an Ibanez E-Gen 7-string and an Ibanez RG-7620 7-string. The amp rig was a Rocktron Prophesy preamp, a Mesa/ Boogie 2 Fifty stereo amplifier, and Peavey cabinets. Our producer, Jens Bogren, also threw an old Peavey 5150 in there. The only pedals I used were a wah pedal, a DigiTech Whammy, and the Boss SL-20 Sheer--all of which were recorded in real time. My strings are D'Addario, gauged .009-.046.

Do you like to develop your solos during the demo process, or wait until you get into the studio?

I don't play solos on the demos. In fact, our bassist does them--which is kind of funny. You see, you usually do a solo very quickly on the demos, and, for whatever reason, that solo eventually becomes what you play in the studio. It's not fresh anymore. I'd rather make the record playing something new and exciting that I haven't heard a thousand times.

In fact, I don't like to work solos out at all, because then you already know what's going to happen. I like to be surprised by the random flow of notes when I'm improvising. We do a little trick with the solos, too--we always save recording them for the very last minute. If we laid them down at the beginning of the sessions, we'd second-guess ourselves the whole time we were recording, and we'd be doing them over and over again. …

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