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"Interview with guitarist Gus G"Edit

1. Please tell us the history of FIREWIND.

I FIRST TRIED TO UTILIZE MY MUSICAL VISION WITH FIREWIND IN THE FALL OF 1998. AT THE TIME I WAS LIVING IN BOSTON AND WAS ATTENDING BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC, WHEN I DECIDED TO DROP OUT AND RECORD A CD AT MY OWN EXPENSE. MY GUITAR TEACHER WAS JOE STUMP AND HE HELPED ME TO MEET A FEW PEOPLE. THRU JOE I MET DRUMMER MATT SCURFIELD(REIGN OF TERROR), AND IN BERKLEE I MET VOCALIST BRANDON PENDER. WITH THOSE GUYS I RECORDED MY FIRST FIREWIND SONGS IN A CD ENTITLED "NOCTURNAL SYMPHONY". HOWEVER, I MUST ADMIT THAT THE CD WAS QUITE UNFOCUSED STYLISTICALLY-WISE. THEREFORE, IT WAS NEVER COMMERCIALLY RELEASED, APART FROM A SMALL RELEASE THAT DIGINET MUSIC DID OVER THE INTERNET A FEW YEARS LATER. I CONTINUED MAKING DEMOS AND WORKING ON MY STYLE AND SOUND, AFTER I HAD TAKEN DAVID CHASTAIN'S ADVICE. I HAD BEEN SENDING LEVIATHAN RECORDS DEMOS SINCE 1998 BUT IT WAS IN LATE 1999 WHEN I SENT DAVID CHASTAIN A TAPE THAT REALLY GOT HIS ATTRACTION. HE ASKED ME TO SUBMIT MORE SONGS AND AFTER A FEW MONTHS I HAD AN ALBUM'S WORTH OF MATERIAL. IN THE SUMMER OF 2001 FIREWIND SIGNED A RECORDING AGREEMENT WITH LEVIATHAN RECORDS AND NOW WE'RE HERE!!

2. How did you come upon the other band members for "Between Heaven and Hell?" Please tell us your thoughts on their performances on the Cd.

DAVID CHASTAIN WAS A GREAT HELP WHEN IT CAME TO FINDING THE RIGHT PEOPLE. I HAD SOME FRIENDS HELPING ME FOR DEMOS ORIGINALLY, BUT I WAS MISSING A GREAT VOCALIST. DAVID HOOKED ME UP WITH X-KENZINER SINGER, STEPHEN FREDRICK WHO IS TOTALLY AMAZING AND IS A GUY THAT I HAD ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY IN A BAND WITH!! HE ALSO HOOKED ME UP WITH DRUMMER BRIAN HARRIS(X-KENZINER, ZANISTER, VAINGLORY) AND I BROUGHT IN MY LONG TIME FRIEND AND GREAT BASS PLAYER, KONSTANTINE FROM GREECE. I BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB ON THE ALBUM, I'M REALLY SATISFIED!! IT FEELS GREAT TO HAVE SUCH GREAT MUSICIANS IN THE BAND!

3. What guitars and amps did you use in the recording process?

I USED MY FENDER STRATOCASTER GUITAR AND A FENDER ROC PRO AMP FOR THE RECORDINGS OF BETWEEN HEAVEN & HELL. NOWADAYS, I AM ENDORSED AND EXCLUSIVELY USE WASHBURN GUITARS AND RANDALL AMPS.

4. Please tell us about all of your other recordings.

I ALSO PLAY WITH 2 OTHER BANDS.....ONE IS FROM GERMANY AND IT'S CALLED MYSTIC PROPHECY AND THE OTHER ONE IS FROM SWEDEN AND IT'S CALLED DREAM EVIL. I HAVE RELEASED DEBUT ALBUMS WITH BOTH BANDS:
2001: MYSTIC PROPHECY "VENGEANCE"
2002: DREAM EVIL "DRAGONSLAYER"
I HAVE ALSO RELEASED AN INSTRUMENTAL CD THRU DAVID CHASTAIN'S INTERNET COMPANY, DIGINET MUSIC. THE CD IS CALLED "DIGINET GUITAR MASTERS." OTHER THAN THAT, I HAVE APPEARED AS A GUEST SOLOIST ON CDs WITH BANDS LIKE OLD MAN'S CHILD, RAIS HELL, EXHUMATION, DRAGONLA AND DIES IRAE.

5. Who are your biggest guitar influences?

MICHAEL SCHENKER, ULI JON ROTH AND YNGWIE MALMSTEEN HAVE HAD A BIG IMPACT ON ME. THOSE GUYS ARE TRUE GUITAR LEGENDS! I ALSO LIKE JOHN NORUM AND VINNIE MOORE A LOT. HAVE TO SAY THAT THE 2 GUITARISTS THAT ORIGINALLY MADE ME WANT TO PLAY GUITAR, WAS PETER FRAMPTON AND AL DI MEOLA. WHEN I HEARD FRAMPTON'S "TALKING" GUITAR ON HIS LIVE LP FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE, KNEW I WANTED TO BE A GUITARIST! I WAS ONLY 9 YEARS OLD, WHEN THAT HAPPENED.

6. You seem to play a lot of guitar harmonies. What draws you to that sound?

I REALLY DON'T KNOW.....I THINK A MELODY SOMETIMES SOUNDS STRONGER AND MORE PASSIONATE IF THERE'S A HARMONY TO IT. OF COURSE, THAT CAN'T BE TRUE AT ALL TIMES. JUST FEEL THAT MY SONGS NEED THOSE TYPE OF HARMONIES IN THERE, THEY SOUND MORE INTERESTING.

7. You seem to have a lot of top name people involved on this Cd, Fredrik Nordstrom, David T. Chastain, Rainer Kalwitz and Goran Finnberg. Do you consider yourself lucky for a new band?

FREDRIK NORDSTROM IS ALSO MY BANDMATE IN DREAM EVIL AND IS A GOOD FRIEND. IT FEELS REALLY COOL TO HAVE ALL THESE NAMES IN THE CREDITS OF MY ALBUM!!! I DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD FEEL LUCKY, BUT I THINK IF YOU WANT TO SOUND, LOOK AND BE MORE PROFESSIONAL, YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH THE TOP PRODUCERS, TO ENGINEERS, TO MUSICIANS AND TOP ARTISTS!

8. What all labels is FIREWIND on throughout the world?

THANKS TO DAVID CHASTAIN AND LEVIATHAN, "BETWEEN HEAVEN & HELL" WILL BE AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE!! IT WILL BE RELEASED THRU TOSHIBA/EMI IN JAPAN, MASSACRE RECORDS IN EUROPE, ROCK BRIGADE IN SOUTH AMERICA AND LEVIATHAN RECORDS IN NORTH AMERICA. JAPANESE RELEASE DATE IS JUNE 12th AND EUROPEAN, JUNE 24th. US RELEASE DATE IS JULY 29th.

9. What are the future plans for FIREWIND?

TO PROMOTE THIS ALBUM THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE OF COURSE! WE HOPE THE CD WILL SELL GOOD ENOUGH, SO THAT WE CAN DO A POSSIBLE JAPAN TOUR AND LATER ON MAYBE SOME DATES IN EUROPE. OTHER THAN THAT, I WILL SOON START MAKING PRE-PRODUCTION DEMOS FOR THE NEXT FIREWIND ALBUM.

10. Any words to the fans of FIREWIND and GUS G?

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT!!! I HOPE YOU LIKE OUR DEBUT ALBUM AND I HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE ON TOUR!! STAY METAL!!!

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