DRAGONFORCE bassist Frédéric Leclercq was interviewed by Metal Wani prior to the band's performance at this year's Download festival, which took place last weekend at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. The full conversation can be heard below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's decision to release "Re-Powered Within", a remixed and remastered version of their 2012 album "The Power Within":
Frédéric: "It was a weird time, because obviously, we changed singers. We were writing songs and then Marc [Hudson, vocals] came in, and the songs were not particularly written for him. We were focused on other things [like] the cover. It was a strange time for us, so we actually together with some label partners from Germany, the idea [to reissue the album] came out, and we said, 'Yeah, maybe that'd be a good idea to give that album another chance,' because the last two albums [did] very well, and some people actually don't really know about 'The Power Within'. We thought it'd be a good chance to give it like a sort of re-boost. Not replaying the songs like some bands do; it was just like giving a different production – a more modern production, perhaps — and a decent cover, because I'm not very happy with the first cover. Something went wrong."
On whether they re-recorded or added anything to the album:
Frédéric: "No. It was really a matter of remixing and remastering. We always come out with something that seems very polished, yet there's always mistakes. There's always a point when you have to say, 'Right, it's time. We have a deadline. We need to let it go.' I understand the fans would go, 'Oh no, I like the album that way. Why would you [remix it]?' So I understand both sides, but for us, it's also interesting to [revisit the material]. You go, 'Oh yeah, we put that keyboard part too low,' or 'The bass wasn't loud enough' — usually the case — so it was a nice chance to actually take a few steps backward. It is luxury for us in a sense, and that's a chance to present it to the fans in a different approach."
On the group's live performances:
Frédéric: "I just want people to remember the show, and I want them to have a good time, so I will go on stage and do what I wanted to see when I was in their shoes. I don't really like people standing in their spot and doing nothing, and that's something actually when I joined DRAGONFORCE they told me straight-away — they said, 'By the way, we don't stand still.' The first show we did was in Quebec. I remember it well, because I had that pressure on me — like, 'Don't stand still. Don't stand still. Move around.' And they were surprised – it was like, 'Oh, you did well.' And I got the point, and every time we do shows, people that don't particularly like the music remember the show itself, because nothing's really rehearsed. We try to make it live, as it's supposed to be, as opposed to 'Be there, and play your part.' Obviously, it's way easier for me to sit down and play, and for them as well, but what's important is you go there, you smile at someone, you go somewhere and do a silly face, and I think that's what people are going to remember. If they want to listen to the music 100 percent correct, they can listen to the album, but when they come to a show, they want to remember entertainment, just like wrestling."
DRAGONFORCE is making a number of European festival appearances this summer. The group will next perform live at Sweden's Helgea Festivalen on July 5.
The band's fifth album, "The Power Within", which was originally released in early 2012, has been completely remastered and remixed and reissued under the title "Re-Powered Within" in Europe via earMUSIC and in Japan through JVC Victor.
DRAGONFORCE's latest album, "Reaching Into Infinity", was released in May 2017 via earMUSIC. The follow-up to 2014's "Maximum Overload" marked DRAGONFORCE's third full-length studio release with Hudson, who joined the group in 2011 following the departure of original frontman ZP Theart (now in SKID ROW).