Dragonforce guitarist Sam Totman has been forced to face up to the racist material created by previous band Demoniac.
Dragonforce made to face racist past
Power metallers sit through difficult questions about previous band with bigoted and violent themes
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.