Dragonforce’s Herman Li has been listening to “A lot of Taylor Swift” lately: “Wow, the production here is really good”

“We listen to pretty much everything: pop music, whatever is popular out there that sounds good that we like,” Li says.

Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li has shared that he finds boundaries around listening preferences to be limiting, admitting he has “been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift recently”.

In a recent interview on music critic Anthony Fantano’s The Needle Drop podcast, Li revealed that Dragonforce’s varied listening habits contributed to their songwriting. “Playing the guitar, metal, rock, and jazz – that really pushed us to another level of guitar. But we listen to pretty much everything: pop music, whatever is popular out there that sounds good that we like, all the way to, I don’t know, Enya, and classical music.”

“There’s really no boundaries. Once you create the boundaries, you start to sound like one thing. Video games music, that’s obviously talked about a lot, since we got a lot of inspiration from retro games music as well. That’s why there’s so much melodies and those kinds of things happening.”

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Li then admitted to what some may find as an unusual addition to his daily listening, saying, “To be honest, people will find this weird, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift recently. I thought, ‘Wow, the production here is really good. I really liked how that was done and produced.’”

Elsewhere in the same interview, Li also discussed the emergence of new guitarists through platforms like TikTok, admitting, “I gotta tell you, man, this is something that I’ve discussed with some of the best guitar players in the world,” he explains. “The more we learn, the more we see, It makes even us pros feel like ‘Oh my god, we’re just not good enough.’”

The guitarist recently made headlines when called he Kurt Cobain one of “the best guitar players” in the world while discussing how technicality isn’t the most important thing guitarists should aspire to. “[Kurt] connected with [fans[. Obviously, the feeling, expression is way more important than how fast and how much notes you can play in key. But if you can’t connect with somebody, it’s a different thing,” Li explained.

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