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Interview: Sam Totman of DragonForce

by Photo of Elizabeth Ramanand

European power metal act Dragonforce release their sixth studio album ‘Maximum Overload’ August 18.

Interview: Sam Totman of DragonForce

In this article…

With well over a decade of music, DragonForce are back and will take listeners on a melodic power metal trip with their new disc Maximum Overload. We got the chance to chat with guitarist Sam Totman who spoke all about creating the new release. He also talked about musical influences and how his hobby of playing guitar turned into a profession. Check out our interview with Sam Totman of DragonForce below:

What does the title Maximum Overload mean to you personally?

We were trying to come up with a title to try and describe the music, it’s kind of like an overload of music, faster guitar playing and more of everything. The theme of the album is talking about our society and what it does at the moment - information on the internet and phone and absorbing a lot of this unnecessary stuff.

How was the overall creative and recording process for you on this new album?

It was cool, it was the first time we worked with an outside producer, it was time for a change so that was a bit different to what we’re used to. We thought if we end up staying in our little world we might end up getting out of touch even though we thought we were quite up to date. We went over to Sweden and recorded over there so it was different but the result is pretty cool, I’m very happy with it.

Being one of the original members of DragonForce, what about who you are as a musician and person today can we hear on the new record?

It’s not so much myself personally... I suppose maybe it is because I write a lot of the songs, obviously everyone else in the band is putting their own touch on it too. I think anything you play musically is a result of everything you’ve ever been into.

Did you go to shows as a kid?

Yeah definitely, I was born in England but I grew up in New Zealand and no one ever played there so I moved back to England when I was like 22 or something like that. That was mainly the reason I came back, growing up in the middle of nowhere at the other end of the world, I didn’t see anything. Like even now, it’s so cool you just go and see anything any night of the week and there’s probably someone you like playing. For me, I probably appreciate it more than English people because I never got to see much when I was younger.

What was an influential show you went to that inspired you to want to be a guitarist in a metal band?

Well, I went to see Sepultura on the Arise tour and that was around 1991. That was like the first proper gig I went and saw and I just thought it was so cool. I didn’t even necessarily want to be a guitar player, I just liked playing it. I actually never thought I would end up doing it for a living, it’s actually a bit weird but it’s definitely been really cool. I just wanted to play music for a laugh and the fact that loads of other people seem to like it too is a bonus so it’s really amazing. But yeah that was one of the first gigs I went to where I had an appreciation for bands and playing live.

What can fans expect from Dragonforce for the rest of 2014?

Well we’re going to start touring England and Europe, it’s kind of the usual routine – you do a record and spend a couple of years touring. I think we’ll probably get over to America around early next year. Normally we would start all of our tours in America and everybody in Europe is going “Aw man why do you always go there first?” So we have to switch everything around now to keep everyone happy.

With all of the forthcoming touring, what is one thing you must have on tour with you, no electronics?

Let me think, a toothbrush maybe? It’s not very exciting now that I think about it. [Laughs]

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Watch the video for DragonForce's new song 'The Game' (Featuring Matt Heafy of Trivium)

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