Gus G Interview by Scott from live4metal.com
What's the story of Firewind?
GUS G: I started the whole idea in 1998. I recorded some demos and sent them to labels. My demos got the interest of David Chastain and Leviathan Records. They asked me to submit more material and a couple of years later, I got my contract with Leviathan. David Chastain helped me to get the rest of the members, with the exception of Konstantine, who I brought in.
How did you decide on the name for the band?
GUS G: FIREWIND is the name of an Uli Roth album. I always liked it and decided to use it. I think FIREWIND is a very strong name.
Between Heaven and Hell is a blast of classic metal fury. What were you trying to accomplish with this album?
GUS G: I tried to make as best high quality music as possible, blending heavy and aggressive riffs with great melodies.
Aside from the ripping guitar parts, there is a tremendous amount of emphasis on the vocals and choruses. Is this the influence of singer Stephen Frederick coming through?
GUS G: Definitely!! Stephen's great at doing bombastic choruses and multiple vocal harmonies.
How did Leviathan Records find you?
GUS G: Like I said, I sent my demos to them and David Chastain got back to me and asked me to submit more material.
Your guitar playing is phenomenal. I was amazed to find out that you were only 21 years old. How long have you been playing guitar?
GUS G: Thanx!! Actually, I just turned 22 last week. I've been playing since I was 10. However, I first picked up the el. Guitar when I was 14.
At what point in your young life did you begin playing professionally?
GUS G: I've always had a professional way of thinking, but things started taking off and becoming more professional since the beginning of 2002.
Who inspired you to pick up the axe?
GUS G: I guess it was after listening to a Peter Frampton record that my father had at home.
I read in the bio about an earlier version of Firewind. Please elaborate.
GUS G: That was when I was living in Boston in 1998. I was taking lessons from Joe Stump and I decided to drop out of Berklee College to focus on my music. I asked some friends to help me with some recordings. It was a vocalist named Brandon Pender and Reign of Terror drummer, Matt Scurfield that helped me, and we recorded 10 songs. I named the project FIREWIND and the CD Nocturnal Symphony. I tried to shop it to labels but nothing happened. It was quite a confused CD, stylistically.
It appears that you've made the metal rounds, appearing on albums by Mystic Prophecy, Dream Evil, and Exhumation. Tell me about your experiences with these bands.
GUS G: I'm a full time member of DREAM EVIL. With MYSTIC PROPHECY I debuted in the discography with the album "Vengeance" in 2001. I'm still in that band, but it's more like a project. With Exhumation, I just did a guest solo on one of their albums, that's all.
Is it difficult keeping a band together when two members are from Greece and two members are from the United States?
GUS G: Yes, it's difficult only when it comes to touring. We have no problems with the songwriting, as I write all of the songs and then I send them to Stephen and he does the vocals, so that's an easy process.
Both you and bassist Konstantine are from Greece. Are you still living there?
GUS G: Konstantine is living there. I live half year in Sweden and half year in Greece.
What is the metal scene like in Greece?
GUS G: Quite underground, but it's growing.
Konstantine apparently has dispensed with his last name altogether, and you only use one letter. Why did you decide to go with Gus G., rather than using your full name?
GUS G: It's a secret.
Are there big tour plans on the horizon?
GUS G: Nothing official yet.
Is there anything else that you would like to tell the readers of Live 4 Metal?
GUS G: Thanx for your support and stay METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!