DragonForce’s Herman Li Explains How Megadeth Is Different From Metallica, Shares Opinion on ‘Not the Most Technical’ Dave Mustaine Solos

From June to now, Megadeth has already released three singles from their upcoming new album “The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!” which drops on September 2. If we put aside the whole David Ellefson scandal with Dave Mustaine once again showing who’s the real boss here, it seems we’re in for a great record. The three singles seem pretty great and DragonForce guitarist Herman Li seems to agree.

Megadeth - We’ll Be Back: Chapter I

In a new video shared on his YouTube channel, Herman reacted to Megadeth’s new song “We’ll Be Back ” which was released on June 23 along with a cinematic music video. Before reviewing the song, he offered (transcript by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“Megadeth have Kiko Loureiro in there now kicking ass. They always have good guitar players. Dave Mustaine just knows who’s a great guitar player and who he wants in the band. He never had a bad guitar player ever in the band. He knows his shit.”

While listening to the piece, the DragonForce guitarist said:

“I mean, holy shit. This is what I call Megadeth, man. That’s the Megadeth I like. Talk about the old stuff… This is Megadeth that I like. It’s got riffs, it’s got solos… It is not about being heavy or being fast. It’s just about sounding good, man. It’s got that energy.”

“And those solos just ripping there… Obviously, Kiko – a total guitar god – is ripping it apart. I feel like Megadeth really is the metal band that kept going and kept thrash metal alive all this time.”

“Because, look – Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, the big ones here… For me, Metallica kind of went on and did their own thing and experimented with other stuff. But Dave Mustaine and Megadeth always kept that metal.”

“Listen to every single album, man. And even through some of the times [of], I would say ‘non-favorable music scene time,’ Megadeth never stopped doing what they were good at. Dave Mustaine never kind of tried to do something else and tried to sound like a different style. He just did it. There was always sick guitar playing, that kind of thing.”

“You can say ‘Risk’ was maybe the least heavy of them. But this is like… There’s a reason why they’re headlining festivals and kicking ass again. Just going back at it and Kiko is just ripping it, just shredding it.”

Megadeth - Crush 'em (Music Video)

Discussing the song further, he said:

“When I heard that first solo on this song, I already knew there was gonna be more solos. If you throw a solo right at the beginning of the song, you’re trying to say ‘You know what? We’re going at it, we’re not gonna one solo and [then go] out of here.’ When you do a solo early, you’re telling the audience that they’re gonna get more.”

“And I’ve explained, when it comes to writing solos, it’s not that easy. When you start off at the beginning, you’ve got to finish off the whole song with killer solos. That means that it’s much more difficult to compose a song or the solos on a song that has early solos. Because you gotta finish off in a flash. And they’re bringing their A-game each time, and Dave Mustaine getting in there is not just like, ‘We’re letting Kiko do all the work.’ Dave is coming in and doing his own thing as well.”

“And Dave’s solos… If you listen to some of the solos that he did on ‘Rust in Peace,’ on classic albums, ‘Countdown to Extinction,’ they’ve got their thing. It’s not the most technical stuff but he’s got that energy, he’s got that old-school aggression kind of solo.”

After listening to the entire song, Herman Li offered:

“This is badass. I love to see Megadeth back in force, getting stronger, and stronger again. There was a time when you looked at the metal scene and you thought, ‘Oh, man, where is this going?’ Because every band goes through good times and tough times and it’s about coming back. And they just came back killing it. Unbelievable.”

He then also added:

“You guys tell me what’s your favorite Megadeth album. I gotta say ‘Countdown to Extinction,’ ‘Rust in Peace’ – they’re the two for me. Let me know what’s your favorite. Do you agree? Do you disagree?”

“It’s hard to disagree [with] ‘Rust in Peace’ I gotta say. I’ve set a tough one here.”

“They’ve done a lot of good albums. So many good guitar solos, it definitely inspired me to carry on playing. ‘So Far, So Good… So What!’ – those songs and that album, man… Even the debut album, I’ve got that on CD.”

Photo: Pena02 (Hermanni), Will Russell (Dave Mustaine 2011 (cropped)), DoD News (141111-D-DB155-021 (15771398435))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.