Herman Li of Dragonforce is bemused by the people who think all Dragonforce songs sound the same. In a recent chat with MetalSucks, Li addressed the claim and told the website that people aren't paying close enough attention to what the band have done over two decades. The band released their first album, Valley of the Damned, in 2003 and their most recent LP was Extreme Power Metal, which was released in 2019.
"I can say this until I'm blue in the face and tell people otherwise," Li began, "but people always seem to say that we sound the same as the first album to this day. They tell me, 'Oh, this new song sounds the same as the first album,' and then there are people who say, 'I don't like the new stuff because every Dragonforce song just sounds the same.'
"But the fact is that you can see obvious evolution with our recordings, and if you listen to metal and understand this kind of music, you'll realize that. We're better musicians now and better performers on stage."
And it's not like Li has any issue with those older Dragonforce recordings, after all. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
"We still play some of the songs from Valley of the Damned; on the last tour, we played several songs from the first album, and we always will," said Li. "But honestly, there are big changes that have come with time from us playing them and growing as musicians. But if you look back, my playing on Valley of the Damned was not nearly as good as I play now. I guess you could say everything on there is a bit worse when you compare it, but that’s how it's meant to be, right? If you don't get better over time, you're wasting your time."
In the same interview, Li gave an update on the state of the next Dragonforce LP, saying that, "I can tell you that we are slowly working on it.
"[But] I can't tell you anything just yet. Not until it's done, at least. Because things change all the time, and the pieces are constantly moving, shifting, and changing," Li said. "Even though it's written, there are always going to be surprises in terms of what's going to happen to it. But I can tell you that we are slowly working on it."
Li also noted that, "the music industry is changing quickly now…. With all the changes, releases take a long time to set up — longer than they used to be… I can tell you that I don't want to mix the album and then have it sit there because it's taking forever due to delays, and then no one gets to hear it. I'd rather give it away for free before that happens, but that's not even a guarantee anymore. So, to maximize the potential of the album's success, I've got to plan ahead. So, I don't know. It'll come out whenever, maybe next year, or maybe the year after. Stay tuned."