Dragonforce

author TL date 07/11/06

Dragonforce is a band that have been making a quite substantial amount of noise around their name for some time now, so when the British power-metallers finally treated Copenhagen to a visit on October 26th, we were of course on spot with an interview, to bring you the hottest chatter from the band. At the point when we arrived, the guys were spread out, apparently doing interviews with other people as well, but after a short wait, we were greeted by the limping keyboard player Vadim Pruzhanov, who was to be our man for tonight. Here's what he had to say to our questions:

Unbelieveable as it may seem, in this country there are actually people that haven't heard about you guys, so why don't you begin with giving a short introduction to your band, your music, and maybe just explain what the most important thing to know about Dragonforce is?
Well, we all like to have fun. We started off back in 1999 where Herman and Sam got together and basically started off the band, and got a hold of people from, you know all over the place. Like places where you could advertise about being in a band, and you know, I just happened to meet them at one of the clubs, and joined like that. And I think it went really well for us, I mean for Dragonforce, the main thing would be like, the energy, you know, getting the crowd together. We always get a mixture of different crowds at the gigs, and it's all really about this energetic and powerful sound but we also have fun you know. Of course we talk things seriously like for instance song writing but we also like to have fun, like when we perform and stuff we like to go for it you know. Yeah, for us music is really important but live performance is even more important.

As far as I've been able to find out, this is your first ever show in Denmark. Is that correct?
Ehmm, actually, I don't know, I think maybe we've done one before when we were supporting Wasp and then short before that we did one with another band as well. I think so, I don't remember to be honest.

Okay, we just haven't been able to figure that out, but anyway, the question was if you have any special expectations for playing here or if it's 'just another day at the office'?
Well, I mean like, I don't know because we're always excited but we don't really have many expectations when doing gigs. We take it as it comes really, we never expect people to turn up, and then it's usually sold out gigs, and as far as I know it's also sold out tonight [It wasn't until later - TL] So it's been like a hell of a tour for us, beginning in January with the release of "Inhuman Rampage", we've been touring like crazy like, with America where all the shows we're sold out with 3000-capacity venues. And you know like, it's really cool to have this opportunity to spread the word and show what we do, playing to people all over the world. We don't expect much but if you don't expect anything, you're always going to be surprised, so it's a good way of thinking you know. But, fingers crossed, people will come down here and check us out and have fun.

To many, power metal used to be kind of a finished chapter, before you guys came around, and now you're hailed as being the saviors of the genre by some. What do you think you brought to the table that was lacking before, and how do you actually feel about being given this savior-title?
I don't really mind actually, I can see why we're being called power metal because what we do is really catchy, but to me it's like, well obviously every band gets labelled, but to me it's just different because there's so much in it. I mean we've got the blast-beats and growling as well, and death-metal backup vocals in some of the songs. It's just weird to describe music, it's really hard, we're being described as extreme power metal, and I can sort of see why with the intensity and the song writing and the live shows I talked about before where we totally go for it because we're really fun-loving guys. And I suppose it's good to be called that, because people were sort of losing faith in metal and therefore it wasn't cool anymore, and then we started doing all these things, and people really seem to get that and come to the shows and have fun and maybe inspire people to pick up instruments and start their own bands, and if people do that, then we must be doing something right, and then I'm really cool with that. If that answers your question?

Well, actually we also wanted to know like, what do you think is your formula? What makes you guys so special?
We just wanna bring som flavour. We do all these things that all those other bands do, and I know it sounds a bit big headed but, I mean we do the keyboard solos, but the way we do it I haven't seen other bands do it. We've got trampolins on stage and we jump up and down, and like on the first gig on this tour in Belgium I fell down and sprained my leg, and I thought I'd broken it, but I went to the doctor and he scanned it so it was alright. I was just so drunk at the gig so I never really realized it, but later on, when the alcohol wore off and I recovered, I started feeling this pain in my foot and I was like; "fuck man this really hurts" and I can't even walk, but you know, it doesn't matter because I can still pull it off live. You don't need your leg for that. The only thing it's gonna take away from me is the running around and acting crazy, so it'll be alright

You mentioned your keyboard solos, but other bands like fx. Children Of Bodom do them as well...?
Yeah, they have solos where they have keyboardsolos just like a guitarsolo, but we have a whole different section for it, like a solo that's actually a spread out song. We always have a solo at the gigs where I have a drumloop, so it's like a song more than a normal solo, it's my own sort of composition, and that gives the fans something extra. Every tour we're on I do a new keyboard solo, and during different solos I do different tricks, and we have different members come out and make weird kind of noises and stuff. I just wanna do something different because everyone can play fast. I think there are a lot of keyboard players that use the same keyboard noises and I mean, fast is nothing really, and I'd rather do something different and exciting where people can go; "huh, that's weird?" and I just like to experiment and push things to another level, though I can't do this on this one pretty well because I busted my leg when I was jumping really high the last time.

Can you tell us about your life as a band right now - Like what goals are you currently pursuing, long term and short term?
Well, we're just hoping to tour - Like for this year it's really hardcore. Most of the venues in the UK have been sold out, and those are like 2-3000 capacity, so you can say it's going really well for us so far. We're touring up until December 14th and then we're gonna take two months off, and then go back on the road. Probably in the U.S. and probably like everything all over again, and then maybe at the end of next year we're gonna start working on a new record. So yeah, it's going really well with our lives - well, don't really have much of a life actually, don't have a girlfriend or anything waiting for me back home, so I'm pretty happy to live on the bus right now.

