As May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Heavy Consequence ran a really great piece about the racism faced by Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) musicians. The piece featured interviews with the likes of Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, Freddy Lim of Chtonic and Dragonforce's Herman Li
In Li's interview, he revealed he experienced anti-Asian sentiments pretty early on in the band's career. Including one specific asshole that kept bothering him.
"I remember doing a show with Atreyu, on an off day during Ozzfest, and someone threatened me and wanted to beat me up after the show was over. There was no real reason, it was just outside in the carpark.
"There aren’t that many Asian guitar players, Chinese [guitar players], it’s even less. Another experience, before Dragonforce got big, I used to get phone calls at my house almost every single day, sometimes at 4:00 a.m., sometimes at 7:00 p.m., of someone making a funny accent and insulting me and just prank calling me and it went on for months. I had to get the police involved, they couldn’t trace the number.
"All of these things that happened, but I was able to channel that energy to make a stronger self and to make Dragonforce more successful. I think the metal scene is in denial of racism in it. I have so many crazy stories but we don’t really talk about it and when I do interviews I’m not ever asked about it because they think it doesn’t exist."