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We All Know Guitar Is Not Going Anywhere


There’s been a lot of fretting lately about the future of the guitar solo. Last December we published a story about Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett‘s stance on it, where he said “People are not going to remember a great guitar solo. They will remember a great melody.” Such a statement was vehemently disagreed upon by Angel Vivaldi, who commented about Hammett writing off a new generation of guitar players with such a position.

Moreover, Marty Friedman recently said to Guitar World that “Guitar solos need to be inventive, and they need something to keep listeners involved, especially those who are not learning to play and only listen.”

Now, in a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie for her weekend radio show, DragonForce‘s Herman Li joined the conversation, offering a take that opposes such conflicting opinions and celebrates the enduring power of the six-string serenade.

Li argued that guitar solos are still very much alive, pointing to DragonForce‘s inclusion in a recent Despicable Me 4 commercial during the NFL Playoffs: “I think there’s still plenty of room for guitar solos, and of course, there’s so many great, influential players out there. I gotta say, sorry to tell you this, but just when you thought there were not enough guitar solos or it’s gone away from the world, we had our song recently on the NFL Playoffs during a prime-time commercial slot with Despicable Me 4.”

“So obviously, the guitar solo is still a cool thing that is still being used. I think it’s cool to say something shocking but to be honest, we all know guitar is not going anywhere.” Li added.

Li also emphasized the enduring power of guitar-centric music, particularly for younger generations. He mentioned fans who discovered DragonForce through Guitar Hero, a testament to the solo’s ability to leave a lasting impression.

“When we first became, I guess, popular, we stuck to our guns. We didn’t follow any trend, and we were able to survive playing seven-minute songs with ten guitar solos in a song. With ‘Through the Fire and Flames,’ it was a surprise for a lot of people to hear something like that. It really blew up with Guitar Hero which is now part of that pop culture in some way. Even up to now, I hear stories from fans saying, I used to play that game and hear DragonForce when I was five years old, seven years old, or they were in college with their friends.”

Li also emphasized the positive energy DragonForce aims to deliver. Their music, with its soaring solos, is meant to inspire and uplift listeners: “We specialize in kind of epic positivity. When you listen to us, you just want to do things that kind of keep us in your brain because we all want to get out there and do things and achieve something.”

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