FIREWIND guitarist Gus G. has released a new video message in which he offered an update on the band's plans for the coming months. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "FIREWIND is returning next year, and we are working on music. We're working on new songs. There will be a new album in 2023. We're writing songs right now. We're in pre-production mode and songwriting mode. And the new material is killer; it's coming together really nice. And we start the year off with a massive European and U.K. tour. We're playing 42 shows all over Europe and U.K. We're gonna be special guests of BEAST IN BLACK. They're an amazing band. They're blowing up right now. And they're taking us out on tour with them… It's gonna be an amazing show… So, yeah, we start the year off with a massive tour. New music is gonna follow. And we're gonna get to the rest of the parts of the world within the year."
FIREWIND's ninth, self-titled studio album was made available in May 2020.
In early 2020, FIREWIND officially parted ways with guitarist/keyboardist Bob Katsionis and singer Henning Basse. The group's current vocalist is Herbie Langhans, who has previously played with AVANTASIA and SINBREED.
Gus and Langhans got to know each other back in the autumn of 2019, when the FIREWIND leader was looking for a suitable replacement for Henning Basse after the tour with QUEENSRŸCHE. Just a few weeks later, the recordings for "Firewind" were a done deal, ready for Swedish sound engineer Tobias Lindell (EUROPE, AVATAR, H.E.A.T.) to mix them in Lindell Audio Studios.
Gus spoke about the evolution of FIREWIND's sound in a 2020 interview with Audio Ink Radio. He said: "Like every band, we go through our different phases. Especially for us, having quite a few different singers in the lineup in the past, each guy brought a different vibe and different things to the band. I think on this record, you'll hear elements from all our past records, especially with our new singer, Herbie, because he reminds me a lot of Stephen Fredrick, our first singer. But this album also has a lot of variety, and that might remind fans of albums like [2006's] 'Allegiance' and [2008's] 'The Premonition'. But then again, we're not trying to be retro or nostalgic or copy those albums. We're moving towards the future. The way I see it, there's always a new song to write. Every album, I try to make better songs, play better guitar, try different tempos, write in different keys. There's always things you can experiment with in the studio."
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