GUS G. Hopes To Complete Recording New FIREWIND Album Before The Summer

April 13, 2023

FIREWIND guitarist Gus G. spoke to Neil Jones of TotalRock about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's next studio album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's still in the works. We tracked drums before we left for tour [in Europe with BEAST IN BLACK] in early January. And actually now I have about a month off before I head out to another tour, which is for my solo band. But I have a month window here to finish up all the guitars. So basically I'm taking this week off and then next week I start tracking guitars. I'm hoping to have everything wrapped up by end of spring, right before summer, and start rolling out some more singles this summer."

Asked if FIREWIND's latest single, "Destiny Is Calling", which was released in February, is a good representation of what fans can expect to hear on the upcoming LP, Gus said: "Yeah. I think it's definitely a good taste of what's to come. All the songs, I think, have that type of anthemic vibe to them. So, yeah, I thought it was a really good, strong track to kick things off."

When "Destiny Is Calling" was first released two months ago, Gus said in a statement: "We've been testing the new track live every night [on the European tour] and the reception has been phenomenal.

"The video was filmed on February 11th in Munich at Tonhalle in front of 2,000 screaming metalheads and we feel it captures the energy and mood of the song.

"Crank it up and enjoy!"

In January, Gus told The Metal Voice that FIREWIND was taking a different approach with the release of the band's new music.

"The thing is I was talking to [our record label] AFM Records, to the owner, actually," Gus said. "We met over Christmas and talked about it. And now there's a new approach, it seems — we're just gonna be releasing singles. It was an interesting topic they brought on, because they just wanna keep on releasing singles, and then eventually those singles will be part of an album. I mean, we still worked on the album — we did it old school. I already wrote the songs; I wrote 10 songs and all that. But they were, like, 'We'll just drop singles as we go and see how much traction you get, see if we get playlist placement.' Because Spotify playlists are like the new radio; that's the new medium right now. And that's what makes money for labels and artists, I guess. You get 'X' amount million streams and then that's revenue and that keeps it going. And you move on to the next song and the next song, and then eventually you take those five or six singles over a period of a year and you package them with another four or five songs."

He added: "I know it sounds very boring now — it doesn't sound artistic at all — but that's how labels think nowadays."

Regarding the musical direction of the new FIREWIND material, Gus said: "I think it still sounds like FIREWIND. My goal was to make a little bit more anthemic type of tracks this time around. Because of the whole direction that was, 'Okay, let's work singles,' I thought every song should be a single. So I didn't write any kind of obscure type of tracks or didn't experiment in that type of area. I kind of focused on writing three- [or] four-minute songs that are very high energy, something that you can play in an arena in a festival in front of a large crowd. That was my philosophy behind this one this time. Which is good. It's not easy to write that type of songs. People think it's easy, 'Oh, it's so simple' and stuff. But it's not so easy to make that and resonate with a bigger crowd. So let's see how it does."

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."

FIREWIND 2023 is:

Gus G. (guitar)
Herbie Langhans (vocals)
Petros Christo (bass)
Jo Nunez (drums)

Photo: Tim Tronckoe

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