Norway's Metal Express Radio recently conducted an interview with vocalist Marc Hudson of British epic power metallers DRAGONFORCE about the band's forthcoming album, "Maximum Overload". You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
On whether DRAGONFORCE has explored any new musical ground on "Maximum Overload":
Marc: "I think with this album… It sounds like I'm saying it just because I'm on it… But the last two albums have been quite different to the ones previously, I think. There is a formula that we're kind of following 'cause we are a certain genre, like, melodic speed metal — [so] we can't certainly slow down and play everything slowly. But with this album, we've got Jens Bogren as our producer — he's a guy from Sweden; he's worked with SYMPHONY X and OPETH and some other bands — and he's had an influence on this album. And our bass player, Fred [Frédéric Leclercq], has also helped a lot with songwriting. So, to be honest, this album has brought quite a lot of new stuff to it; it's got some heavier aspects to it. Like, we recently released the single 'The Game', and before that this kind of a demo thing we did for Metal Hammer called 'Defenders', and both those songs have got a thrashy sort of feel to them, and that's definitely come from Fred and Jens, their influence and stuff. So, although we have to stick to what we're good at, we are able to move around and evolve and change the sound here and there. On this album, there's a lot of different stuff. We've got the classic DRAGONFORCE power metal stuff to some thrashier [moments]… yeah, and progressive stuff, too."
On whether he has had chance to contribute to the songwriting process in DRAGONFORCE in terms of vocal melodies:
Marc: "Honestly, Sam [Totman, guitar] and Fred have been doing most of the writing in terms of that kind of stuff. But from the second I got in the studio, obviously, 'cause I've got a different voice from the last singer [ZP Theart], we were able to adapt things to suit me. So there might be something I can sing that they weren't expecting, so we can change vocal melodies, depending on what I've come up with in the studio. But normally, I'd say 90 percent of the time, it's just that the songs are written and I turn up and I sing them. I can change things — expressions, and kind of put my own feel into it — but vocal melodies are largely finished before I get in there. But then again, there's been some times… like on [2012's] 'The Power Within' [album], the first song, 'Holding On', there's this big scream in the beginning, that was just 'cause I did it in the studio and they were, like, 'Wow. Let's put that on the album.' So some stuff I've done had made it. But hopefully as we make more and more albums, I'll have more of a chance to write some stuff. I'm letting the experts do it for now. [laughs]"
"Maximum Overload" will be released on August 19 in North America via Metal Blade and August 18 in Europe through earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group. The CD was recorded at Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden. It marks the band's first-ever album involving an outside producer, having historically opted to record themselves in association with Karl Groom.
"Maximum Overload" will be released on standard CD, standard digital version, special edition CD with five bonus tracks and a bonus DVD, special edition digital version (same bonus material as special edition CD), and vinyl. The effort features a couple of surprises, notably a guest appearance on some of the songs from TRIVIUM's Matt Heafy. "Maximum Overload" also features an all-time first for DRAGONFORCE — a cover version of "Ring Of Fire" by Johnny Cash.
"Maximum Overload" is the follow-up to 2012's "The Power Within", which was the band's first with Hudson. Since his live debut with the group in July 2011, Marc has gone on to front over 100 shows with DRAGONFORCE in 32 countries across the globe, including arenas with IRON MAIDEN as well as a mammoth headlining world tour to support the CD.
DRAGONFORCE recently parted ways with drummer Dave Mackintosh and replaced him with former BRAINDAMAGE and KILL RITUAL member Gee Anzalone.
A native of Turin, Italy, Gee is a drum teacher who graduated from the NAMM Academy of Milan and carries on the well established multi-national mix of musicians that make up DRAGONFORCE.
Gee will make his live debut with DRAGONFORCE on the forthcoming "Maximum Overload" U.K. tour, which commences on September 17 in Edinburgh.