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Interview with Gus Drax (Sunburst)


Last Updated on 02:14 PM by Lilliana Tseka

by Lilliana Tseka & Crystal Latsara

Hello, I welcome you to Metal Invader. Fragments of Creation counts one year of existence. However the band existed for several years. What took so long to create your debut album? What were the difficulties you faced?

Almost everyone you can imagine! But above all, it was the military service that two of our members had to fulfill. Eventually it took us a little bit longer because we are perfectionists but in the end we released it and we are very proud of it.

In most of the cases a new album needs it’s time to be appreciated by critics and fans, however with ‘Fragments of Creation’ that wasn’t the case, there was a love at first time. After a years that passed what is the valuation?

We are very happy with the reaction of the fans and media towards ‘Fragments Of Creation’. Honestly we had a lot of faith on this album but we didn’t expect this treatment. It was soothing that surprised us in a nice way.

Bob Katsionis is featured in almost all the album’s songs. How important was his contribution at the final result and how did he affect you sound?

Well, enough! Bob took our songs ready from us, at least from the composition part. We’ve wrote even the synth part for the tracks. The thing that we needed were the experienced hands of a synth player and his sound, as he has a much better equipment that us. He is a very good friend of mine and he accepted right away to this collaboration. He played the stuff we wrote and added some of his own by saying…’These are a few extra ideas of mine, if you like to keep them fine, if you don’t just throw them away’ and of course we kept a great deal of those.

Another guest in the record is the one with Mina Giannopoulou. How did this collaboration came up?

As with the other guests in this album, Mina is a good friend of mine. We needed a good female voice to be featured in the song ‘Remedy Of My Heart’. I asked Mina, she gladly accepted and she did an amazing job.

gus drax

The similarities on Vasilis’ voice with that of Roy Khan’s (Kamelot) is obvious. Which albums as well as bands have played a key role in Sunburst’s sound?

I think bands like Dream Theater and Nevermore have played a key role to our sound. These are two of our favorite bands.

This is the time that all music magazines around the world vote for the lists for the best albums of the year. Which are the albums that you’d place in that list?

Personally I’d put Ayreon.

You share the view that the prog bands have lost their orientation by trying to make complicated music that was ultimately just abstruse and difficult to hear. What do you think?

I do not think it’s a “problem” of all Progressive groups out there. Personally speaking, in order to call a band, progressive, i need a lot more than technical and complicated themes. I believe that many bands do that in order to sound progressive, but if you don’t have the corresponding melodies and atmosphere in your tracks you can’t be described as such. I’m a musician I like the intricate themes but there are times when I can’t hear more than one piece or even less because I can’t find meaning and substance. Above all things whichever genre you play is to write beautiful songs. This is what stays at the end.

Sunburst is a quartet that every band member comes from a different place (Larissa, Trikala, Thessaloniki) and have other projects and bands. How do you manage to write and make it to rehearsals? How difficult is on a personal level as musician that travels a lot, to have a balance in his life and in other areas?

Well, I would say its quite difficult! But it’s a thing that you’ve got to do. It’s a matter of prioritizing. Of course its an easy thing just staying home but there is no place for a band or music like that. Its needs wok and sacrifices. As far as Sunburst concerns we rehearse before we enter to record the album and we rehearse all new songs before each gig. We communicate, we find the time to rehearse and we attend the rehearsals. We are four responsible people and musicians, in every rehersal everyone is prepared to do his part and when we get together we immediately perform the tracks.

Talk to us about the Inner Wound Recordings collaboration. 

Wr are very satisfied with Inner Wound, We know each other from the Black Fate release. There is a mutual respect and trust. They did and amazing job for the band’s and album’s promotion and we look forward to continue our collaboration.

You’ve released three video clips all ready. A video creation that gives a visual body to a band’s music is the logical step to the completion of an album? And do you think you are going to release more video?

It’s a beautiful way to give a visualization in an album’s track and to present it as a single let’s say. I believe that every album should have a video definitely.


What does the future holds for Sunburst?

We’ve already started writing the tracks but we are nowhere near a new album. We’ve got lots of work ahead of us.

Two days ahead of your performance in Thessaloniki on November 12th, you are going to support Kamelot, that is failrly one of the greatest names in the power metal scene, in Athens and specifically at Gagarin. How did this collaboration came up? 

Kamelot’s management was looking for a band to open their gig in Athens, some mutial acquaintances proposed us and we just took the opportunity. Thomas Youngblood knows us well especially our singer that passed an audition for Kamelot when Roy Khan left the band.

The greek scene seems to be flourishing in the last few years, with more and more bands to form and present professional results and most importantly of great quality. Isn’t this a bit strange considering that Greece is in economic crisi these past 10 years?

Ok, its might be a little strange but in the other hand it gives you inspiration and something to say, right? I think that an artist can give you a lot more things inspired by everyday life and problems when in crisis than when he feels secure and comfortable. Personally I’ve seen lots of bands from none so traditional metal countries to have a unique sparkle in their eyes. As far as we are talking about Greece, we’ve always had great musicians and bands. We’ve never lacked of talent and inspiration. There are greek bands that I enjoy listening to, more than band’s from other countries. The one problem that was always an issue is how to export our music, because of the ecomonic crisis and the geographical position compared to a band from Central Europe. But even these issues are meliorated because of the internet and we see more and more bands touring abroad.

How important are social media platforms for the evolution of new bands? 

I thinks is crucial but however the musical part is more important. If your music is meticulous, with the help of social media you can reach a greater audience. If you music is mediocre or even plain bad whichever the use of social media won’t do any good and you won’t go far.

I tried to avoindn asking you of your other bands but it’s a difficult task. So we would like to ask you of what is going on with Black Fate, Suicidal Angels and Biochemical. We’d like to know the story behind your collaboration with Sucidal Angels and if you intend to return with Biochemical?

Sure, no problem! Let’s begin with the order that you asked shall we. Black Fate are in a writing face and pre-ptheiroduction for the new songs. Everything so far so good. Now Suicidal Angels, two years ago send me an email that explained that they had to part ways with their previous guitarist and Orfeas was kindly asking me if I as interested in the position. We explained to each other our positions and we figured that we pretty much have the same ideas about music. And this is the story on how I became their guitarist and I already count two years now and we continue!


You’ve released a solo album, are any plans for a new one? 

There is always in the back of my head. Honestly I think about it quite oftenly. I will definitely write one more. That is sure, but I’m not certain on the when. I guess when I’ll feel that I have the time to give my full attention for such a task.

I thank you for this interview, the epilogue is yours. See you at Eightball on November 12th!

We thank you for your hospitality. Take care, see you on November 12th. Metal on!

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