Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Firewind is rising higher and higher. What do you think?
I think that Firewind has always been a band that makes small but steady steps into the Heavy Metal spectrum.Even now with Gus joining Ozzy,we didn't do anything more than releasing an album which is one step ahead from the previous one like we did with all our albums so far.We're very down to earth people and musicians and we just continue on writing and performing music.
Are there some events that you would point out as kinda milestones of your career?
Yes,I can spot some of them.Firstly,signing with Century Media. Then,our tours with Dragonforce that made us gain a lot of fans especially in UK. Then its our shows in Japan,then our European tour with Kamelot and then our first headlining tour,a couple of years ago. But mostly I can remember the shows in our country.These made us believe that what happened in our land MUST happen for the rest of the world and then we started reaching for it! and then it's Gus joining Ozzy's band. This really turned tables upside down!
Let's talk about your new CD. What are the differences between "Days Of Defiance" and "The Premonition" in your opinion? And what are the reasons for these differences?
First of all it's the sound of the album itself.We did the production ourselves and let the mixing be done by a different team of persons that what we did in the ast and the result is a more crunchy, raw and 80's sound. We dont want to sound like these "polished" bands who all sound the same. Then, musically-wise we just did what we were doing the last 2 albums:writing the best music we can. Only that, this time a lot of the music was composed while on tour and that's why there's a more wild,rebellious feeling to it.
Is there a song that has already been forged in the live situation?
Actually it was "Losing Faith" just a couple of days after we wrote it but the true debut is gonna be in a few days from now (today is 18/10) where we are gonna support the Scorpions in Athens and perform "World On Fire" in front of 18.000 maniacs!!!
There are so many highlights on "Day Of Defiance". How would you describe the dramaturgy of this album?
I think it's a very intense album.Songs like "Cold As Ice","Kill in The Name Of Love", "Ark Of Lies", "Broken" they all have a very strong lyrical spirit and this time Apollo did a very good job as well.It's also the music that it's kinda deeper this time.It really came from our hearts.No pressure, nothing, we just headed to make the best Firewind ongs ever and I think we made it.I hope people are gonna give a chance to our album,it's really a testimony through some hard days we all went through the last 2 years.
What was your aim when you started making music? And have you achieved it?
I dont know.Do you know anyone happy and satisfied from making music? Yes,I'm very happy playing in a band with sincere music and very good musicians and friends,but I always need more,like everyone in this business. The thing that makes me more happy even from money or fame its the fact that I get to meet new people who admire or even get inspired from my music. If you know this feeling you're gonna agree with me...
Is there anything you would do in a different way if you could start it all over again?
Hm,maybe I would try to change my character and talk less. I have a big mouth and this has brought me in difficuly position many times.But I'm sure that my music would be different as well if I would change my character...
At the end of your career: Which statement would you like to read about Firewind in the great history book of Heavy Metal?
"These dudes proved that Greece has not only Ancient history but some great piece of Metal over there!!!"hahaha!
Gus is playing for Ozzy now. Curse or blessing for Firewind?
Haha,that's a very very good question,and you are the only one who noticed a different point of view in this matter.Yes,the blessing of having one of your members joining a heavy metal legend such as Ozzy can easily turn into a curse simply because the balances within the band can change.It is different when you make decisions with your guitar player rather than making decisions with the "guitarist of Ozzy",you know what I mean? But,this didn't manage to destroy things simply because our friendship and trust in the face of Gus,who brought us till here) was strong and the band kept stronger than before and I hope it will stay this way.
What about the solo activities of Bob Katsionis? Update, please!
My life is a mess!!! I'm always kept busy while recently we just finished the new Outloud album which is killer,I have my 4th solo album almost ready,while I have been doing recording sessions and videoclips non stop!!! Stay in touch or join my facebook page and see what's new from my camp!
One of the last breaking Metal news was: Mike Portnoy quits Dream Theater. What do you think: Is every musician in a band replaceable? Can the show alway go on?
Oh,that was a blast!!! i couldnt believe my eyes reading this on the news! Of course they can find a replacement but if the glass breaks..it never mends..I'm sure they can find someone who plays everything Mike did and even better,and in fact if it's the guy I know then,it's gonna be very interesting. But it will not be the same.I'm a huge DT fan and my heart is now broken after this. The only thing I would expect now from DT would be some years off and then do a triumphant return with the best album ever written! Like Judas Priest did with "Painkiller"!!! And I know that only NOW they DO have a motive.before it was only Mike pushing them to do something,now all of them must prove that they are the best!
Let's talk about the live situation again! Which country do you like most for going on tour?
Oh,it wouldnt be a surprise if I tell you...Japan! It is my favourite country! Everything's so calm and hi-tech and clean and organised.But Heavy Metal is not all about this so I would also say UK with it's small sweaty venues and of course in our own country,Greece! But the big challenge comes in Germany: there's some of the most difficult to win audience there and everytime we give our 101% to satisfy you! It's obvious that you guys have seen quite a lot of shows and you are more difficult but that's why we like it! Greeks like difficult shit!
Please describe the Firewind audience!
It's funny to think about our fans! We have teenagers who want to be Gus G's and then it's progressive metal fans and keyboard players who find a "shelter" in the melodic side of our music,and then you have a huge percentage of over 40's year olds who keep telling us that we're like the new Iron Maiden and stuff! I dont know! The only thing I know for sure is that I am personally friend with a lot of people through the globe who are fans of Firewind and I really love them all!
What about further Firewind live activities? What can we expect?
We have the Scorpions gig next week here in Athens as i told you,then its some big headlining shows in Greece and USA and then we're off to Japan for a headlining tour as well! Right as we speak we are working on our European tour.Once ready you're gonna know! But expect some cool show and of course be ready to welcome your own "child",our new drummer Michael Ehre who is a magnificent guy as well!!!
Is there a question left that you would like to answer? And what is the answer?
Hm, perhaps "What do you think about the economic crisis in your country and the help provided by the Germans?" and I would tell you "What crisis? We are all laying for hours in the cafeterias under the sun drinking peacefully our coffee and then off to dance clubs while you guys work 24/7!",hahahaha!
We are looking forward to seeing you in Germany. Best whishes to you all. Any finishing words?
I would really like people to listen carefully to our new album.it's not some commercial movement,not a product, not our "typical" next album. It's some of the best songs we've ever written and they deserve your attention. Thanx a lot.