On the eve of the release of Dragonforce’s new album ‘The Power Within,’ their first with vocalist Marc Hudson, guitarist Herman Li has sat down with Ultimate Guitar to talk about what fans can expect from the highly anticipated record.
Li explained how the band approached writing the album with Hudson on board. “We realized changing a singer could go three ways: you can stay where you are; you can go completely downhill; or you get bigger. I think every band face that challenge anyway when they make an album. We thought, ‘Well, let’s take the worst-case scenario—we have to take a few steps back to move forward. So let’s look at it that way,’” he said.
The axeman continued by saying that the Dragonforce core sound was still alive and kicking and that Hudson has only brought a wider range to the table. “Because we write the music and Sam writes a lot of the songs, including the vocal melody and the lyrics and the production, we haven’t lost the composition or the production of the DragonForce sound. What happened is in a way we try to look at things positive and say, ‘Well, we got a whole world to look for a new singer.’ Back then of course we made great albums with ZP and we got lucky with ZP. He was the first thing we chose and the only guy we knew and that was it. But now we’ve got a chance to really kind of do something and take the band to a different level. And no disrespect to ZP’s singing ability but when people hear the new album we definitely have more tones and ranges different on the vocal front now.”
With some big shoes to fill, Dragonforce took the task of selecting a new frontman very seriously. Li described the criteria the chosen vocalist needed to meet. “First of all, one of the most important things is the guy had to be able to sing the old songs and sing it great and give it justice. Because fans want to hear the old songs as well.” The band also needed a singer who could take their sound to the next level. “…while we were looking for the singer, we were writing the music together and we already had an idea that we were gonna make this the most dynamic album with different tempo changes in the songs. We needed a guy that could sing even lower and higher in both ranges so that was the criterion.”
With an entire world of singers to choose from there is no wonder why the band found the task challenging. “And then there’s that extra criteria unfortunately that we have to talk about is do we want a guy who’s professional and who’s been in a band and knows exactly what he’s doing or are we going to pick the newcomer? Who hasn’t done it before but what he brings to the band is he hasn’t been on any other albums and when you hear his voice he’s unique and he’s on the DragonForce album. ‘Oh, I’ve heard that guy. He’s been on that album and in that band and that band.’ So that was a quite difficult decision on that because really we had a lot of great singers to choose from.”
‘The Power Within’ will be unleashed in the U.S. tomorrow. (April 17). In the meantime, Dragonforce have posted a video teaser for the new album, featuring snippets of every song. It can be viewed below.
Click here to read the full interview.
‘The Power Within’ tracklist:
‘Give Me the Night’
‘Wings of Liberty’
‘Heart of the Storm’
‘Die By the Sword’
‘Last Man Stands’
‘Seasons’ (Acoustic Version)