The Metal Voice‘s Jimmy Kay from checked in with Firewind‘s Guitarist Gus G and Singer Herbie Langhans in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at the Corona Theater March 31, 2022. Watch the interview below.
Gus Told The Metal Voice how the Firewind was added at the last moment to the tour and almost did not make it he said, “We were added on the tour only one and half months ago. We are actually replacing a band called Battle Beast, they couldn’t make it and we got the call. I have known Herman Li (Dragonforce guitarist) since the early days, our bands pretty much started at the same time more or less. We have been friends forever. We even did a tour with Drgaonforce back in 2006, Europe and the UK. He (Herman) reached out and said can you do this? Do you think you have time? Do you think you have time with such short notice? We talked internally with the band, we called a lawyer. Do we have time to get Visas’? It’s a long process for that but somehow we expedited it. I mean Herbie, he literally got his Visa on Friday night and on Saturday morning we flew to Denver. There was a plan B for me to do some instrumental stuff until Herbie would get on the next flight, for the following week. I would have done maybe some solo shows.”
October last year seen Firewind mastermind and guitar icon, Gus G., release his critically acclaimed, new solo affair entitled Quantum Leap via AFM Records. Following an impressive music career of more than 20 years, nine record releases with Firewind, as well as recording and touring with acts such Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Ozzy Osbourne, Quantum Leap is Gus G.‘s fourth, and entirely instrumental solo album, featuring 10 tracks that both showcase the distinctive playing style Gus is known for yet taking fans into new territory.
Quantum Leap came together over the course of the worldwide pandemic that, unfortunately, prevented Firewind’s self-titled album from 2020 from gaining any real momentum. Immobilized by the quarantine measures that kept him at home, Gus began compiling musical ideas to keep himself occupied, which led to the full-on effort to write and record an album during the summer of 2021 “I didn’t make Quantum Leap with the intention of it being the next one in the cycle of solo albums,” Gus admits. “It was more of a case of, ‘What else is there?’ I needed the creative outlet.”
Just a few months since the successful album release via AFM, today the guitarist has shared a brand new music video clip for the song ‘Night Driver’! Gus comments: “Night Driver is probably the most stylistically diverse song of Quantum Leap. I gave it a synth wave twist and it now has that 80s vhs movie vibe!”
Quantum Leap was assembled in pieces, featuring new compositions and material taken from Gus’ “riff vault”, where he stores unfinished ideas and revisits them when he’s able. The album started as a full-on solo outing, with Gus programming drums and playing guitar, bass and keyboards, but a chance encounter with drummer Vincent Velasco – who volunteered his services and subsequently blew Gus away – opened up the production. Producer / engineer Dennis Ward, who was responsible for mixing and mastering Quantum Leap ended up laying down bass tracks on eight of the 10 tracks.
Unlike many instrumental albums, Quantum Leap doesn’t feel like a musical root canal or long and drawn- out brain surgery. Each of the 10 tracks are solid and compact musical ideas, with Gus’ guitar acting as the voice. “I really needed to have the guitar taking a vocal approach. I knew that if I just kept the playing technical it wasn’t going to be enjoyable. So the playing isn’t always about technique, and once I found the formula it was easier to create melodies for the record,“ he reveals.
“I’m a guitar player and I cannot stand most instrumental guitar albums,” he adds. “The classic are the classics, but very rarely do I get into them because after the third track it just seems like an endless guitar solo where everything that sounds the same. That’s something I wanted to avoid on Quantum Leap and I think I succeeded in doing that.”
And without a doubt, he did. Grab your album copy of this must-have solo effort by one of the greatest guitarists in rock and metal, Quantum Leap is available at THIS LOCATION!
Greek guitar virtuoso and the man behind FIREWIND, Gus G, released his fourth solo album a few weeks ago on 8th October via AFM Records. “Quantum Leap” is the first instrumental album Gus has released and Metal Shock Finland’s Alison Booth caught up with him for her radio show Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem, which is broadcast every Tuesday from 6PM GMT on UK station TotalRock. The show with Gus can be heard here.
