In a recent interview with Matt Coe of Dead Rhetoric, Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G. discussed FIREWIND's regular turnover in the lead singer position. Since its 1998 formation, FIREWIND has employed five different vocalists, with the longest tenured being Apollo Papathanasio, who manned the spot from 2005 to 2013. The band's new self-titled studio album is the first to feature Herbie Langhans, who replaced Henning Basse.
"It's no secret; it's not like we are trying to hide and not say that we've changed members," Gus said. "Three singers in three records, but it's overall five singers in our entire career.
"Look, how many bands have remained the same members for more than ten years? It's just something that happens — it's relationships and people change. For me, the brand FIREWIND is bigger than certain members — without necessarily putting anyone down.
"I realize that every time that we change members — especially the singer — that is the one that hurts the most because that is sort of the identity of the band.
"I've found over the years that if you have a singer that overall does a good job on the record, even though he may not be a fan favorite, but if you put out consistently good records, people will support you and it will resonate with the audience. It might even bring you a new audience. The brand is important. Look at QUEENSRŸCHE. We just toured with them; they have a great singer in Todd La Torre. It's one of those things that he goes up there and wins the fans over every night, and I saw that with my own eyes.
"I think it's about the quality of the work, the music and, of course, delivering great shows," he continued. "If you build a catalog, fans will have their favorites. It's the same with me, I like certain [BLACK] SABBATH records more than others. That's all I have to say. It's going to happen to 99 percent of the bands out there."
Gus also talked about his plans for the rest of the 2020 now that touring activities in support of FIREWIND's new album are temporarily on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
"If you look at my social media on Facebook a couple of days ago, I posted something from three years ago," he said. "The national Greek television channel did a documentary on me. A director who followed me on a couple of tours, they interviewed my family and bandmates — that was broadcasted here on television two years ago. We put it up online now, free to watch. This has already happened, from my humble beginnings up until 2017. I have been contemplating on a book. I've talked to a friend/journalist I've known many years, a local guy who writes really well. He had come up with the idea — I don't know if it will be an autobiography specifically or just FIREWIND stories. Something to do possibly in the next few months."
You can read the entire interview at this location.
FIREWIND's self-titled album was released May 15 via AFM Records.