Dragonforce Guitarist Speaks To The Shockingly Low Payment The Band Got For Licensing Song For Guitar Hero

Dragonforce guitarist
Nova2013 DragonForce Herman Li: Sven-Sebastian Sajak (Sven0705) (Wikimedia Commons)/ Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock: Developer: Neversoft, Publisher: Activision
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Via an upload from his TikTok account this past week, Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li recently shared what the band got paid to license “Through The Fire And Flames” for Guitar Hero III, and it is a shockingly low number.

If for some reason you aren’t familiar, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a video game that came out in 2007; along with a game controller shaped like a guitar, players would try to hit the right notes in sequence, playing along to a plethora of awesome rock and metal tracks. Among the track list that made up Guitar Hero III, there was that of the Dragonforce song “Through The Fire And Flames” – which is probably the most iconic song among the game’s soundtrack.

“Through The Fire And Flames” is a brilliantly epic song; brimming with extreme flavor and technical finesse, the song is nothing short of exhilarating, pulse-pounding metal. Because of the extremity that is this song, it was also a hell of a challenge to play, making for one of the most difficult songs in the game.

In a recent TikTok video of his, Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li spoke to licensing the band’s hit song to the Guitar Hero folks; he starts off playfully saying, “How many millions of dollars did I get?”

But then, he continues, “Well, I’ll tell you this. Guitar Hero actually only paid a one-off fee to use the song. So [it was] less than $3,000. Maybe even less.”

Damn that is crushingly low! However, the Dragonforce guitarist remains positive and speaks to how the exposure of the band’s song helped them out.

“Letting the audience hear our music and decide if they like it or not was really special, because we definitely don’t play music that fits the radio. You’re not gonna hear seven minutes of shredding melodic metal on the radio.”

Do you remember playing “Through The Fire And The Flames” on Guitar Hero III? Did you ever get a perfect score? Check out the footage below to see what it is like to try and play the Dragonforce song “Through The Fire And Flames;” the video has over 11 million views! You can also find Li’s TikTok video below as well.

@hermanli tens of dollars 💵 #throughthefireandflames #guitarhero #guitartok #musician #guitarist #guitarra #LaysGoldenDuet ♬ Through the Fire and Flames – Dragonforce


Words by: Michael Pementel