Interview By Alison Booth
It’s now been a year since Greek power metal giants FIREWIND released their 8th studio album “Immortals”. The band have had a busy hardworking year and joined German metal legends RAGE on their European “Seasons Of The Black” tour in early January. I caught up with guitar virtuoso Gus G. before their joint headliner show at the Corporation in Sheffield on 22nd January, where C.O.P. UK were also performing as special guests.
Gus is fast becoming my most interviewed artist and it’s always great to catch up with him on the road. This time around, we had a short video interview, discussing FIREWIND updates and the forthcoming solo album from Gus, as well as the increasingly familiar issue musicians face with lost or damaged instruments. There was also a few laughs as you will hear (apologies it’s louder from behind the camera!) and an interesting cat story! Henning Basse, Johan Nunez and Bob Katsionis were also there and there’s some input from them in the background at one or two stages. You can read a few excerpts and watch the full chat below:
Discussing how “Immortals” was received, Gus stated:
“Really good – we didn’t expect we were going to extend the tour so much. Actually when we first set out, we were only looking at doing that tour last year, tour about a month and play a couple of festivals and that’s it. And then you know, these offers started coming in. We were invited to go to Russia and now this Latin America tour and then Rage asked us to go out with them. So we’ve kept busy actually through the whole year.”
Talking about the forthcoming solo album:
“I’m still a baby solo artist. I’m working on my third album now. I was surprised when I did my first solo album that I had offers to go out there and play, then I started thinking about all those things and developing my show.
It’s going good – it’s been a little bit stressful because there was touring in between and I had to make some decisions to change members and how I was gonna do it this time. I wasn’t sure about if I was gonna have any guests or not and then I decided not to have any guests, so it’s gonna be more of a power trio set up. It’s Dennis Ward, he’s gonna be handling vocals and bass and Will Hunt of Evanescence is playing drums on the record. It’s coming out in the spring.”
On the subject of missing instruments which happened to FIREWIND on this tour and other occasions, Gus explained his feelings:
“I think the airlines just need to get it together. When that happens to us, we’re always left in an airport wondering ‘OK, so now what?’ You really need to stay calm about it and hopefully people are going to be nice enough to help you out and track your gear and hopefully it’s not damaged. It is very frustrating, it’s happened to us quite a few times the last two or three years now.
Usually I’ll tweet about those things, I’ll call out the airlines, I don’t like to be that guy who bitches online – I’m usually a very positive guy about those things. But sometimes you have to go at them and hopefully somebody will be like ‘oh we messed up here, we better fix it.
It does have an effect on the show. Yesterday (21st January) we had a lot of delays, we had to cut our set short in the end and we were hoping to do it better with no soundchecks. At the end of the day it’s also rock ‘n’ roll and you have to just go in and do it. That’s the situation and you work with it and get it done.”