Gus G Interview by Roadie Crew
How are you managing the time between among Firewind, Dream Evil and Mystic Prophecy? Has it been complicated to council the time among the three bands? Some of them are priority?
Gus G: There hasn't been any problems so far, the time schedules are worked out fine. Firewind and Dream Evil are my priorities, Mystic Prophecy doesn't take up much of my time, as it's more of a side project.
How do you come to Stephen Frederick, Brian Harris and your country mate Konstantine? Was it all through the producer David T. Chastain?
Gus G: Stephen and Brian came thru Chastain. He has worked with them many times in the past. I brought in Konstantine.
Talking about the other members of the band, what do you think about the works of Zanister, Kenziner and Vainglory?
Gus G: They are all very melodic, and,as I know you prefer heavier bands like Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Rotting Christ. I like the first Kenziner and Zanister albums. Vainglory's album is also very good I like the way they blend the thrashy riffs with power metal. I listen to a lot of bands, some of them are more of the extreme sound like Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child and Rotting Christ. However, I also like bands like Lacuna Coil and Lost Horizon.
About David, I thought the production on the album is great. He's really very good isn't he? And he is a workaholic!!!
Gus G: Well, I think David needs no introduction. He is simply one of the best out there and he's been delivering us great albums for decades now. It has been a dream come true working with him!!
Firewind managed to do something very difficult nowadays. You did a melodic metal album that is not repetitive and doesn't sound like we already heard it thousands time before. Do you agree that the actual melodic scene is super populated? What do you think is the greatest differential on Firewind?
Gus G: Thanx for your nice words! I think Firewind has good quality music and blends agressiveness and melody in a cool way. However, I don't think about it much, I just do what I do.
How many shows Firewind did until now? How was the reception of the songs alive? What are the touring plans?
Gus G: There haven't been any live shows with FIREWIND yet. No touring plans as of now either.
In what country do you agree to rehearse for the tour? I'm asking because on the record the guitars, keyboards, and bass were recorded in Greece, the drums and vocals on the USA and the mix were made on Sweden. Maybe the geographical factor is the biggest problem to the band isn't it?
Gus G: Like I said we haven't rehearsed and played yet, but if and when we do that, we will propably all meet in Sweden, as I live there now. Yes, I agree with you that the long distance between us is a problem when it comes to tours. For creating and recording the music it's no problem. However, we'll figure out a way thru this, when the time comes for touring.
When I wrote about Between Heaven and Hell, I said "Who Am I" is the most Malmsteen song that Malmsteen hasn't done. Do you agree? I didn't mean like it was a copy, but there is a very strong influence on this track.
Gus G: Yes, Who Am I is the only "neo-classical" song in the album. You can strongly hear my Yngwie and J.S.Bach influences in there. Actually, the baroque part before the solo, is an actual J.S.Bach piece from one of his violin concertos, that I translated on the guitar.
You recorded a Scorpions cover on the record, "Pictured Life," and it worked great. But, that's not a natural Scorpions' song to be covered; it's from the very beginning of the band, from the album "Virgin Killer", from 76. Metal bands normally cover "Rock You Like a Hurricane", "Blackout" or "Big City Nights". Why do you choose this song? The fact of having one of you major influences, Uli Jon Roth, as one of the composers helped the choice? Do you prefer this time on the Scorpions career?
Gus G: I chose that song for different reasons. The most important one is, that it's one of favourite songs of all time!!! Secondly, I wanted to pay tribute to both Uli Roth and the Scorpions, as they have influenced me so much. And yes, the 70's era of the Scorpions is my favourite! I love albums like Taken by Force, Virgin Killer and Tokyo Tapes!
I had the chance to watch Dream Evil on the "Wacken" this year. I got astonished with the band's performance, it seemed that you played together for a long time and not that it was just the fourth band's show. How's Firewind on stage? What's the main difference compared to Dream evil alive?
Gus G: Like I said before, FIREWIND hasn't done any live shows yet. But when we do, I'm sure they will be very raw, very heavy and very METAL!!!
And how about songwriting? It seems to me that on Dream Evil is more divided between the members.
Gus G: Yes, that's one of the main differences of the 2 bands. In Dream Evil all 5 members write music and lyrics, but in Firewind I write all music and Stephen writes the lyrics. It works best that way for both bands.
You were on the Digitnet Music Guitar Masters series. How does that happened? You didn't played on Firewind or Dream Evil yet, did you?
Gus G: David Chastain asked me to participate on the DGM series and I accepted, as I found it a very cool idea. It sure was a lot of fun!!! Yes, at the time I was in Dream Evil and Firewind, we just didn't have our albums released.
I think you Gus and Rotting Christ are the biggest names on Greek metal in all times, right? Why does a Greek band never really exploded on the world, like happened on other countries like Italy, Sweden, Norway, among others? We all know the size of the Greek scene, with very passionate fans!!!
Gus G: Well,maybe me and Rotting Christ are the biggest bands/artists in Greece selling-wise at the moment. However, there are other very important Greek metal bands that have sort of "placed" our little country on the map.I don't know why any Greek band hasn't exploded. It's sad. But maybe it's about time it happened!
And this fact about the fans, is very much like over here in Brazil. Almost all the bands quote both countries as the greatest audiences, the most vibrant and passionate. What do you know about our scene? Do you like any Brazilian band?
Gus G: I know you have Sepultura and Angra. I think Sepultura is great, but I'm not familiar with Angra's music.
Do you have any other project in mind? A whole instrumental record? Na orchestra record? What are your futures plans?
Gus G: Well, for now I'm very busy working on th new Dream Evil and after that I will start working on the next Firewind album. The second Mystic Prophecy is already finished and should be released in the following months, and currently I'm working with a new death metal band called Nightrage. I will play some solos with them and maybe sing a bit!
Thank you for your time, and now as tradition you must choose your five favorite albums of all time (the best 5 Heavy Metal albums you've heard in your entire life)
Gus G: The hardest question haha!! In no particular order,here it is:
The Scorpions- Virgin Killer
Yngwie Malmsteen - Trilogy
Metallica - Metallica
Black Sabbath - Master of reality
The Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes
However, there are many more classic albums that I love...these are just 5 of them.
Bye, see you and good luck!
Gus G: Thanx for your support!! Hope to see you soon in Brazil!! Take care and stay METAL!!