New Dragonforce Record Features Johnny Cash Cover, Guitar Solos Recorded on a Yacht

You can definitely hear the thrash element incorporated into Dragonforce's signature melodic speed metal. What other musical boundaries pushed on Maximum Overload?

Uh, I guess in certain songs like "The Symphony of the Night," we don't usually do the neoclassical style song on purpose, because when you do classical music you can sound too similar to older neoclassical rock or something. It's hard to differentiate yourself. But with that song we did a good job setting ourselves a part. We were able to do that. Dragonforce is not like another band. We tried a different style we hadn't done before; and I guess we hadn't really done an organ solo before. Laughter. I had to get used to it, but after a bit I was like 'this is cool'! Of course, we still have those types of songs where you're like, 'OK, this is a Dragonforce song.'

Dragonforce has never released a cover before on an album, so where did the idea originate to include Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"?

We have never done a cover before and we actually thought we weren't going to do one.
Laughter. But we thought, 'hey, even though doing covers isn't original, it would be original for us, since we've never done one!' The band has been together for 15 years. Laughter. So Sam put together this demo, and "Ring of Fire" sounded like a Dragonforce song. We didn't want it to sound like the original. We wanted it to sound like the band for people to appreciate the sound. It needs that Dragonforce element when recording it.

It's definitely a unique angle.

You know, in a way I thought that this was, um, even faster than some of our songs. How can a cover song get even faster than some of our own songs?

You had a lot of different recording environments, from Sweden to the UK, and you even recorded a few guitar solos on a yacht owned by Zoltan Bathory [Five Finger Death Punch], correct?

Yeah, that's right.

How was that experience?

With Zoltan, I thought, hey, let's bring some different kinds of inspiration. Rather than sitting in a studio and in a room, let's bring it somewhere different. Originally I thought we were going to record it in an arena and chill out there. But Zoltan...he likes to take things to the extreme. So he's like, 'nope, we're taking it the yacht and we're going to record it at sea.' And he said that I was only allowed to record it while the boat is moving and you have to stand up. So that was his rule. I wasn't allowed to sit down. So we did it that way, which was pretty funny. We need to post that on the Internet sometime.

So was that your favorite environment to record in?

That was definitely the most fun to record, anywhere. I guess all the other solos were in a room somewhere. That was the only time outdoors. Laughter. The was the guitar solo for the song "The Game" and "City of Gold."

What is your proudest moment on the record?

Uh... well, I'm not quite sure. Music is such a complicated thing and there's so many ways to look at it. Just finishing the album you're always so happy, and it's kinda a relief. Sometimes when you start an album and you're recording in a six-month period, you almost feel like it's never going to end. And when you see the light at the end of the tunnel and you know the end is near, it's like this big sigh of relief that it's actually going to happen. So, to hear the music at the end, all put together.

Things don't always go according to plan and you're always able to fix the problems. But there have been times -- not with this album, but the last album -- there was a part where I wasn't sure.... This may be the finest Dragonforce album we've had in some time, and we've finished it. Maybe it's because we used a producer; we actually finished ahead of time this time around.

Some guitarists only take their instrument out of the case when it's time to tour, while others never seem to put it down. Where do you fall?

Ah..laughter. Unfortunately, I don't really have that much time to play the guitar at the moment. I practice a lot before tour, but I'm not a guy that only plays the guitar. I like to do martial arts and other things... to enhance my mental, mental state. So I'm not the type that has it out. Actually, I hate the guy who can't stop playing! It's like, please, stop playing and have some space and some silence! I'm not that guy. Stop playing when it's time to stop playing!

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