DragonForce’s Herman Li Invites Phoebe Bridgers to Smash His $5k Guitar After Viral ‘SNL’ Moment
The internet whipped itself into a frenzy after indie rock artist Phoebe Bridgers smashed her guitar at the conclusion of her Feb. 6 performance on Saturday Night Live. That act proved to be surprisingly controversial and now DragonForce guitarist Herman Li has issued Bridgers a challenge: to smash one of his own signature guitars which is worth $5,000.
Since spending half a minute on television smashing a $85 guitar against a fake stage monitor, Bridgers has been called wasteful by some for ruining an instrument (or forsaking the money used to purchase it) that could have gone to someone in need. Indie folk legend David Crosby (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) called the act "pathetic," which was met by Bridgers in return calling him a "little bitch."
Li weighed in on the viral moment on his Twitch channel and did have some criticism for Bridgers, which was that she didn't smash something expensive enough. He also mistook the guitar's value for $500 when making that statement, upping the ante by encouraging her to smash one of his own multi-thousand dollar axes.
"People complain rock and metal music is dead. You can't do anything crazy and fun anymore," Li observed. "It was cool," he went on, "People that have never seen the kind of thing go, 'Oh my gosh you're destroying something,' and it's like, 'Sorry, it's part of the show. It's not really such a big deal. Welcome to the world of music or rock.'"
The DragonForce guitarist also remarked how he enjoyed the spark effects on the monitor and appreciated that this was part of a staged production, something he's had to do to pull off dramatic moves such as performing underwater on a cruise.
“If I’m gonna criticize this, the main problem I have is that the guitar is too cheap. It’s only $500 for that guitar [edit: it's $85]. Next time she’s gonna smash up a guitar make it a $3,000 guitar," Li said, throwing down the gauntlet.
"I’ll give her one of my $3,000 guitars. You can take one of my signature guitars, smash that up. How about that PRS [points to guitar]? Take that PRS, smash that up, that’s like a $5,000 guitar," the guitarist added with excitement.
With such a high-profile televised performance, Li felt it was the ideal opportunity to make a massive statement. "Come on, you’re on Saturday Night Live, you can’t be smashing a $500 guitar — too cheap! You got to take it to another level," he argued. "Smash it up, burn it, make it expensive! Annoy people even more!"
Openly casting doubt that Bridgers will ever hear his call for her to come wreck another guitar, he reiterated, "If you want to smash up another guitar, let me know, let’s get you a real guitar to smash up. My last guitar sold for $16,000 [for charity], so maybe one of those."
Further criticizing Bridgers for not bringing his desired level of destruction to the set of SNL, Li advised, "She should’ve smashed more stuff up. Smash some of the mics up, go more full out — smash an amp. It sounds better when you smash an amp up, it’s more fun. You’re smashing a monitor — it doesn’t do enough."
Despite the lacking necessities, Li ultimately concluded, "It's a thumb up from me and everyone else is probably going to hate me now who were complaining about it. They’ll probably go, ‘Oh my god, Herman’s full of shit, he has no idea what he’s talking about.’ But that’s my take on it."
Watch the entire reaction video from Li, who last released Extreme Power Metal with DragonForce, below.
Herman Li Reacts to Phoebe Bridgers Smashing a Guitar on Saturday Night Live
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