During a recent conversation with Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop, Dragonforce guitarist Herman Li shared who he considers one of the best guitar players to ever be – naming Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.
Trying to figure out who is the greatest guitar player in human history sounds like an impossible task; between technical finesse and brilliant creativity, there is an endless list of guitarists that come to mind.
At one point in the interview, the Dragonforce guitarist talks about coming across guitar playing that resonates with him, and how personal connection can be as powerful as really good technical playing. This eventually leads him to bring up the late Nirvana singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain.
Herman Li talking about Kurt Cobain per Fantano interview:
“A lot of people ask me all the time who do I think is the best guitar player in the world. And I come up with different answers all the time. I say, ‘Well, Kurt Cobain is one of the best guitar players in the world.’ And they just go, ‘Oh, my god. What are you talking about? I thought you knew something, Herman.’ And I say, ‘Well, he inspired millions of people to play the guitar — he connected with them.’
“So, obviously, the feeling and expression is way more important than how fast and how much notes you can play in key. If you’re a jazz master or whatever, if you can’t connect with somebody, it’s a different thing. Sometimes the simplest thing is probably the most important thing. And we learned to do complicated stuff because when you’re young, you impress your friends. It’s kind of cool. You’re flexing a little bit.”
What do you make of Herman Li’s opinion? Do you think Kurt Cobain one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived? You can watch the whole interview featuring Herman Li below:
In that same interview with Fantano, the Dragonforce guitarist also spoke to an issue he believes the rock and roll genre is struggling with – that being that rock artists are “afraid to have fun.”