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Interviews   

Dragonforce: Frédéric Leclercq, Chili Con Carne and Dragon Juice



Chilli is the maple sirup of Dragons. When I work on an interview, I try to find a theme that works well with the band’s image. I then elaborate recipes according to the culinary preferences of my guest. After my investigations with his friends and relatives, I heard that Frédéric Leclercq enjoys spicy food and he also often parties on tour! I didn’t expect chilli’s virtues to be this appropriate for Dragonforce’s very nice bassist.

Heavy Metal Cook: Pleased to meet a fellow Frenchman playing in an international band: Dragonforce. You’re the bassist. And we’re here, at Montreal.

Frédéric Leclercq (bass): Yeah.

I know that you like to party!

[Laughs)

I heard about what you did last night. So I made this especially for you, it’s the Dragon Juice, which can put you back on your feet. You already tried it this afternoon, I noticed during the soundcheck that it worked pretty well.

Yeah, it woke me up, so now I’m gonna drink some.

So tell me how you handle these little excesses, all the offers you get from fans or friends on the road. Because today you’re starting a tour of 14 shows in North America, that’s a pretty intense tour; how did you get ready? Do you have any specific preparation?

Well… No. I should. I should have worked out to be fit. Actually, my back hurt before going on tour, so I didn’t do anything. I thought “come what may”, and the problem is that, as you just said, I have lots of friends in lots of cities, and whether it’s with friends or with fans or people who work there, for them it’s one night in the week or in the month. So they’re like “Yay! Let’s go party!”, but for me it’s everyday.

Do you have a healthy life-style outside of tours?

Not really. I’ve been single for two years. When I was with my girlfriend I tried to be careful. I made food for the both of us so I…

You cooked.

Yeah. So I tried to… you know what I mean. Now that I’m single, I don’t really pay attention to what I eat.

Do you still cook?

I like to cook for others actually. I liked to cook – I’m gonna cry! (laughs) – I liked to cook for her or when I have friends over for dinner I like to cook for them. I sometimes cook for myself and to apply myself, I take pictures and try to present it right. And by the time I start eating, it’s cold. Because I took pictures and did all that. So yes, I paid more attention to my diet when I was with her. Now I let the chips fall where they may. When you’re on the road, it’s not easy to eat healthy food. I’m not trying to be mean here, but especially in the United States, I really don’t eat well. I always feel like the portions are huge. I remember once, when we were on tour, there was a kitchen in our hotel room, so I went nuts! I don’t remember how much I spent but I made Chili Con Carne, I was really happy.

What do you cook well?

Chili Con Carne, actually. I don’t know if I have some friends reading this, but they know it: I cook a mean Chili! Apart from that I cook this and that…

I guess you like to cook spicy food.

Yeah, definitely.

I have something for you. It’s chili pepper. It’s Maras chili pepper, we hear a lot about Espelette chili pepper, the Maras chili pepper isn’t as strong – unless you eat it pure, like this, of course – but it does give an edge to recipes. It’s a great spice, it’s great for you immune system. I have one last question, which might be a delicate question. Recently, we saw Nickelback, which is known as “the most hated band in the world” and I know that Dragonforce doesn’t leave people indifferent either. How do you feel about that? How do you endure criticism on your musical genre, for example, because there’s some pretty hateful stuff.

Yeah, we get a lot of harsh stuff. I try to see things in perspective, because it’s not my favorite style to start with either, actually. I’m more into extreme metal or into typical eighties hard rock. So Dragonforce wasn’t my thing at first, I entered the band because I became friends with the musicians, that’s how it happened.

And the criticism, how do you feel about it?

And the criticism… When it’s constructive, I’m cool with it. As long as it’s constructive, it doesn’t bother me.

It rarely is, right?

It happens. Sometimes I read stuff that are kind of harsh but I can understand. But when it’s purely gratuitous bashing, I’m not interested in it.

Did it affect you at first before you got used to it?

Well, it affects me when I’m concerned. For example, for this new album, I read all the criticism because I’m really involved now. For the previous albums, I let the other guys do their thing, so when it came to criticism, I didn’t feel concerned. When I’m really involved, it’s true that I might take it more personally. For a song that I really worked on a lot, I wrote the lyrics, it’s about failed relationships between guys and girls, and someone says it sucks, I’m gonna take it personally. But it doesn’t keep me up at night.

Stay Hungry. Stay Metal.
Gilles LARTIGOT « The Heavy Metal Cook »

Dragonforce’s website.



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