Firewind - ...After we burned down his houseI love Greece. Great food, great culture, great weather. But above all, great music and great people (that's a lot of great things, Greece)! Of those great people, keyboardist Bob Katsionis is no exception. Firewind's new album, 'The Premonition' is now almost in stores and Metalrage.com saw the time fit to ask our Greek friend a few questions about the album, the band and... 80s dance movies?
For the readers who’ve heard of you for the first time now, can you say what defines Firewind as a band?
"Hmmm... powerful guitar riffing, melodic but not cheesy or high-pitched vocals, cool and catchy choruses, powerful drumming, and the right amount of screaming solos in both guitar and keyboards!
Thats our "Greek" recipe for heavy metal!!!"
Congratulations on a very powerful new album! What can you say about the band’s development in regard to the coming of ‘The Premonition’?
"I think that we evolved since "Allegiance", both in terms of song writing and technique. It's been over 110 hot live shows all over the globe, you see! This time things are more balanced, I guess.You get 10 songs with all the elements I mentioned before and as far as people listen to this album we get more and more great reviews, so I think we are on the right track!"
In a statement on the website, Gus says that if he has to put a tag on it, he’d define the songs after the opening track as ‘modern hard rock’. What happened to the metal?
"Well... maybe he was drunk that moment! Haha, I dont know. I would simply say Modern Melodic Heavy Metal! The term "metal" is something that lives and breathes througout all the songs in our latest album, I think..."
Why was it that ‘Mercenary Man’ was chosen as a single? I, for one, would rather like to see a video of ‘Remembered’, which captures Firewind’s energy more in my opinion.
"Haha, funny you should mention this, because each of us had a different opinion about which song we should film and promote with a video. So in the end we came to the natural conclusion that this is an album containing really good songs so... we just let our label decide about this shit and we just go out on stage and play most of the songs of the cd, because we simply love them all!"
With so many power metal bands releasing so many albums throughout the years, it seems to me that it must be incredibly hard to maintain the standard of a band of your fame when it comes to song writing. What’s your vision on this when looking back at the recording process for the new album?
"Ehm... we are not a classic - not to use the term "typical" - "Power Metal" band! We just play heavy metal the way we see it. Everyone has his favourite stuff that he likes but the good thing is that we put no effort in making our sound significant. It just comes up!"
Are all members of Firewind able to live off the music?
"More or less... yes. Personally speaking, I have my home studio and my video clip production company so... I deal with music everyday and this gives me the money to live and enjoy playing with Firewind throughout the world."
Do you still keep in touch with ex band members, like Stian, who’s currently playing in Pagan’s Mind?
"No. Actually, we sent lawyers to get Stian in jail after we burned his house. You don't want to know what we did to our previous singer... No, just kiddin'! Especially with Stian. he's still a very good friend, even if he's kinda "malakas". I hope he reads this!!!"
(I hope he reads this too. I'm curious to see whose house will be burnt down now. ;-D -red.)
I saw that there will be some extensive touring throughout Europe following the release of ‘The Premonition’. Are you looking forward to share the stage with Kamelot?
"Yes! Definitely! We already did it in three very succesful shows in Japan, the guys are very cool and the people that will attend will have a really powerful metal experience!"
Since it’s growing more popular (and brings good money) to lend a band’s name to a video game, would you like to see a Firewind song featured in, for example, Guitar Hero 4 (due this summer, hint, hint!)?
"Well... we wish this could happen, not only for the money but to have kids enjoy playing this amazing video game (as we do on our tour bus, or studio, too!!!! -hint*hint*) while listening to our music!"
If anything, I’d say it’s quite a surprise to see a track like ‘Maniac’ featured on a power metal album (although the band Sigma also covered it a few years ago). What made you choose this song, did you just like the movie Flashdance?
"That was a wild idea I had. One night, while we were already in the recording process and we were trying to decide about which cover should we do, as we love to play cover songs during the rehearsals! Then I came up with this idea and everyone agreed in one second, as we all saw the potential of this particular song! Don't forget that it's a Grammy Award winning tune!!!"
I’d like to thank you a lot for your time, I hope to hear a lot more of Firewind in the near future. Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers?
"Yes, we would love to see you and meet you in our gigs in Europe with Kamelot and don't forget to "Pledge Your Allegiance" to the Greek Metal Monster! See ya!"