Hello Gus, it's nice to hear from you. Where are you at the moment?

I just returned from tours in Australia & Japan, now I'm home in Greece.

FIREWIND will visit Bulgaria for the fourth time. What are your expectations?

I expect nothing less from our previous shows there. Bulgarian fans love their Metal and they're loud, we love them for that!

What should the fans expect from your show here?

Firewind is playing better than ever right now. We got our new singer Kelly Sundown Carpenter, this guy is just flawless on stage. And of course Jo Nunez has been our drummer for more than 2 years now. The band plays tighter than ever!

You just came back from a tour in Japan and Australia. What is the difference between the fans there and the ones in Europe and the USA?

We didn't know the Australian crowd, it was our first time there. They were awesome, very emotional and gave us a warm welcome. We loved it there. As for Japan, I went there to do some guitar clinics. The Japanese fans are so loyal, some of these people have been following me there since my first tour there which was 11 years ago. It's just amazing and unbelievable.

It's been 4 years since you are guitarist for Ozzy. Did that changed you in some way?

Of course it did. It made me a better musician , it definitely gave me more confidence both on stage and off stage and it opened lots of doors in this business. It changed my life for the better, forever. I'm eternally grateful for that.

Do you have any creative freedom when playing with Ozzy or you are just a part from a working machine?

Ozzy always told me to be myself. So, of course I am being myself, but I respect and know my position in that band. People are there to see Ozzy and the job of the band is to make him shine. I think all of us have done a good job at it and helped bring a new energy to the stage show.

I'm asking you this question because I have read some comments from fans, stating that FIREWIND now is put to a second level after Ozzy. Is that true?

Unfortunately some fans seem to be bitter about all that. It's a shame, cause I thought normally people would be happy for this success and the opportunities that are given to Firewind these days. All I can say, is that I work my ass off and I'm still here making records and touring the world with Firewind. You can wear 2 hats, but not at the same time. When it's Ozzy time, it's only that. When I'm not working with Ozzy, I got all the time of the world for my band and nobody can ever take that away.


You are a perfect example for how dreams come true only if you work hard for them. Is there any formula for your success and can you give some advice to the young musicians?

Music business is harder than ever, especially these days. I'd just say to young musicians to work harder and not give up. Stick to your guns, believe in your music and be the best you can be. Don't be afraid to invest in your art, it's not gonna be easy. But it'll pay off eventually.

After so many years in the music business and 7 released albums. Is there anything that you regret about?

Not a thing. Sure I've made mistakes, but they were my decisions, not someone else's.

Since the beginning of this year Apollo is not part of the band. Why did he left?

Cause he wanted to be a part time musician and part time teacher back in Sweden. He couldn't handle our schedule, so he decided to step down. I understand him, this is not for everyone.

Now singer is Kelly Sundown Carpenter. Can we expect new album with him singing?

I sure hope so. We've been getting along really well and I can't wait to write some new songs with him on vocals.

How did the fans accept Kelly so far?

There have been mixed reactions online, but those who actually bothered to buy a ticket and come see us live (instead of writing their bitter, negative opinions on social media), have been blown away.

More often Bob Katsionis can be seen with a guitar instead behind the keyboar. This also can be felt in your last studio album "Few Against Many". Why did you decided to leave the keyboards and do much more guitar oriented album?

Firewind originally had no keyboards. The keyboards took a bigger role on our 4th album "Allegiance". So, we have lots of songs without keys and then some songs have lots of keyboards. There are no rules if there should be more or less. I just wrote lots of riffs this time around and it was a heavier and darker sound. So, while there are keyboards on the album, they are more in the background and add atmosphere, rather than having a leading role.

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You have a new solo album you've been working on, how is that coming along?

It's coming along great! It's probably the best album I've ever made, I'm very excited about it. There's lots of amazing musicians on it. I just signed to Century Media and the album should be out in Spring 2014.

The Greek metal scene is getting stronger and stronger. Do you think that it has the potential to stand next to the German and Scandinavian?

We have a long , longway for that haha! But it's certainly more healthy than it was 10-15 years ago.

FIREWIND had played on festivals all over the world and ii guess some bands some of the bands that you played with must have impressed you! Can you name few?

I rarely get to see bands on festivals, I'm mostly busy preparing for our show and after that, usually I have lots of press to do. With that said, I watched Accept at Bloodstock this year and they kicked ass!

Which are your favorite albums that came out this year? (Please don't say Black Sabbath )

Why not? You have to be a fool not to like the new Sabbath album bro! Black Sabbath – 13, Megadeth – Super Collider, Eyes Set To Kill – Masks, Devour The Day – Good Man EP, Gary Clark Jr – Black and Blu, and The Winery Dogs.

Can you leave a message for your fans in Bulgaria and especially those who will visit your show next month?

Thanx to all our Bulgarian fans for being patient for 3 years! The wait is over and we'll see you on December 10th!!

Thank you for this interview!. See you in Sofia!

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