Interview with Gus G. (guitar)
Interview conducted by Scott Murray
Date online: April 21, 2003
Greetings! How are you doing Gus?
Hi! I'm doing fine thank you!!
Congratulations on the success you've seen with Firewind, and not to mention Dream Evil as well.
Thanks very much. It seems that the people love both bands very much!
To set the record straight, is Firewind considered a full-time band to you or is this just a side project between your Dream Evil duties?
No, FIREWIND is my band and it's a full time one. Of course, I have a lot of free time with both Dream Evil and Firewind, so I'm very happy that I can be a full time member in both bands.
Do you find trying to juggle several projects at once stressful at all?
Sometimes, there's stress. But mainly it's about my music and about being creative, so it's what I want to do.
Both bands have received extremely positive reactions from the press and fans. How do you react to all of the compliments and praise directed your way?
It gives me great happiness!!! I feel very good to know that people like what I do with my bands and that they have "embraced" both bands from the very beginning!!
What was the most satisfying aspect for you after listening to the finished product of Between Heaven and Hell?
I had a big smile on my face when I heard the final mixed and mastered version. I was very satisfied with Stephen's vocals, I think he's probably the most underrated metal vocalist of the scene.
What message or theme did Firewind want to get across with this record? It is my understanding that some of the lyrics were influenced by the recent turmoil in the world such as 9/11.
Yeah, Stephen wrote some lyrics that were relevant with that incident, on the song World of Conflict. However, those lyrics can be interpreted in different ways too. Firewind is a band that has simple but meaningful messages. In the album you will find songs about power, love, war, etc.
Considering that half of the members of Firewind is from America, while Konstantine and yourself are from Greece, how did the four of you come together to form the band?
Stephen (vocals) and Brian (drums) came through the connections of our record label, Leviathan. They suggested those 2 guys, and since I was admiring both musicians works with Kenziner in the past, I agreed to make the album with them. I brought in Konstantine, who's an old friend of mine and he's from my hometown, Thessaloniki.
Were there any problems in creating a chemistry between the other members? Did you see eye to eye with them in terms of expectations of the way the record should be written and ultimately sound?
Well, I wrote all the music and a lot of lyrics and vocal melodies for Between Heaven and Hell album. So when our producer David Chastain got the music in his hands, he pretty much directed the recording, as he understood my musical vision and how the band should sound.
He worked closely with Stephen and Brian in the studio and he has been a great help through the recordings of the album.
What other bands have you played in?
In 2001 I released my debut in discography with a German metal band called Mystic Prophecy. That band still exists and we have also recorded a second album that will be released this summer through Nuclear Blast. And of course you know that I play with Dream Evil and I have Firewind. Some other projects I have also been involved in, is a melodic death metal band called Nightrage. They just signed with Century Media and their debut should be out in a couple of months! I'm appearing with them on their debut album and I play some solos. I have also appeared as guest soloist on albums with bands like Old Man's Child, Rob Rock, Raise Hell, Exhumation and Dragonland.
I just recently got the news that Nightrage signed to Century. You're with one of your old band mates from Exhumation and some other high profile musicians on this one. Can you give me a brief history of this band and how you guys ended up with Century media?
I have to make clear here that I have NEVER been a member of Exhumation!!! That was a mistake in the bio that the label wrote. The guys from Exhumation are good friends of mine and through them I met Fredrik (with whom I started Dream Evil). I played a guest solo on Exhumations 3rd and last album Traumaticon and that's all. After they split, their guitarist Marios and I, started writing some songs together and we made some demos in my home studio. That was the beginning of Nightrage. Marios later moved to Sweden and after a long period, Nightrage finally signed with Century Media. The musicians you mentioned are Tomas Lindberg (ex At The Gates) on vocals, Per M. Jensen of The Haunted on drums and Tom S. Englund of Evergrey on some melodic vocals. It's definitely a "dream team"! I think their debut CD is one of the best melodic death metal albums I've ever heard! I'm very proud to have worked with them.
Now, would you classify Nightrage as another band requiring full-time attention or is this one more of a side-project?
Since I am a full time member of Firewind and Dream Evil and I also play in Mystic Prophecy, it leaves me no time to continue with Nightrage.....Nightrage is a REAL band and not a project of mine! They have signed a multi-album deal with Century Media and they have a very promising career. Maybe I could play some guest solos on their next album, but who knows???
At what age did you begin getting interested in metal and playing guitar?
I started playing guitar when I was 10. I was first exposed to heavy metal music, when I saw Alice Cooper on TV. That was when I was 9 or 10. I got fully into heavy metal, at the age of 14 after a friend of mine, gave me some tapes of Black Sabbath to listen.
What were some of the first bands you started listening to?
Sabbath, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses. Before that I was probably listening to Pink Floyd, Beatles, Queen, The Doors and more classic rock stuff.
Which guitar players have had a major impact on your career?
The guitarist that changed my life was Yngwie Malmsteen. After I discovered Yngwie, I also heard of Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker. I think those 3 have had a major impact on my career.
What albums have you been spinning lately?
I haven't been listening to music so much lately, as I'm in the studio recording and writing music. So my ears get pretty tired at the end of the day.
Can we expect to see a new Firewind album released sometime in the next year or so, and maybe a tour?
Definitely! We're in the studio recording our second album already. It will be mixed in June and it will probably be released in Japan in early October. There's no European or US date scheduled yet. Our plan is to tour as much as possible after the release of the new album.
That's all Gus! Thanks very much for your time!
Thanx a lot for the support!! Stay Metal.
|Other information about Firewind on this site|
|Review: Between Heaven and Hell|
|Review: The Premonition|
|Review: Days of Defiance|
|Review: Forged By Fire|
|Review: Few Against Many|
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