FIREWIND Interview with Gus G. by Brett for Transcending the Mundane

1. What improvements do you feel the band has made from the debut to Burning Earth?

I think that this is a more mature album both musically and lyrically. I think we have made a big step forward as songwriters and players. Of course we also have a fresh line-up. New drummer Stian Kristoffersen and bass player Petros Christo.

2. I'm assuming the reason you added two new full time members was so you could tour- what plans do you have for bringing Firewind to a live audience? (actually I just noticed the Japanese dates in January)

Yes, exactly. That was the problem with Konstantine and Brian Harris on the first album. They couldn't go on tour. They have families, and they have to pay their bills which I totally understand and respect. Of course they wouldn't make money with Firewind at this point. So, it was a logical step for us to bring new guys in the band.

3. I've read where you are spending most of your time when it comes to guitar playing- composing new music- how have you evolved as a songwriter in recent years?

Oh, very much.........I've written many songs, and have collaborated with many good songwriters and producers. So the past couple of years it has been a very educational period for me. I feel much more confident when I write songs now, it comes out so naturally.

4. With Stephen and David playing such big roles in Firewind, how do you feel you were able to gain the trust and confidence in what they would be adding to the band while you are so far away? Both these guys are classy and talented individuals- why do you think they wanted to be a part of what you are doing with Firewind?

No matter the long distance, I trust David and Stephen since day one. I don't know why, maybe because I always thought that they were very very good at what they are doing. I believe that both of them wanted to get invlolved in Firewind, because they saw that I'm young, talented and with a lot of potential.

5. You're an inspiration to many potential guitarists who like metal, what advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Keep an open mind, try to get as much experience as you can with bands, and follow your heart in your music. Remember that it doesn't matter how fast or great you play....... it's the music that will be remembered for years to come, after all.

6. It's been a busy year with Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy, Firewind and Nightrage- what plans do you have for next year? Which band do you see recording next?

Dream Evil is entering the studio this December to record the 3rd album. The plans for next year are Firewind's Japan and European tours and probably summer festivals after that.

7. Your bands are on different labels, do they ever pressure you to concentrate on one band or to drop what you're doing with another band?

It has happened on some discussions with some of my labels, but everyone respects that I'm a professional musician and also have to make a living out of this.

8. I've read that you enjoy playing Washburn guitars, what is it about their sound that you like best?

Well, I was never a fan of these guitars until I picked up the CP 2003 model. That's not a very expensive guitar, but it has a fat sound and good neck. Also, its shape is very cool!! :-)

9. At this point in your career are you able to make a living from playing metal? What sacrifices must you make to have this work out?

Yes, I am. The sacrifices I have to make are that I cannot be with my family as much as I would like to, I'm pretty much always on the road with a bag of clothes and a guitar and live like a nomad. I don't know if I will be home for X-mas or Easter or take a vacation in the summer, I'm away from friends all the time, can't get a steady relationship with a girl and all that stuff. I guess that's the price I have to pay in order to be a full time Rock musician. But that was my dream, so I don't complain. :-)

10. You're a fan of many old school metal bands, when writing new songs do you try to make an effort to acknowledge your influences and incorporate these type of bands into your own songwriting?

Of course! I mean, most of the greatest albums in Rock history came our in the 70s and 80s and that's where I get my influences and inspiration from. Of course, I incorporate them with my own style and add the contemporary elements. I guess everyone knows that I'm a huge Scorpions fan hehe!!

11. Final comments? Please add anything we missed in the interview. Thanks for your time once again Gus-Brett

I wanna thank you for the interview and support. Thanx to all the fans, make sure u check out "Burning Earth".
Gus G.