Gus G Interview by Heavy Oder Was?
1. Tell me all about the history of the band.
The idea of FIREWIND was born in late 1998, after I dropped out of Beklee College of Music. I was living in Boston back then, and with the help of some friends, I recorded some songs I had written and put them on a CD that I called FIREWIND. I was also doing a lot of instrumental music and basically I was sending all my demos to David T. Chastain from Leviathan Records. David always liked the stuff I was sending him and was always encouraging me to continue working on my sound and style. A couple of years later I sent him some songs that he really liked and he offered to help me to find the right people for my band and to produce my music. That's how I got my contract with Leviathan Records. Vocalist Stephen Fredrick (x-Kenziner) and drummer Brian Harris (also from Kenziner, Zanister) joined the band thru David, and I brought in bassist, Konstantine who's also from Greece. After many months of preparation and writing the best material possible, we entered the studio. The album was recorded in 3 different studios in USA and Greece. The guitars and bass were recorded in Greece, the vocals in Atlanta, GA and the drum tracks were recorded in Ohio. The album was mixed in Studio Fredman in Sweden by my friend and Dream Evil bandmate, Fredrik Nordstrom.
2. How does it come that a man from Greece lives in Sweden and plays in an American based group?
I moved to Sweden in 1999, cause I started Dream Evil with Fredrik. However, I was always writing material for FIREWIND and at the time I was still sending demos to Leviathan. The band became more American based, because Leviathan Records is an American label and David's connections with other musicians were mostly in the US. However, I am the "soul" of FIREWIND and I am Greek, as half the band is Greek and half American. The way we work with my other FIREWIND band mates is, that I make all the music and arrangements and I later send everything to the US, and they record it there. Of course, when it came to co-ordinate all this, Chastain was a major help.
3. Will there be live performances with the band?
We hope so, and we're working on that right now. We really want to tour Europe and Japan this year. However, this also depends on the album's success and of course the touring opportunities that will come our way.
4. How does the songwriting work?
Like I mentioned before, I am responsible for all the compositions, I write and arrange all the music. I also come up with lyrics and melodies and later Stephen fixes everything and makes it 10 times better. David Chastain helps me a lot with production stuff when it comes to the songwriting as well, like suggesting different things and ideas. Once I record all the stuff in my home studio, I sent it over to Leviathan and they take over from there, and I trust them. I know of David's works and Stephen's works and they always come up with the best results!!!
5. How do you decide which song to pick for DREAM EVIL or FIREWIND?
Well, obviously both bands have different styles. Also, in Dream Evil I write with the rest of the band members, while in Firewind, I write all the music by myself. So, it's 2 different things there. If my riffs/ideas are more hard rock/heavy, I put them on the Dream Evil songs and the heavier and more guitar oriented stuff goes for Firewind. It's not a tough decision to make actually..... I can feel it when I start making a song, for which band it will fit best.
6. Can you live from the music and what are your next projects?
Yes, I can live from music now, but I'm living on very little money. I also don't know if I'll get bigger paychecks or smaller....that depends on the success of my albums. Some of my future projects are a melodic death metal band I'm working with, called Nightrage, and also I have finished the recordings of the second Mystic Prophecy album which should be out late 2002 or early 2003. I have also done guest solos on the new and upcoming releases of Old Man's Child and Dragonland. As you can see, I'm very busy with all these projects, but I'm mainly concentrating on the new material for the second Firewind right now.
Thank you Heavy Oder Was? and to all of you
BEWARE OF THE FIREWIND THAT'S RAGING!!!