Gus G Interview by Music Bottom Line
What was it that intrigued you about becoming a guitarist? Who are your influences?
GUS G: I picked up the guitar because I heard Peter Frampton when I was 8 or 9
years old. My father had a record of his and I thought it would be very cool
to play rock guitar like that.
Of course, now my influences as guitarist, are different. When I was 15, I
heard Yngwie Malmsteen and since then I got into more technical playing. My
main influences as a guitarist are Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and
You have obviously had some intense Musical Training to become the
player that you are today. Describe your training and practice routines.
GUS G: To be honest, I haven't practiced in 3 years!!! Now days I just pick up the
guitar to jam a little and to mainly compose. But I was practicing heavily
for 8-10 hours a day when I was 14 until 18. I was discovering a lot of new
things and experimenting with new ideas and sounds, while I practiced the
books and ideas that my teacher was giving me. So, besides learning how to
read music and learning scales and chords, I was
also practicing along with my favorite albums and learning songs and solos
by ear and I also tried to work on my improvising skills. In general, it was
a whole bunch of things!
How would you describe your style of playing?
GUS G: I find it hard to describe my playing actually.......I don't like to go on
like "yeah, I play like this and like that"......it would be better to let
some fan or somebody who has a good idea of what my style is about, to
How do you manage your time between 3 different bands? And how do you decide which songs to use for each band?
GUS G: Mystic Prophecy is a side project of mine and doesn't take much space as
Lia, our singer is taking care of most things in that band.
My main bands are Firewind and Dream Evil and so far I manage to do both
full time. I don't really separate my songs like that. Whenever I make a
song for Firewind or Dream Evil, I feel it right away that it fits best for
one of them.
How did Firewind come about?
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.
Firewind has a very melodic sound but is heavier than I thought it would be since you use Keyboards, is that something you planned on?
GUS G: Yes, I was going for a very raw and heavy sound. The keyboards play a very
small role in the music of Firewind, you can only hear keys in a couple of
spots on the album.
How did you and David T. Chastain come together?
GUS G: Well, David always liked the material I was sending him and after some point
he told me he wanted to produce my music.
On your New Album some of the lyrics pertain to the attacks of September 11th. Has what happened changed the way your able to tour through the world?
GUS G: I haven't been touring around the world, so I haven't had any bad
experiences so far.....
A lot of bands have said that they notice their music acting as a healing tool for a lot of people since the 9/11 attacks. Do you sense this?
GUS G: Not really. Nobody has come up and told me that our music helped him in that
Would you please elaborate on the following statement, "I don't think the US market is big for any metal bands, unless they have rap or hip hop influences. Why do you think this is and what will it take to change this?
GUS G: I really have no idea why this is and what will it take. I don't know if it
would help if a band like FIREWIND got a signed to a major label in the
States with a million dollar deal. Maybe nothing would change, maybe a lot
of things would change.
Maybe it's the people that "eat" whatever MTV "feeds" them.
For us in the USA how would you describe the music outside of the USA?
GUS G: I think European music is more melodic.
Who are you listening to these days?
GUS G: Different CDs that caught my attraction lately.....I'm listening to the new
Rotting Christ a bit, and a great Swedish metal band, Lost Horizon.
Do you prefer the larger venues or the more intimate clubs and why?
GUS G: I don't care, I play anywhere!!.......As long as there's a great crowd the
smallest club can feel like it's a big arena!!
If you had to list them who would you consider the 5 greatest Guitarists of all time? And if you had to as well the worst?
GUS G: There's more than 5 greatest guitarists in history! However, I will tell you
some of MY favorites: Michael Schenker, Yngwie, Uli Roth, Jimi Hendrix and
SRV. I don't know about the worst......there's probably
a lot of them around, but I can't remember anyone right now.
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the road.
GUS G: I haven't had a big touring experience, therefore nothing crazy has
happened to me so far, I can say though, that a lot of cool things happen
when you're on the road!