Lots of topics were discussed, mainly about the new album and its recording, with more besides! You can check out the audio interview below, along with some written excerpts from the chat.
Discussing how the album came together, Gus explained:
“I started working on it Spring 2020 when the first lockdown happened. I was actually just finishing up doing press for the last Firewind album that came out, the self-titled record that came out last year and then all of a sudden everything was cancelled.
So you know, I realised I was gonna be at home for a while and I just immediately started putting down ideas on my computer just for the fun of it, just to see what’s gonna happen and then I realised, well we’re gonna be here for a while. So I think around summer I was kinda going through the demos I had and I’m like ‘well, maybe I should just make an album. I have enough material to kind of dig in now and do something.’ It really gave me something to do, it was not a planned album, it was like a thing just to help me occupy my time I guess.
During the first lockdown I somehow felt very inspired and wrote a lot of stuff, which was kinda funny because on the second lockdown when I was finishing up the album, I had no inspiration at all [laughs]. I’m glad I was able to write all this material.”
On being a solo artist, Gus expressed:
“I have my own style and my own sound, but obviously I’ve been experimenting quite a lot on my solo efforts. Whether it is me collaborating with different singers or musicians and making more like rock stuff or hard rock stuff, or whether I’m making classic metal or modern metal, or now, going instrumental. I look at my solo career as a vessel to put out all the other stuff I wouldn’t be able to do in Firewind. I think this instrumental record is a nice addition to the catalogue. I mean, now whenever I go back to playing live I can sort of mix it up onstage. I can kind of envision that, of doing maybe a half and half show or something, or blend it all in.“
Discussing the pandemic and the situation for playing live:
“The measures are changing, like every week. As of today* (in Greece), music is banned indoors in all venues, cafes, bars, restaurants, whatever. It’s crazy because nobody knows what’s going on, so like we were saying before, you really don’t know if there’s going to be any live scene left you know. I mean I don’t know if I should book gigs. I’m probably not going to because it’s all so strange right now. I was thinking about doing some gigs locally, at least I could start here, maybe do something in Greece and maybe later on in the coming months if I have some ideas to do something abroad like, even if it’s a one off thing. But, it’s just really weird, we’re in a strange time, so I’ll wait.”
*The first week of October
On connecting with the fans, Gus said:
“I like to connect with the people that support me, especially nowadays seeing as I can’t travel and meet them in person or play for them in person. I’ve been putting out content more often and trying to do a few live stream things here and there on the YouTube channel or on Instagram or whatever. Yeah, just trying to make everybody forget a little bit from the dark cloud that’s over our head and just have a good time. And this is not only for the people, it’s also good for me, for my mental health. So it’s good, it’s been a good healthy thing.”
One of the best guitarists of our time makes a quantum leap and lets his fans participate in his virtuoso world of guitar sounds. The result: GUS G.‘s latest album “Quantum Leap”.
The instrumental album relies on symmetry and brevity. Gus G. manages in an impressive way to center his guitar and replaces with her the role of the singer.
In addition, “Quantum Leap” does not simply tie in with older projects by the artist. Rather, it’s a mix of older heavy metal tricks, that are reminiscent of FIREWIND, enriched with more power, new creative ideas and very own melodies. See for yourselfe :
I didn’t make Quantum Leap with the intention of it being the next one in the cycle of solo albums,” Gus admits. “It was more of a case of, ‘What else is there?’ I needed the creative outlet.”
Already the first track “Into The Unknown” presents itself in a new way, compared to older solo works of Gus G. In many parts the song is reminiscent of fast progressive rock, which invites you to groove along with its many nuances. The same applies to the single “Exosphere” and the focus track “Quantum Leap”. The relaxed ballad “Enigma Of Life”, on the other hand, is completely detached of the prog-wave and leads the listener further into a varied and stylistically memorable work.
