Interviews > Firewind Interview
Firewind
Interview by Athena Schaffer

Firewind rush headlong into the fray with their valiant new “Few Against Many” (Knife Fight Media). This album is an excellent follow-up to their brilliant “Premonition”, which remains in The Crowgrrl’s personal Heavy Rotation Stack. “Few Against Many” overall can only be described as a soaring, captivating Power Metal treat!

Originally from Greece but now based in the U.S., Firewind is: guitar virtuoso Gus G, vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, bassist Petros Christodoulidis, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Bob Katsionis, and drummer John Nunez. The album features exquisite artwork featuring a flaming statue of Nike – Goddess of Victory – surrounded by Samurai flags; this artwork was done by Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes

The Crowgrrl recently caught up with guitar legend Gus G to delve deeper into this superb album and other goings-on in the Firewind camp.

"Few Against Many" is a phenomenal album!

Thank you!

Can you tell us a bit more about the rapid-fire title track?

It's one of my favorite tracks of the record. I love the heaviness and energy of it and also the dramatic vibe it has in its melodies. I think it's one of our best tracks yet.

"The Undying Fire" is another excellent song. Can you tell us more about that one?

The theme of the song is basically about humanity and about carrying on and how we control our fate, and so on. Musically it's a track that I think will go down really well at shows. It has the right groove and quite heavy riffs.

"Destiny" is gorgeous! Any comments on this one?

Thanks! That's a typical Firewind melodic track, but the chorus almost has a punk rock feel to it. When I first showed it to the guys, they said "you can't do that!" haha! They thought it was a strange tempo change for the chorus, but that's what makes this song different and not just an ordinary melodic metal track. Plus, I love the middle section when this heavy, barbaric riff comes in.

"Another Dimension" is profound! (One of my favorites!) What’s your inspirations behind this one?

It's a song that me and Bob wrote together. We basically put a bunch of cool riffs together and we aimed for making a different song. I wanted it this to be a thrash metal track, that's why the main riff has that beat. It's a pretty technical track actually and there's lots of guitar / keyboard shredding going on.

Apocalyptica joined you on "Edge of a Dream"?

Yes, we thought it'd be great to have cellos on that track and we asked Apocalyptica to guest, without expecting to hear back from them. We sent them the track and they liked it a lot and got back to us saying they'd love to play on it. I think it came out amazing and their cellos really lifted the song.

What’s your personal favorite song on the new album?

Hard to pick, as I love them all. But I really like the title track "Few Against Many" if I HAVE to choose just one.

Any video plans for any songs?

We've already released the 1st video, it's for "Wall Of Sound".

What was the songwriting process like this time around? Did you approach it any differently than your previous albums?

Usually I'd write most of the stuff together with Apollo and Bob. This time around and because I was on tour with Ozzy for 18 months, I came up with most of the stuff myself while on tour. I had a bunch of riffs in my head and on one of the tour breaks I just recorded some demos. 6-7 tracks of what u hear on the album shaped up quickly and then sent them to the guys and we started working on them (vocals, lyrics, etc.)

Gustavo Sazos’ cover art is interesting – he paired a statue of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory with Samurai flags?

It's actually a statue in Lisbon, Portugal. But it looks pretty Greek haha! My idea was to have a dark battlefield with the Samurai war flags. Gustavo added the burning statue to this. I like the elements cross over, fits with the overall concept.

You’re going to be touring China and Taiwan?

Yes, in August. Beijing and Shanghai and also playing in Taipei, Taiwan.

You’re also appearing at some of the summer festivals?

Yup, here's the festival dates:
13.07. Balingen (Germany) - Bang Your Head!!! Festival
14.07. Vizovice (Czech Republic) - Masters Of Rock Festival
18.07. Thessaloniki (Greece) - Mylos Open Air
28.07. Rotterdam (The Netherlands) - Roadgrill Festival
17.08. Dinkelsbühl (Germany) - Summer Breeze Open Air

You’re touring Europe with Leaves’ Eyes this Fall?

Yes, we are. and here are the complete dates:
13.09.2012 Cardiff (UK) - Clwb Ifor Bach
14.09.2012 Manchester (UK) - Moho
15.09.2012 Dublin (Ireland) - Button Factory
16.09.2012 Belfast (Northern Ireland) - Spring And Airbrake
18.09.2012 Sheffield (UK) - Corporation
19.09.2012 Nuneaton (UK) - Queens Hall
20.09.2012 Plymouth (UK) - White Rabbit
21.09.2012 Southampton (UK) - Talking Heads
22.09.2012 London (UK) - O2 Islington Academy
23.09.2012 Margate (UK) - West Coast Bar
25.09.2012 Paris (France) - Divan du Monde
26.09.2012 Colmar (France) - Le Grillen
27.09.2012 Bochum (Germany) - Matrix
28.09.2012 Hamburg (Germany) - Knust
29.09.2012 Kolding (Denmark) - Godset
30.09.2012 Berlin (Germany) - SO36


Any tour plans for the US or other parts of the world?

We will be coming to the US shortly after the European run. I expect it to start early November, so stay tuned for dates to be announced.

What is your live show like this time around?

Well, I'd like to play lots of the new tracks and we want our show to be heavier than ever before! We plan to step things up big time!

Does your live set list contain mostly songs from your new album, or your other albums?

We always try and include material from all our albums. Hopefully that pleases most fans, if not all. But I do wanna add quite a few of the new tracks to the setlist. We'll see how it goes.

What kinds of merch are you bringing with you this time?

We'll be having new designs out there that match the new album concept and artwork, so come out to the shows to get exclusive Firewind merch that u can't get anywhere else!

What do you do on your “down-time” on the road? Do you bring movies or videogames? If so, which ones?

I try to keep up with the day to day business of the band, do press, go to the gym and relax.

Are you still with Ozzy’s band as well? If so, what’s going on from that camp?

Yes, I am. I'm on tour with him as we speak. We're doing the "Ozzy & Friends" tour in Europe.

How Hands-On are you with your Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace pages?

I'm a control freak I guess. I handle my own Twitter page and update the Facebook page from time to time. But we do have a webmaster and we tell him what we like updated and all that.

Is there anything that I didn’t ask that you want to tell our readers?

Thanx for your support and make sure to check firewond.gr for the latest news and access to buy our new album "Few Against Many"!