“We’ve always played fast, and that hasn’t changed. But the big thing is finding new notes that instantly fit within that zone”: Herman Li on DragonForce’s new era of maximalist shred, AI in music and the fine art of string bending

Herman Li
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Musical extremes have always been part of the DragonForce experience. And while de facto leader and guitarist Herman Li is working to expand his horizons via social media, the band’s five-years-in-the-making studio record, Warp Speed Warriors, is brimming with forward-thinking guitar heroics.

Li is the tinkering sort, who loves gear and – despite his monster chops and ability to outright shred – refuses to fully adhere to DragonForce’s extreme-meets-Nintendo metal past. 

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.