Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourneguitarist of and as leader of his own group FIRE WIND, has just released his new solo album, “Quantum leap”, Going through AFM files. The official clip of the last single on the disc, “Into the unknown”, can be seen below.
“Quantum leap” came together during the global pandemic which sadly prevented FIRE WINDthe eponymous 2020 album to gain momentum. Immobilized by the quarantine measures that kept him at home, Gus began to compile musical ideas to keep busy, which led to a full effort to write and record an album in the summer of 2021.
” I have not done “Quantum leap” with the intention of being next in the solo album cycle “, Gus admits. “It was more a question of ‘What else is there?’ I needed a creative outlet. “
Gus agrees with the suggestion that one should make an instrumental album for oneself; if people like it, that’s a plus. It’s an approach he takes with every album he makes, but if heavy metal is seen as a niche market, making an instrumental album is an even smaller corner of that. Being part of the music industry for the past 20 years has taught Gus that the company and the market have evolved to the point that instrumental albums are much more easily accepted than in their early days.
“As an artist these days you can basically do whatever you want and there’s an audience for it,” he says. “Instrumental music might not be a big seller, but anyone can listen to anything, and there is no limit to what I can do. There is a song on the record. which is a bit synth-wave [‘Night Driver’], there is a blues ballad thing [‘Enigma Of Life’], there is a track that has more progressive elements [‘Into The Unknown’], there is power metal [‘Demon Stomp’, ‘Judgement Day’], so it’s all under the umbrella of hard rock / heavy metal, but I wanted there to be variety. It doesn’t sound like I wrote 10 different riffs on the low E string and put a bunch of solos on it. And no one has an excuse to say, ‘I love music but I hate this type of voice …’ because there is no voice. [Laughs]”
“Quantum leap” was assembled into pieces, featuring new compositions and material taken from Gus“Riff Vault”, where he stores unfinished ideas and revisits them when he can. The album began as a full-fledged solo release, with Gus programming the drums and playing guitar, bass and keyboards, but a chance encounter with the drummer Jan-Vincent Velazco – who offered his services and subsequently detonated Gus far – opened production. Producer / Engineer Dennis ward, who was responsible for mixing and mastering “Quantum leap”, ended up laying bass tracks on eight of the 10 tracks.
Unlike many instrumental albums, “Quantum leap” doesn’t look like musical root canal therapy or long, drawn-out brain surgery. Each of the 10 tracks are solid and compact musical ideas, with Gusthe guitar acts as a voice. In this regard, the writing “Quantum leap” was a challenge because he is so used to writing in a specific formula using his voice. He found himself in the overplay loop several times during production due to the lack of vocals, but was able to overcome the problem once he recognized it.
“When I first wrote ‘Exosphere’, for example, there was so much going on on the track, but it didn’t mean anything ”, says Gus. “I really needed the guitar to take a vocal approach. I knew if I kept playing technical it wouldn’t be fun. So playing isn’t always about technique, and once I found the formula, it was easier to create melodies for the recording. “
“I’m a guitarist and I can’t stand most instrumental guitar albums,” he adds. “Classics are classics, but I get to them very rarely because after the third track it feels like an endless guitar solo where everything sounds the same. This is something I wanted to avoid on “Quantum leap” and I think I managed to do it. “
“Quantum leap” track list:
01. Into the unknown
03. Quantum leap
05. The enigma of life
06. The day of judgment
08. Demon trample
09. Night pilot
ten. Not forgotten
11. Force majeure (feat. Vinnie Moore)