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Dragonforce made to face racist past

Dragonforce guitarist Sam Totman has been forced to face up to the racist material created by previous band Demoniac.

Totman, Herman Li and ex-colleague Diccon Harper were part of the black metal outfit formed in New Zealand in 1993 before moving to the UK, where Dragonforce was formed out of their ashes in 1999.

But the earlier outfit’s material included songs called Niggerslut and Kill All The Faggots, while lyrical content included reference to Nazism, racially-motivated murder and violence to children.

Confronted by Noisey, Totman argues: “We had some strange characters in that band and everyone kind of wrote their own songs, so any dodgy ones weren’t anything to do with me. We had a bit of a twisted sense of humour – we were just having a laugh.”

Pressed about whether his later success could encourage young fans to explore their history and conclude “Dragonforce thinks it’s cool to beat up gay kids,” Totman says: “To put it simply, it was us having a laugh and all the dodgy stuff like that was mostly our old drummer. It was just a laugh and it was a long time ago so it’s not really a big deal.”

He dismisses criticisms by saying: “I guess it’s all about shocking. You’ve got bands like Cannibal Corpse singing about hacking up babies or whatever. No one actually wants to do that, but it’s just kind of shocking, like horror movies or whatever shocking entertainment people find funny for whatever reason. I don’t think it’s a thing more than that, really.”

And he insists: “Nothing was ever serious. Obviously, if it was, we would have never been up for that anyway. It was stupid.”

Dragonforce, who changed drummers in June, release latest album Maximum Overload on August 18, and tour the UK in September.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.