Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The bass-slaying powerhouse of DragonForce – Alicia Vigil!

Towards the tail end of one of the biggest power metal tours ever to hit Europe, RAMzine caught up with Dragonforce bass player Alicia Vigil to talk about their latest album, Warp Speed Warriors

RAMzine: This is Lamestream Lydia for RAMzine and we’re here with Alicia Vigil from Dragonforce, how are you doing? 

Alicia: I’m doing very well today, it’s the very last bit of our European tour and it’s been a great run so far with Amaranthe and Infected Rain. 

RAMzine: Awesome! This is your first time here with Dragonforce but you’ve been here, if I’m not mistaken, with your other project, Vigil of War?

Alicia: Yeah, I’ve DIY toured the UK a couple of times with my band, Vigil of War, and been to Europe a couple times with Dragonforce but never to the UK. They haven’t been back to their home place for five years and I’ve been in the band for four, it’s exciting to play here for the first time. The UK has always been my home away from home so it feels good to be back and finally be with Dragonforce this time. 

RAMzine: We have been horribly neglected but it’s good to have you back with a shiny brand new record too. 

Alicia: Yeah, Warp Speed Warriors! It’s out now! 

Alicia Vigil

RAMzine: You were initially brought on as a touring bassist for Extreme Power Metal, how does it feel being able to contribute to the new album? 

Alicia: When I first joined the band, I was just a touring member, they made me a member quickly after that but we toured the Extreme Power Metal album for a few years and obviously the world shut down but our guitarist Sam (Totman) had a lot of time to write this album. We all got to individually record our own parts and it was awesome to finally put my stamp on the band officially on a record this time. Yeah, it feels really good. 

RAMzine: A difference I notice is how Vigil of War and Dragonforce sound. Vigil of War has a bit more of a serious edge to it. Serious enough but it’s still metal, metal is an inherently silly genre. Dragonforce have been leaning into a not quite comedy genre but a fun tone full of video games and dragons and stuff. Does it feel strange transitioning between the two? 

Alicia: Not really because I feel like we’re all just natural goofballs in general so I kind of love the fact that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Obviously, the music speaks for itself, there’s a lot of technical things you can take seriously but you can also laugh along with and have fun. There’s a power disco metal song, there’s a Taylor Swift cover, there’s a little bit of everything in there. But yeah, it’s a nice balance, I get to be creative with Vigil of War and do the style that I want with them and get to come here, rock out on bass and be able to just be a goofball on stage with them. It’s a nice balance. 

Dragonforce
Dragonforce | Photos by Chris James Ryan Photography

RAMzine: Right now, you’re a big figure in two very male-dominated sub cultures; Dragonforce have leaned really hard into video games. Harder than they ever had because they were always “the video game band” which sounds dismissive but we love them for that. How do you feel being that deep into the power metal and video game subculture as a woman?

Alicia: I definitely love to represent more women in this genre. I think slowly, over time, it’s building and encouraging more women to play which feels really good. As far as the video games go, I’m not too involved (Alicia laughs) but I appreciate it and I’ve been learning a lot with these guys. 

RAMzine: One of the last things I wanted to bring up was that it feels like there’s a Disney influence in this record. 

Alicia: A Disney influence? I don’t know about that, maybe it’s because it’s so theatrical and over the top. Definitely video game themes throughout but I’m not sure Disney is specifically involved. 

RAMzine: I think ‘Space Marine Corps’ in particular did it, it feels like that kind of tone and sound for something like Treasure Planet.

Alicia: That’s not a bad reference, that’s pretty cool. I think they like writing in a way that you can associate it with different things and put your own meaning to it. We do have blow-up dragons on stage so it does feel like a theme park in a way (laughs). 

RAMzine: Did that take some getting used to? Having a grandiose massive huge set design? 

Alicia: It just adds to the element of getting to see the show. It’s not just a boring “get up and play” kind of show. There’s so much going on that my 90-year-old grandma comes to the show and has a blast. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you don’t even listen to power metal you can enjoy a Dragonforce show just because it’s fun, it’s a whole theatrical performance. You get to dance, you get to see arcade machines and dragons and stuff. As far as the getting used to it, I think I’ve been in the band for a while now, I’m quite used to it but it’s pretty cool. 

RAMzine: Awesome, so we’re gonna close out but in keeping with having fun, do you mind sign something for me? (Pulls out a copy of James Cameron’s Titanic) 

Alicia: Aw hell yeah, this is my favourite movie of all time since I was like three years old. Funnily enough, the first song I ever learned was ‘My Heart Will Go On’. I had a keyboard, like a toy keyboard and I used to learn songs by ear and ‘My Heart Will Go On’ was the first song I learned and now it’s come full circle because we play it live. Hell yeah, I really love that! 

RAMzine: It all comes full circle if you go at it long enough! 

Alicia: funnily enough, Herman (Li) has still not seen it and just how is that possible? 

RAMzine: That’s wild, thank you so much! Alicia Vigil! Dragonforce! UK tour! It’s over by the time you see this video! Why weren’t you here? You should have been here!

Alicia: HELL YEAH! 

Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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