Dragonforce’s happy, goofy hyperspeed power metal has been thrilling audiences worldwide since their 2005 album Inhuman Rampage took off in America in 2006. While you might not expect the band to have any skeletons in their closet, there actually are some homophobic and racist skeletons in it. Demoniac, a pre-Dragonforce band that ‘Force guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li played in, formed in New Zealand in 1993 (Demoniac”s singer and bassist, Lindsay Dawson, appeared on Inhuman Rampage.). The band, which broke up in 1999 after moving to London, played a mix of black metal, power metal and thrash, and featured songs like “N*ggerslut,” and “Kill all the F*ggots (Death Squad Anthem),” with lyrics about rape, white power and killing “fags” and black people.
In the interIn an interview, Kim Kelly, writing for Noisey, wasted no time in confronting Totman about his past. Totman is nonchalant about his former band, calling it a “big joke” that formed when they were 18:
Our first record was all serious, Satan this, Satan that and we did quite well with that. The second one kind of turned into NOFX crossed with black metal, and then the third one got into power metal so it was like power metal crossed with black metal, and no one really got it basically.
For his part, Totman distances himself from the lyrical content of his former band, saying that every person in the band wrote different songs, and that he wasn’t responsible for any of the offensive songs. He likens Demoniac to Cannibal Corpse, stating that they’re not serious about anything that they wrote either. We’re inclined to agree with him Totman to a point. Countless people have said immature things they regret when they were younger, and while Kelly grills him about young Dragonforce fans going back and finding Demoniac’s objectionable music, that would have to be an extremely dedicated fan. But for him to disavow that he was responsible for any of the objectionable and offensive material instead of owning up to it and apologizing for it shows that he hasn’t had all that much media training, or maybe was just surprised to be called out for 20 year-old material.