Interview by Andrea Bermúdez
After Firewind´s first Latin American tour the talented guitarist Gus G., who is going to edit a new solo album, granted us the following interview.
First of all thank you for taking our questions.
Recently you were on a Latin American tour, which is it your balance of this tour in which you were presenting your last album “Immortals”?
Yes, this was the tour to promote our latest release IMMORTALS. We tried to keep a balance in the setlist between new and old fan favorites.
As all we know you are the main composer in Firewind, how did you approach the songwriting for this album, taking into account that there was a specific story to tell in this case?
I was inspired by some older material I wrote and had forgotten about. They sounded very epic and grand but very melodic in the style of Firewind. So I started working on those tracks again and went from there. Slowly the album started taking shape.
“Immortals” is your first conceptual album about the ancient Greek wars, about Peloponnese and Salamis battles in 480 BC. Is the history in general a subject that attracts you?
I’m not a huge history fan, although these are some of the most heroic battles. Being Greek, I grew up knowing about these legendary battles. We always had in mind to make a concept album about our Greek heritage and now it felt it was the time for it.
Which is the Firewind secret to have reached its own sound and style, and sound different in the metal scene?
Firewind is primarily a guitar driven band, but it combines heaviness and melody. There was no secret to developing our own style, we just kept doing it and it developed thru the years and album by album.
Apart from Allegiance and Forged by Fire there are plans for another albums re-edition in the near future? And when will we see finally these albums in vinyl?
Most of our albums have been issued on vinyl, except the debut album I believe. I’d like to do a limited vinyl pressing for that sometime. Hopefully soon.
“Brand New Revolution” was your last solo album and all Gus G. fans are waiting for a new one. In this sense, are you working in new material?
As you might have heard my new album comes out on April 20th and it’s called FEARLESS.
What did it mean for you to have played with a legend in the story of metal music like Mr. Ozzy Osbourne?
It was a life changing experience. I learned so much from this and became a better musician and professionals.
Which are your main influences as a guitarist, and in which way we can say that is reflected in your style?
I’d say players like Tony Iommi, Al Di Meola, Gary Moore, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker, Yngwie to name a few. If you dissect my playing you’ll find elements from all those guys I mentioned.
What kind of advice would you give to so many kids that as you dreamed once, when you were nine years old and used to listen to your father recorded versions of Peter Frampton’s album “Frampton Comes Alive!”, want to be on the stage playing in a metal band?
I would say that they should dream big and not be scared to go after their dreams. Work hard, stay grounded and be patient, good things will happen eventually if you put in the work.
Do you remember the first time that you get on stage? Do you still keep the same feeling of your early days?
The first time I was on stage I was 14 years old and played a school party. I was so shy that my cheeks were red and didn’t dare to look up to the audience during the whole set haha! I don’t get easily nervous today, although I still feel the adrenaline rush when the show intro kicks in.
You have played with Japanese guitars for a long time now you are with Jackson guitars, what these guitars offers to your work? Why you would recommend them?
It was time for me to change and move on to something else. My custom Jacksons are specifically made for me, so they’re perfect for my needs. I hope people can check them out and see if they like it. An instrument is something personal and not all instruments can “speak to you”.
Can you share with our readers what kind of music do you like to listen to in your free time?
Usually blues rock, or new age music, or classic rock, Beatles and stuff like that.
You have been on the road for so many years, I can imagine that you have thousands of stories. Which was the weirdest experience that you remember?
Hard to remember now. I’ve met lots of interesting people, had lots of good gigs, some have been weird, but mostly it’s been a lot of fun.
What else does Firewind have in store for the future? Any other shows, tours or gig lined up?
We will do a couple of festivals in the summer but for the most part we will take a break for a couple of years until I finish my solo tours and start writing new material for our next album.
Any closing words for your fans over the world and readers of this publication? Thanks once more.
Thanks a lot for the support & the interview!
MHF Magazine/Andrea Bermúdez