If you've ever played
"Guitar Hero," chances are you've heard DragonForce. The UK-based metal outfit's music is featured at the advanced stage of the video game, picked because of its super-speedy riffs, '80s-style guitar solos and overall head-spinning appeal.
I chatted with keyboard player Vadim Pruzhanov, who along with vocalist ZP Theart, guitarist Herman Li, guitarist Sam Totman, drummer David Mackintosh and bass player Frederic Leclercq make up DragonForce. (Interview originally published in the Gannett LSJ) Thanks for reading! (Courtesy photo)
By Anne Erickson, Gannett LSJ
• NOISE: Did you grow up listening to metal music?
• Pruzhanov: Yeah, I listened to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin because that's what my dad listened to most often. I liked the whole Sabbath and Ozzy era, and I also listened to classical music.
• You guys are known for your speedy delivery. How do you play so fast?
• I don't know! I guess it's because we're just fun-loving chaps. We've always played fast and it was never a deliberate thing. We just wrote what worked well with the melody, and it came naturally. But the speed brings more energy to the shows.
• How important has "Guitar Hero" been to your career?
• It seems pretty big. I remember when "Guitar Hero" first came out and they asked to use one of our tracks. We said yes since we're pretty big gaming fans and we thought it would be a great way to get the music across to fans that weren't necessarily metal fans. It got a wider range of people listening to our music, so it was definitely a good thing to do.
• Have you ever played your own songs on "Guitar Hero?"
• We have! Herman and I played it, and we were both fast at it. We would be better if we spent more time playing, but we tour so much, so it's hard to have enough time.
• Your newest album, "Ultra Beatdown," entered No. 18 on the Billboard 200 chart last year. That's a great debut.
• I think we're most pleased with this album. The songs have evolved; they're a lot catchier and not just constantly fast. There are some mid-tempo ballads on there, too. We're happy with the record, and we got better as musicians on this album.