Herman Li says rock + metal “too serious” + “afraid to have fun”
DragonForce guitarist Herman Li addressed the controversial notion (largely prompted by Gene Simmons of KISS) that rock is dead. He refuted the idea but acknowledged that rock and metal are “too serious” and that musicians are “afraid to have fun”.
In an almost hour-long interview with The needle drop music critic Anthony Fantano, Li has spoken extensively about the state of the rock and metal scene as well as how his own band has adapted to changes in technology, digital trends and savvy new business practices that heavy music lagged behind as a genre remains slow to adapt to change.
It was his comments on the narrative that rock is dead that were among the most intriguing aspects of the interview, where he also worked on how other genres are succeeding in the ever-changing climate of the music industry.
“People always say rock music is dead and all that stuff. And to be honest, there’s a reason why rock or metal – guitar, bass – isn’t at the forefront of music. music scene. I think we’ve lost some of that… I think there’s this little fear of creating this excess [dynamic], and not being too serious. I think a lot of them are a bit too serious, a lot of rock musicians. They are afraid to have fun,” Li confessed.
He continued: “You look at rap, hip-hop, they have this thing – the seriousness. But they are able to inject fun [and] laugh. You can listen to the lyrics and say to yourself, ‘Okay, okay, I got it’. He’s kidding here.'”
Adding more on how influential mainstream rap and hip-hop artists can open up new avenues of thinking for rock and metal bands, Li said, “I look outside the box for different ideas for myself. make it more creative at the same time. I’m not just talking about music, but about business. I think the rappers over there are so smart. How they release music, how they manipulate the scene, the digital assets, the algorithm or Spotify – all of that. Rock music just isn’t there, nor is heavy metal music, in terms of creativity and being on the cutting edge of current technology.
Find the full interview at the bottom of the page.