The news rocked the World Wide Metal Web, Ozzy Osbourne personally picked Gus G. to be his new guitarplayer. “I play with the biggest rock god in rock history!”, the ace axeman laughs. Fans of the top string-shredder from Greece have even more reason to look forward to the future, because his band FIREWIND is releasing a new masterpiece.
Greece is encountering hard times at the moment, a fact that is reflected by “Days Of Defiance“. “Many parts of the world are going through a political and economic crisis. You see people reacting, they are protesting, almost revolting. So the new album has a kind of rebellious message to it, it’s a wake-up call.“ Of course the raging crisis is affecting the music of the five-piece from Southern Europe. „We still play a mix of Melodic Metal and Rock´n´Roll, but this album is darker, angrier and heavier. My guitar playing is better than in the past, my rhythm is tight and heavy, my soloing improved. There is a lot of cool guitar on the record, not only melodies but a lot of cool technical stuff as well. I worked hard on that.”
The opening track “The Ark Of Lies” is a perfect example of their new approach. “It has a rebellious feeling, a really heavy rhythm with a fast double bass drum and a lot of guitar. The lyrics deal with all this corruption and those people that are lying to us.” A little less aggressive and more radio friendly is “Embrace The Sun“, “it is this Hard Rock moment that FIREWIND has on every album. It deals with the human condition and the feelings of a person. It actually has a positive meaning, one of its lines goes: ,You can’t change the world / but you can change yourself.’” Furthermore the album contains a ballad, ““Broken” is very cool and melodic“, as Gus describes it.
“We had a different approach to this album, it is not as polished as the previous ones. It has a more organic sound, more stripped down. The whole band produced it. Our keyboard player Bob Katsionis did the engineering.” Recorded in their own studio in Greece, the album was mixed and mastered in Finland at Sonic Pump studio. With the release of “Days Of Defiance”, FIREWIND also introduce new drummer Michael Ehré (of Uli Jon Roth, Metalium and others), “a fantastic player”, Gus raves about the rhythm skills of the German band member.
The guitar player originally started the band in Thessaloniki in 1998. “For some time I studied at Berklee College of music in the USA. Some friends helped me to put together a demo, that I named FIREWIND, after an album of Uli Jon Roth’s band Electric Sun. I sent this demo around and got a couple of offers.” Consequently FIREWIND released their debut “Between Heaven And Hell” in 2002. The following year saw „Burning Earth“ and new keyboard player Bob Katsionis joined before 2005’s “Forged By Fire“, the album which also saw the band signing a new worldwide deal with Century Media Records. By that time Gus G. decided to make FIREWIND his main priority and also a proper touring band, so he left his other bands Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy, Arch Enemy (who he toured Ozzfest with in 2005) and Nightrage. With renewed energy and finding their current singer Apollo Papathanasio, FIREWIND recorded “Allegiance” (2006) and “The Premonition” (2008) as well as the “Live Premonition” DVD/Live-CD release (2008). To promote their albums the stormy Greek rockers were involved in several touring activities. In 2006/2007 they toured Asia, USA, Africa and Europe. All in all they played more than hundred concerts. When not playing as headliners, the restless fivesome shared stages with Dragonforce, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Edguy and Joe Satriani. In 2008 FIREWIND toured successfully with their friends Kamelot, followed by a US tour alongside Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity and Divine Heresy. The summer months consisted of triumphant festival gigs (Download, Graspop, Bang Your Head, etc.) and to finish a great year the band toured as headliners through Europe.
Since Gus G. joined Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 2009 he is collecting a lot of frequent flyer miles. “At the moment I live in Los Angeles and Thessaloniki. When I play with Ozzy I’m fully committed to him and when there is a break I will go out with FIREWIND. I promise to all the fans, FIREWIND will definitely go on tour pretty soon.”
Apollo Papathanasio – Vocals
Gus G. – Guitars
Petros Christo – Bass
Bob Katsionis – Keyboards
Michael Ehré – Drums
Between Heaven And Hell – CD 2002
Burning Earth – CD 2003
Forged by Fire – CD 2005
Allegiance – CD 2006
The Premonition – CD 2008
Live Premonition – DVD/Live-2CD 2008
Days Of Defiance – CD 2010