Wilder tracks like “Fierce” or “Judgment Day” flank the typical Metal that Gus G. fans love so much. And they are not the only fans of the Greek talent: “This album […] is overflowing with red hot smoking guitar work and unrelenting metal spirit,” enthuses Marty Friedman, himself a gifted guitarist.
“Quantum Leap” is crowned by “Force Majeure”, which, with the support of guitar star Vinnie Moor, fully expresses the elaborate handwork of Gus G. If you can’t get enough after the 11 short but crisp tracks, you can look forward to the bonus CD: It is a collection of live performances from the last tour and again provides the complicated guitar gymnastics that Gus G. is capable of.
Steve Morese (Deep Purble) also admits the talent without envy: “Gus can play the very difficult, intense passages with no problem … but what makes the album easy to listen to is that melodic themes are in every song, which allows the technical parts to be more striking.”
The mixture of progressive rock elements, synth waves, new melodies and hard metal parts, makes “Quantum Leap” a real quantum leap in the scene. The exceptional guitarist proves: “As an artist nowadays, you can basically do whatever you like and there’s an audience out there for it. Instrumental music might not be a big seller, but everybody and can listen to anything, and there are no limits to what I can do.”
Gus G. made a name for himself with Firewind, the band he initially launched as a solo project in 1998 that made its official debut in 2002. In that time the band has released nine albums, while Gus has also recorded and toured with Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Ozzy Osbourne. He has also made inroads as a solo artist, having released three albums under his own name: I Am The Fire (2014), Brand New Revolution (2015), and Fearless (2018). He closes 2021 with a new instrumental solo effort, Quantum Leap, featuring 10 tracks that both showcase the playing style Gus is known for and takes fans into new territory.
GUS G. made a name for himself with Firewind, the band he initially launched as a solo project in 1998 that made its official debut in 2002. In that time the band has released nine albums, while Gus has also recorded and toured with Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Ozzy Osbourne. He has also made inroads as a solo artist, having released three albums under his own name: I Am The Fire (2014), Brand New Revolution (2015), and Fearless (2018). He closes 2021 with a new instrumental solo effort, Quantum Leap, featuring 10 tracks that both showcase the playing style Gus is known for and takes fans into new territory.
Quantum Leap came together over the course of the worldwide pandemic that, unfortunately, prevented Firewind’s self-titled album from 2020 from gaining any real momentum. Immobilized by the quarantine measures that kept him at home, Gus began compiling musical ideas to keep himself occupied, which led to the full-on effort to write and record an album during the summer of 2021.
“I didn’t make Quantum Leap with the intention of it being the next one in the cycle of solo albums,” Gus admits. “It was more of a case of, ‘What else is there?’ I needed the creative outlet.”
A creative outlet was found – and a new track was created: „Enigma Of Life“. The instrumental impressively shows off Gus G.’s talent and the diversity of guitar instrumentals:
Guitar shredder and string virtuoso GUS G. has released his exceptional new single „Fierce“. To round this up, Gus teamed up with filmaker Panagiotis Kountouras to produce a videoclip that offers unequalled opportunities – a very special love story with corpsepaint included. Are you ready for this?
No black metal makeover, nor did he change his style of music – Gus is just having fun doing something totally unexpected. With corpsepaint on his face he’s trying to overcome the daily rockstar routine and in the end finds true love.
Gus G. states on this: „I came up with the concept of a lonely Rock star who eventually finds true love in the eyes of “Necromantissa” – a girl he previously kept hostage in his dungeon. Music finally unites them and they live happily ever after and even form a Metal band. Nightmare or reality? […] We had tons of fun shooting this, getting in full makeup. I love certain black metal & shock rock aesthetics & wanted to try something different, instead of doing yet another performance video. And I also wanted to make a video with my cats too“
“Fierce” is the follow up single to “Exosphere”, Gus’ first solo music release in 3 years which came out back in April and was very well received by guitar fans & instrumental music lovers. The single proved to be a nice opportunity for Gus to engage with his fans, after he invited them to virtually jam with him by uploading their own version of the track.