Led by virtuoso guitarist Gus G -- who also spends time backing a certain Mr. Ozzy Osbourne -- Firewind are gearing up for their very first headlining tour of North America. The "Frets of Fury" tour will see the band hitting dates in both the U.S. and Canada, backed by a wide array of some of metal's brightest up-and-coming acts: Arsis, White Wizzard and Nightrage.
Given that Guitar World is sponsoring the tour along with ESP Guitars and Blackstar amps, we couldn't resist catching up with Gus to chat about the tour and get a progress report on the new Firewind album.
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the article for the full list of dates for the "Frets of Fury" tour, including where to buy tickets!
You guys are about to embark on a U.S. tour, do you have a favorite city to play in the United States?
We've had great memories from all cities we played in the past; our U.S. fans are very loyal. We're actually hitting a few places we've not played before. For example, it'll be our first time in Florida as well as some Canadian cities / states. Plus the fact that this is our first full-scale headline run in North America makes it very exciting for us!
How have you seen support for Firewind change in the States after you joined Ozzy’s band?
Unfortunately we haven't had the label support we should have in the US, so up until now very few people knew about Firewind in America.
But as we're the ultimate DIY band and very stubborn, we'll get where we want to, in time. Of course me playing with Ozzy gave Firewind a lot of exposure and I'm sure we've made some new fans over the past 2 years. Now we have a chance to re-introduce the band to the American audiences and that's what we've set out to do. The "Frets Of Fury" tour is only the beginning!
What’s your main live guitar right now?
The past 3 months I've been mainly playing on stage a new ESP Gus G RS model I recently got from the Japanese Custom Shop. It's black with white binding, but I've made an adjustment on the cutaway right under the 22nd fret. We made it thinner now so I can reach the high frets easily and it plays and sounds fantastic! I also have new inlays on the fretboard with my own logo; it's a beautiful guitar. We released an LTD version of it as well that comes in red.
How about amps and effects?
My live setup is the same both in Ozzy and Firewind. My main distortion sound comes from my Blackstar S-200 heads and I just use a couple of stomp boxes. I'm using a BBE Green Screamer to boost up the leads, a Morley wah pedal, a Providence chorus and a tc Electronic stage tuner. Actually BBE recently modified the "Green Screamer" for me and my lead tone got so much better.
Can fans expect the band to try out any new songs during the upcoming shows? Any other surprises?
We'll definitely be playing lot of material from our latest album, Days Of Defiance, as well as older tracks from all our albums. I'm not sure if we'll try out anything from the upcoming album just yet, but we're planning on playing some songs we've never done live before and that'll be cool.
What’s the latest progress report on the new Firewind album?
Well, we're still in writing mode. We have a few demos finished so far and I'm very excited about the new stuff! I want us to re-invent our sound a little bit and although the big melodies and hooks that we're known for are still there, we've added a bunch of new elements to the game. Much heavier stuff this time, lots more riffing, different arrangements and things like that. Oh yes, and of course there's gonna be enough shredding!
Frets of Fury Tour Dates:
Oct 09 St Petersburg, FL @ The State Theater Buy Tickets
Oct 10 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Buy Tickets
Oct 11 Springfield, VA @ Jaxx Buy Tickets
Oct 12 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater Buy Tickets
Oct 13 Hampton, NH @ Wally's Buy Tickets
Oct 14 Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Electriques
Oct 15 Ottawa, ON @ Maverick's Buy Tickets
Oct 16 Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's Buy Tickets
Oct 18 Joliet, IL @ Mojoe's Buy Tickets
Oct 19 St Paul, MN @ Station 4 Buy Tickets
Oct 20 Winnipeg, MB @ The Osborne Village Inn Buy Tickets
Oct 21 Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop Buy Tickets
Oct 22 Kelowna, BC @ Sapphire Nightclub
Oct 23 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater Buy Tickets
Oct 24 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven Buy Tickets
Oct 25 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
Oct 26 San Francisco, CA @ Slim's Buy Tickets
Oct 27 Hollywood, CA @ The Whisky A Go Go Buy Tickets