DragonForce’s Herman Li Responds to Kirk Hammett’s Controversial Hot Take: ‘People Know the Solos if You Do Them Right’ tt

“People know the solos if you do them right or you’re able to connect with the audience.”

DragonForce's Herman Li Responds to Kirk Hammett's Controversial Hot Take: 'People Know the Solos if You Do Them Right'

The discourse surrounding guitar solos has been heating up as of late, after Metallica’s Kirk Hammett came out with an argument that the part of a song many view as a player’s sonic signatures isn’t all that important for the wider, non-musician audiences, who, as he said, relate more to the song’s melodies.Following his hot take, virtuoso Angel Vivaldi rose to guitar solos’ defense, suggesting that Kirk, as one of the most prominent guitarists of the entire hard rock sphere and whose works (especially solos) inspired many — including Vivaldi — to pick up the guitar in the first place, should put more energy in making fans more interested in the tradition.

On top of all that, the guitar solo argument was further complicated by the fact that Marty Friedman was quoted as saying that traditional guitar solos need to “die a slow and painful death”, only to come out later with a statement that his words were taken out of context and that he would very much like to keep them alive and interesting.

The solo must go on

DragonForce’s Herman Li, whose blistering run on “Through The Fire and Flames” will be finding its way to a massive, young mainstream audience via “Despicable Me 4” doesn’t think that solos will be going the way of the Dodo anytime soon.

“It’s great for me to show that Dragonforce is still a force to be reckoned with, and guitar solos, if you’re lucky, will live on and continue, especially in a world where all these people complain there are not enough guitar solos or guitar is not enough a popular style of music. I think guitar is doing pretty good if you ask me”, Lee told Blabbermouth in a new interview.

Asked if he’s read Kirk’s statements on the subject, the guitarist said:

“Yeah. But I remember him, and I remember Kirk’s solos really well. A lot of people give him shit, but Kirk has had some of the most memorable guitar solos that I will still remember. I remember going to a Bon Jovi concert — that was the biggest thing. That was probably the biggest guitar solo chant I’ve seen. It was in a stadium; people were chanting along to the ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ solo. People know the solos if you do them right or you’re able to connect with the audience.”

The gift that keeps on giving

DragonForce, moreover, is living proof that solos have career-building potential, given that Herman Li’s guitar theatrics played a large role in the band’s rise to prominence. Asked whether he thinks of “Through the Fire and Flames” as a “gift that keeps on giving”, Lee said:

“That song definitely keeps on giving. I learned something from Ray Parker Jr., who wrote the ‘Ghostbusters’ song. He’s a super-nice guy, super-intelligent. I understand from him that it’s his biggest song, even though he wrote many other great songs. He said to me, ‘Some people call me a ‘One-hit wonder’. I call it ‘One-hit wonderful.” [Laughs] It’s the same thing. ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ is not different from most of our songs.”

He added:

“This is our signature sound, so it’s not like we wrote only one good song. It’s not better or worse than the others, but it happened to be at the right place at the right time, and now it’s part of a lot of people’s memories. I can say positive memories. It brings positive memories of so many people playing the game [‘Guitar Hero’] with their family or in college with their friends. So many people had a great time with that song. I’m happy to be contributing to absolute positivity in people’s lives.”

DragonForce’s ninth studio album “Warp Speed Warriors” will be released this March 15 via Napalm.

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