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A Coke And A Smile With Firewind Guitarist Gus G

Photo of Firewind

Band Photo: Firewind (?)

Metal and hardcore bands seem to be taking a little more notice of the South East of Spain lately. While Madrid and Barcelona still receives regular visits from all manner of heavy groups, the industrial city of Murcia is finally getting some recognition and receiving visits from big names. Of course, with awesome bands comes the opportunity to conduct some (I hope) great interviews and so I pursued the chance to sit down with Firewind founder and guitarist Gus G. (also known for his tenure as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne) to talk about the band's latest album, "Immortals," lineup changes and Greek metal and history, which we did at a small tapas bar after sharing some Eddie Murphy/Richard Pryor jokes (hence the article title.)

Diamond Oz: So, you're on tour at the moment promoting, "Immortals," which was released last January. How would you say the response to "Immortals" has been?"

Gus G.: It's really great! We didn't expect we would expand the tour that long. We had been away for like four years and everything moves so fast so we thought, "OK, we'll do one round of Europe, maybe some festivals" and then we started getting offers to go to Russia and South America, then Rage reached out and offered us the tour so it's been great, we're very happy. Fans love the album, it's one of the best received albums of our career.

Oz: It is a solid album, I bought it a few weeks ago. I heard earlier that the idea of Rage and Firewind touring together had been around for quite a while.

Gus: Yeah, that was an idea that came about months ago. We're on the same management roster, which is run by Lucky, the drummer from Rage and they had this idea that we should go out together, which is great because the music styles blend together so well and we have a similar fan base, though obviously Rage is a much older band than we are. So far the package has worked out great.

Oz: Yeah, like you say it's a great pairing because the music is by no means exactly alike.

Gus: No, I mean both bands have their own styles and stuff but we both believe in the power of the package and if you're a fan of heavy metal/power metal/melodic metal, whatever you want to call this, then there's no reason why you shouldn't go out and see this.

Oz: Well, we mentioned the album "Immortals" and that's the first album with Henning Basse on vocals, but he's worked with you on some live shows, so was he the first choice as the new vocalist?

Gus: He was our touring vocalist in 2007. He was always in the back of our minds, though we didn't really audition anybody. Henning was just an obvious choice. We thought, "We don't wanna bring in somebody we don't know" because we don't know how the fans are gonna react to that person and how they're gonna react to the road. Can you live with that person on the road? We knew Henning, he can do our back catalogue no problem, great frontman, super nice guy so he was kind of an obvious choice and I just happened to meet him again and that's how the discussions started, there was never any audition. We never sat down and discussed a new singer, though some names were thrown around but Henning was an obvious choice. He knows the back catalogue, he's done it before, so our fans were familiar with him.

For the full interview, see the video below.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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