Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with FIREWIND and OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G.. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: Recently, [FIREWIND] had a change in vocalist. Apollo Papathanasio, who has done the vocals on all of FIREWIND's albums so far, left the band. How have you reacted to that? It must be a pretty big change for the band.
Gus: Well, it is and it isn't. People following the band for the past few years would know that we've had different session guys at the live shows even when Apollo was in the band because he just had to skip a few tours during the year. So whenever the schedule was getting too heavy for him and he would have to take care of stuff back home, we had to get other guys. So this time, he had to skip again and he was like, "You know, instead of holding you guys back, I might as well just quit." I think he did the right thing for him, for us as well, because we can only do that [getting session vocalists] so many times and we're better off trying to find a new permanent guy instead of getting replacements for a tour. So at least now we know that we have to find somebody new, and in a sense it's a bit sad, but at the same time it's some sort of relief.
Metal Assault: The singer who's on the current tour with you is Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ADAGIO, BEYOND TWILIGHT, OUTWORLD, DARKOLOGY). Is he going to be your permanent guy?
Gus: We don't know yet. We're not going to rush that decision. We're really happy with what he's doing on stage; he's doing a really good job. But we have this tour and then we have a few festivals back home and then FIREWIND might be on hiatus for a while, so we're going to see what we're going to do.
Metal Assault: That's understandable. Coming back to the tour, you also did one acoustic show in Vancouver. What was that like?
Gus: There was a record store near the venue which was an old-school record store, like a proper metal CD and vinyl store, and they invited us to do a meet-and-greet and acoustic session there. So we thought it was a really good chance to do something like that, to create more awareness for the show and also promote our latest album, "Few Against Many", so we went down there and played a couple of songs. A lot of people showed up and it was great to meet the fans and everybody.
Metal Assault: Did the FIREWIND music fit in well with the whole acoustic arrangement?
Gus: Yeah, it did, and it felt really nice! We did the song called "Mercenary Man", which we also recorded as an acoustic version back in 2008 when we released the EP. We did a song called "Edge Of A Dream", from the latest album. It's a piano song but I did it with the acoustic guitar and it came out very nicely as well. We also did a cover of BLACK SABBATH's "Planet Caravan". It was a good show.
Metal Assault: So, you've done a good amount of touring after the release of "Few Against Many", but since you said you'll be on hiatus, I guess there won't be a North American headline tour any time soon?
Gus: Well, I'm not sure, you know. There might be some gigs here and there. We haven't thought that much about it. If a tour offer comes in which is something we really can't turn down because it's good for us, we're going to do it. Otherwise I'm not sure that we're going to come back and headline another five weeks. I don't see us doing that this year. May be we'll come and do some selected dates, but it depends on the ideas. I'll be talking to our business people about that, but I'm not sure about what the next step's going to be like. I know that we're putting out a live album this summer which is of a recording that we did last year. It's kind of like the close of a chapter with this lineup and the first 10 years of the band. After that I don't know what's going to happen, really.
Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.