The tour you're about to do in the UK is together with All That Remains. How is it to play with them, seeing as they are afterall in a quite different genre?
Oh, they're cool, and it's really good because it gets the crowd together. There's different metallers death, trash and punks and stuff, and many of them hate each other, but with us, they all come together to let the energy out and have a good time. I think that's one of the things we do that are different to other bands, like we really bring the fans together. We get emokids, and generally this weird mixture of punk-rockers and Slipknot fans and I think that's really cool. I haven't really met an emokid or a punk-rocker before, but obviously I haven't been out enough. I think it's cool, also because All That Remains are really good and good friends of ours as well, we met them at the Ozzfest. It's just really good to have this mixture of genres at the gigs so you get to see different things like a power metal band like us and maybe like a hardcore band. On the US tour we had HORSE The Band with us, and they were quite wacky, you know with their weird keyboard noises, don't know if you know them, but the keyboard player is simply crazy. He just mixes emo and punk and like, whatever.

Okay, so in the more immediate future, what are you guys doing after the show tonight? Any sightseeing or parties planned?
I don't know really. Probably, we're gonna give out all the passes to all the chicks and make them stay around and then creep them out. No, I don't know really, I mean we have aftershow parties most of the time, at least when it's possible to do so. I mean if it's not clubbing night, then we usually arrange something. People just stick around, the fans, the dudes, the chicks and like, have a few drinks. Last night I was pretty boozed, so tonight I'm taking it easy. Sam is gonna be wasted, that's normal for him, but I'm trying to handle it and, yeah, definately a party after the show

I've read that you guys draw inspiration from videogames, and that sounds resembling PacMan can even be heard in "Through The Fire And The Flames". Is this on purpose, or just coincidence?
Well, the other guys play all these games, and we all played arcade games back in the day and that something that's stayed with us. Part of our songwriting is to try to implement sounds like these, so there's something interesting in it for the listener, and it's more than 'just a song'. You know, there's something interesting happening that you can relate to. Back in the days when people made up all this computergame music, they only had a few sounds to choose from, Like midi-sounds, and because of this they had to make their stuff super-melodic, and I think that's pretty cool, and I think that's inspired us to do some of our stuff. For an example there's all these computernoises that we've added in production, and all these guitarsounds that Herman does, so yeah, it's kinda inspired us in many ways definately.

If you could pick any band from the present music scene to go on tour with, headline or support, who would you chose and why?
I don't know, it's difficult to say. It could be any other band really. It could be any power metal band or any hardcore band, it's just good as long as they're really good people and down to earth and not pain in the asses, then yeah, we'll take them on. So basically as long as they're cool guys, it could be anyone.

About touring, we always like to ask a band if they have any crazy tour-stories to share, so if you had to reveal one story from your touring-history that people simply have to know about, what would it be?
Well, there's so many stories, I just don't know where to start really. How crazy do you want it? There's always something crazy happening with people, so there isn't really one 'the craziest' because there are som many that are on the same kind of level. People litting their pubic hair on fire, and some girls who just so badly wanted to see us that they were selling their blood. That was quite crazy really with them selling their blood. Apart from that the whole me breaking my leg, jumping from a trampolin on stage, that was kind of crazy, but not that crazy I guess. At our shows we're constantly running around and bumping into each other drawing blood, and people have like bruises and scars from guitars and stuff poking into each other, and people flying off the stage and things like that. I guess there are fans that do freaky stuff sometimes, there's like loads of stuff happening, I don't know where to start. To me it seemed quite crazy that those girls were selling their blood, but then again, this guy once came up to Sam and said like "Yeah, if you sign my cock, I'll set my pubic hair on fire", and Sam did sign his cock and he lit his pubic hair and it just went *POOOOFF*, and like the flames were SO big (*makes gestures above head height*) and we even filmed that shit. That was fun.

What kind of music do you guys listen to yourself these days, when you have time off?
Well, I listen to everything. I listen to Devin Townsend. The Lion King Soundtrack. Just really everything that's out there. Taking Back Sunday, Slayer, I'm open minded to every kind of genre, so I try not to say one or two like rock or something. These days I know Sam is listening to some punk stuff, but with me it's hard to say, because it always changes. I don't really listen to one band or one song, but I guess right now I quite like Protest The Hero so I'm listening to them a bit, and I like the new Taking Back Sunday album. Apart from that it's much like Devin Townsend, big fan of him and his Strapping Young Lad and stuff that's like that.

Okay great, so here comes our most golden question; The hot potato in the music industry these past years, have been the subject of illegal file-sharing, and everyone apparently has an opinion on it. How do you feel about kids illegally downloading music from the internet?
Easiest question ever, I've answered it many times before and I'll answer it again. It's actually cool that you ask me that, because we don't really mind people downloading. We think that people like musicians or artists that are really insecure or just not very proud of their work or just selling out, they're gonna be afraid of downloading, but if fans, like metal listeners, if they really like the things they download then they're gonna go out and actually buy the record. Me for an example, I wouldn't download Devin Townsend albums. I'd listen to it downloaded, and then if I really liked it, I'd go out and buy it. If people are never really gonna listen to a record, there isn't really a point in them having it so therefore it would be a waste of time, so I'd much rather people just not buying a record if they don't like it. It only really hurts people that are afraid of not making enough money on their albums, or people that are not happy about what they do, but wanna sell albums, because they wanna sell albums so that even if people return them, they will have made money anyway. We're proud of what we do though, and we're happy with our results, and if people don't like our stuff, then we're happy with them not buying it, but if they like it and they buy it that's just good. So you can download it if you want. I'll even send you the link - Contact me! *laughs*

Well, that's all we have for this time, so if you have anything you'd like to shout out to the fans, then go right ahead
Yeah, just like for everyone out there that wanna check us out, come down and see the show, and stick around afterwards and meet everyone. And just - be cool! Drink booze, you can't loose! And ehh.. See you on tour - something noone ever said before *Laughs*

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