Gus G.

Gus G. has already proved his skills as a guitarist, but is now taking further strides to find and cultivate his own unique sound. Showing dedication to his music, writing and touring with his band Firewind, as well as his solo work. I love how he has stayed committed to classic heavy metal, inspired by bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. It was fantastic to see Gus rock it on the stage before Steel Panther. I met up him at the merch stall after the show, he even recognized me from the photo pit! Read more below…
Gus G. pic
So, you’ve dabbled in music across the metal genre, do you identify more with the power and heavy metal side? Or the thrash and black metal elements? Or the elements from melodic metal?
G: Just heavy metal, straightforward heavy metal. There’s lots of different tags, but I come from the classic heavy metal background. I grew up with Black Sabbath, Priest and Iron Maiden. So that’s the type of music I still play, just with a modern touch now.
I read that your bands name “Firewind” was inspired by Uli Jon Roth. Do you feel his work still influences your work to this day?
G: I wouldn’t say it influences the music Firewind plays, but it influences my playing personally. I love his Electric Sun music, which is why I took the name from the second album, as I thought it was a killer name.
So, your renown as a guitarist has been solidified by many awards you’ve won. From the God Of Riffs – Metal Hammer Germany Award in 2017 to Best Metal Guitarist from Guitar Player Magazine in 2013. If you could win any award, what would it be?
G: Back in 2010 we were nominated for a Grammy along with Ozzy, so it would have be nice if we had won. But I don’t play music to win awards; it’s just a nice acknowledgement.
How do you feel your songwriting style has changed across your solo releases, from “I Am the Fire”, back in 2014, to your latest release last year, “Fearless”?
G: On the first album we were experimenting with having different people on the record, and different voices. Whereas with this record, it’s a lot more cohesive sound, and a three piece band, which is what we were aiming for.
So, on your latest album “Fearless” you were joined by Dennis Ward and Will Hunt, is this a lineup you want to keep for the next album?
G: Me and Dennis have a great songwriting team, and we gel well on stage, and it’s great touring together, we have had a lot of fun. So, I hope we can continue the writing partnership. We also write the music together for Firewind, so it’s great to have everything together under one roof.
Do you have in mind to work again as a trio with Dennis and Will in the future?
G: We will see! So far we have had a revolving door of drummers; we can’t seem to keep one! Will Hunt played on the record, so hopefully we can continue this lineup.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
G: I like the title track, “Fearless”, we open with it live. But I enjoy playing them all! We have played quite a few from the new record. I like the instrumental track, “Thrill of the Chase”. We don’t play it on this tour, but I like the way it gives me a lot of space to improvise.
Is there any track that you’ve got a bigger reaction to live than you expected?
G: We put out a lyric video for a song called “Mr Manson”, which didn’t originally get really good reactions online, it didn’t really pick up. But then when we’ve played it live, people love it. It happened to me once before actually, on my first album, the title track “Light the fire”. I remember when I put that out, people were like “what the f**k is this sell out s**t you’re doing”. But then when we do it live, it’s one of the highlights of the show.
Three years after “Brand New Revolution” it was time to release your new solo album. What have you been up to in the meantime?
G: I did a couple years touring, then took a year out with Firewind. Then we released the album “Immortals” and went on touring. Since then I’ve been writing the “Fearless” record. So, I’ve been bouncing between Firewind and solo.
You’ve had different guest collaborations over time, is there anyone you’d love to work with?
G: There’s been lots of different people I’ve thought about overtime. I would have loved to do something with the female vocalist for instance.
Some fans are asking for more instrumental tracks from you. Do you have in mind to release a fully instrumental solo album at some point?
G: I am thinking about playing more instrumentals for my next record. I enjoy playing them more nowadays on stage, with solo sections where it fits. I do get a good reaction when I put out instrumental songs. And it’s what people expect, when they hear a guitar player putting out music, you expect it to be predominantly guitar based. I enjoy writing songs, and I like the mix of vocal and instrumental tracks. But I might include more instrumental tracks on my next record.
Any particular ideas about new ideas to try in the future?
G: Not really, I just want to keep doing what I do. I have different business ideas that are parallel to what I’m doing with my music. I’ll be working on some new projects, I’m designing some guitars with Jackson. There are some things in the works, but I can’t really talk about them! But, it’s already enough of a struggle to find your own style and you own voice, so now I’ve found that, I want to hold on to it!
So you’ve toured around many places, if you could choose to play anywhere, where would you choose?
G: I’ve been to more or less everywhere! I would love to go back to Australia; it’s been a while, back in 2013. I love playing here in England, as we have a really good fan base, and really supportive fans. I go wherever people want to see me!
What have been some of the most influential bands to you and your style of music?
G: Black Sabbath definitely, Sting, and Metallica when I was younger.
What can fans expect from you and Firewind in the future?
G: After touring with Steel Panther, we’ll be taking it easy for a little bit, before we’re out touring this summer with Firewind and festivals. Then we’ll starting writing the next record, and hope to be out again next year!