Heart of Steel: Interviews

Dream Evil Interview with Gus G.
Interviewed by Robert Pöpperl-Berenda
Live photos of Dream Evil by Anders Sandvall

Dream Evil's Gus G.Right after their brilliant debut album “Dragonslayer” DREAM EVIL, the Swedish all-star project around legendary producer Fredrik Nordström, released their second melodic metal onslaught “Evilized”. Greek workaholic and six string wizard Gus G. found some time between his three bands – DREAM EVIL, Firewind and Mystic Prophecy – to answer a few questions for Metal-Rules.com.



You have been very quick with the follow up to “Dragonslayer”? How could you work that fast and release two albums within a year?

“No, we haven´t been too quick with “Evilized”. You have to remember that “Dragonslayer” is more than two years old, and we had to wait for the right contract. For “Evilized” all of the band members contributed to the songwriting. Snowy alone did have enough material for a whole album. So we did not spend too much time with writing. When we entered the studio there was a little bit of time pressure, because we got the offer to jump on the HammerFall tour. This was the biggest available tour in Europe beside Manowar. It meant that we had to finish the record in three weeks. But everything went smooth.”



Is Dream Evil a band or a project?

“DREAM EVIL is definitely a band. Everybody is thinking of DREAM EVIL as a project, but that´s not true. We have developed into a real band!”



But I think that you don´t see the guys too often when living in the United States.

“I´m no longer living in the states. I moved back to Greece. But last year I spent most of my time in Gothenburg. I did even have my own apartment there. And I also saw the guys five weeks straight when we were on tour. So I think that we can not be much closer.”




What´s the difference between “Evilized” and “Dragonslayer”?

“The biggest difference is in the lyrics. This time we do have more realistic ones. On the first album there have been enough swords, dragons and stuff. Musically we pretty much stayed in the path of “Dragonslayer”.”



On “Evilize” you are focusing more on ballads than on “Dragonslayer”.

“Snowy Shaw did come up with his ballad ´The End´. We liked it all very much, right from the beginning. Fredrik said that he wanted to have another one. So he brought the second ballad. But there are not only ballads on “Evilized”. I think that we have found a good balanced mixture tempo-wise.”



So how was the tour with HammerFall?

“They are great guys. We got along very well with them. But I have to admit that I don´t like their music too much. They are good musicians, but I wouldn´t go to a concert of them, when not touring with them.”



But many critics are comparing Hammerfall directly with DREAM EVIL. Does this bother you, when you yourself don´t like their music?

“No, not really. We are playing the same style – melodic metal. But they are more following groups like Helloween, while we are digging deeper into metal history. We are including things in our own style the Scorpions for example did have in their music.”



Does your band name relate to the same-named Dio-album?

“Yes. When we were preparing the first album we were listening to “Dream Evil”, and I thought that this would be a good name for the band. The others agreed.”



Is this the best Dio album in your opinion?

“This I can not say. But ´All The Fools Sailed Away´ is definitely a killer track.”



Have you known Fredrik before joining the band?

“I was introduced to Fredrik when he was on vacation in Greece. He was producing a Greek band before, and they invited him to Greece. We soon discovered that we had much in common. And here we are…”



How do you relate to Fredrik as a guitar player?

“I´m a more technical player than he is. But we are never having any troubles. We are playing what each of us is doing best. If a part of mine isn´t suiting Fredrik, we rearrange it. There haven´t been any problems.”



What can you tell me about Snowy Shaw? Is he a weird character?

“You have to get to know Snowy. In the beginning I was a little bit scared. I knew that he played in all those bands. (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Notre Dame – rp) He does have a coffin in his house and there also is a drum-set hanging down from the ceiling. But he is a very friendly and funny guy.”



Is he still doing Notre Dame?

“Yes. I like this band very much.”



And also the dancer I suppose..

“Yeah, Vampirella is a fine dancer and a very beautiful woman. She did some stage-appearances with us, where she was dancing and spitting fire. A long time ago she was Snowy´s girl-friend.”




Do you like Snowy´s hair-style?

“Everybody is asking this. His hair-style is strange, but I like it.”



You surely know the fairy-tale of a young boy named Yngwie, who was living at the end of the world sending tapes everywhere, until Mike Varney was discovering him and putting him in a big band. He moved to the USA and becomes a big star. Let me change names a little bit. Instead of Yngwie I would take a Greek boy named Kostas Karamitroudis, who is not discovered by Mike Varney but David T. Chastain…

“Hey, this is my own story! I never thought of it that way, but you are right. There are certain similarities to the career of Yngwie Malmsteen. But it will be impossible that I change the guitar world the way he did. Nobody can do it! I especially like his older stuff like “Trilogy” and “Marching Out”, but “Seventh Sign” and “Magnum Opus” are also cool.”



I´m sure that you also like the “ancient” Alcatrazz-stuff. I can hear it when putting on Firewind´s “Between Heaven And Hell”.

“Yes, of course. When I first heard singer Stephen Fredrick, he reminded me a lot of Graham Bonnet. I had to work with him!! You surely don´t know that Firewind is something like a cyber band. I have never met David Chastain or Stephen in person. I´m recording here in Greece, while they are working in Atlanta.”



But you were living in the states…

“I lived in New York and then moved to Florida. They are living in Atlanta. We are only writing emails and sending tapes to each other. Right now I´m preparing the next Firewind album. It should be finished in May. I do have a new drummer and bass player here in Greece, but David and Stephen are still aboard.”



How much has David helped your career?

“A lot! Being the “exploration” of David Chastain surely does open doors in the music business.”



Isn´t it a pity that David Chastain has never played in a real big band?

He did play in big bands. He only to keep his freedom as an artist. I know from secure sources that he turned down very big contracts at the end of eighties and beginning of the nineties. He wanted to be free. That´s very cool!”



Is Dream Evil your main priority?

“DREAM EVIL together with Firewind.”



Don´t you want to do some solo stuff?

“Firewind is more or less my solo project. But I will never do it under my own name. I don´t like something like Gus G´s Firewind.”



What about your third band Mystic Prophecy, where Dennis Ekdahl (Raise Hell, Sins Of Omission; by the way, did you know that Raise Hell, Sins Of Omission and Thyrfing are all from the same small village of Tyrefö??) is drumming.

“We just released our second album “Regressus”. I want to go on with them as long as I can.”



So what´s happening next in the DREAM EVIL camp?

“We will release an EP with a video of “Children Of The Night” and some live stuff. Hopefully we will also get a chance to tour America…”


Thanxxx for the interview.

Official band website


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