Interview: Sam Totman of Dragonforce Talks Chop Suey & Down With The Sickness

You are well known for your band Dragonforce, what made you decide to be a part

of a tribute band?

I decided to do this whole tribute band thing because our drum tech for Dragonforce asked me to do, as it's his thing basically. The first time was a couple of years ago in the U.K and we had just finished touring for Dragonforce, and he asked if I wanted to come along and play bass for my tribute band. I thought that it might actually be rather cool because it's just something different and I hadn't played with any other musicians since forever basically. It was just rather nice to go back to playing some smaller places and just something else to do really.

This tribute band has been going for 4 years in the U.K, what helped the decision to

bring it to Australia?

I'm not too sure really, but I'm glad to that we did because it's like a nice little holiday. Like I said, it's the drummers main project so he sort of decides where we go. I think there's a pretty big scene for tribute bands at the moment and some of them are doing really well. So it's just all about spreading the word, going out and having a laugh and giving people a fun night out.

Along for the ride is Andre Joysi (Breed 77), Richard Shaw (Cradle Of Filth), Martin

Jackson & Archie Wilson, whats it been like working with these guys?

It's been really fun working with these guys, it's just a nice change to work with some different musicians. I've been in Dragonforce for about 15 years now and I haven't really played in any other bands at all. It's great, and they're all very talented musicians which is awesome, so yeah it's been really fun.

Archie Wilson is a YouTube sensation, how did it come about getting him on board?

I couldn't really tell you how we came about to getting Archie, but Andre knew him already and I think they'd be doing some Disturbed stuff for a while. It's just one of those things where musicians all sort of know each other more or less. But I'm not too sure how they met.

Is there any plans to record these songs together or is this just a side project?

No I don't think there are any plans to record these songs. It's just more of a live thing at this stage.

What was the inspiration behind deciding on doing System Of A Downs Chop Suey

and Disturbed’s Down With The Sickness albums?

Well, we're not only just doing those album, it's sort of a mixture of songs from those bands. So when you see us live you're not just going to get those two albums, you'll get a few other songs as well.

What is it like playing another band’s music compared to playing your own music in


It's pretty fun actually because the Dragonforce stuff is really complicated and technical and SOAD and Disturbed is extremely easy really (laughs) especially on bass. But yeah, it's great, you kind of get more of a chance to have fun and not concentrate as much. They are pretty catchy songs also, I was never a big fan of them but actually now after playing them it's quite fun to play some more simple stuff and the crowd seem to love it and I can see why. I think they're definitely good bands and you can see why they got so popular.

What can Australian fans expect from this tour?

You can just expect a great night out. Some really good music, System Of A Down and Disturbed played by us. It's just really fun and you'll have a very good time.

Lastly, do you have any words for your Australian fans before we go?

We will probably be back in Australia with Dragonforce in 2020, we're just trying to figure out how and when and with who. We might do a headline tour or we might come with someone else, we're not too sure at this stage. So you'll probably see us at some point during the second half of the year I'd say.

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