Bob Katsionis Interview
May 28th, 2018
A man that really needs no introduction, multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter Bob Katsionis is a name that if you really do not know who he is, you will understand in due time how talented and influential he really is.
When not writing or touring the globe with his bands FIREWIND, OUTLOUD or SERIOUS BLACK all of which he is an active part and member of, Bob takes the time to produce not only his own solo material but has since started his own record label in Greece.
A man with many talents gives to the metal community his latest and 5th solo effort PROGNOSIS & SYNOPSIS which is an all-out assault on your senses in regards to his style of New Age, prog and heavy metal influences. A cohesion of styles that work extremely well, and that is second nature for him. All you need is one listen and you too will know where I’m coming from.
It is hard to believe that Bob has even a minute of time to take and answer a few questions after just completing a European/South American tour with FIREWIND, but he did. So here are a few highlights of a talk with the man, the one and only Bob Katsionis.
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for the readers of Metal-Rules.com.
Bob: First of all, the pleasure is all mine since the questions are really interesting and in to the point!
First off, congrats on the new album. I really like it. It is the first I have really listened to your solo material. Can you tell the readers a bit about it?
Bob: “Prognosis & Synopsis” is my 5th solo album. I’ve been making these solo instrumental albums since 2002. There were not many people back then who could do it. It’s definitely not like nowadays that everyone can record an album and self-distribute it. For me,these albums have always been my music hideout where I can fully express all my ideas without limits and any compromise. And it’s something that has helped me maintain a level of professionalism in the bands I’ve been playing in,since I don’t demand all my ideas to be in their albums and helps me filter my inspiration better. If something doesn’t fit in the Firewind or Outloud or Serious Black albums…goes directly in there. I advise other musicians to do the same,it’s really cathartic.
You’ve stated that this album pretty much sums up your career as a musician from past to present. Can you explain?
Bob: Yes, in fact someone can listen pretty much everything I’ve been doing since my first 2002 album: from hyper shredding to emotional melodies and soundscapes. The plan was to start moving towards a new direction, but it seems that I have a bit more to give in this style;. Let’s see!
Is what you have created here more or less something that you would rather be doing musically from here on out?
Bob: Yes. Songs like “Dark Matter” or “Amnesia” are compositions that all my friends and fan go like “dude,this is the stuff you should be doing!” people have been telling me all the time that my music sounds like soundtrack to a movie or most likely to a video game. And this is a good sign for me since I’ve always been inspired by movies and games so it’s a sign!
What about your place in Firewind? Is that something you see yourself giving up in the future for your solo material?
Bob: No…I don’t think so. I am friends with these guys and we have tons of fun doing these tours and albums. We have a fan base I don’t want to disappoint. Of course you never know what’s happening or how one’s life turns but for now I try to keep everything hand in hand. Plus, from my experience with Firewind and watching Gus G’s solo career (which of course is in another level due to his past time with Ozzy) I have seen how hard it is to go out there all alone and I’m kinda scared to do it.
When writing/creating new music, are you usually in a certain mindset for what the music will be used for? Or is it more like “oh this sounds like Firewind or this sounds like solo material”?
Bob: Yes, I think it goes a little bit like this: when a riff or a melody comes to my head, I know from the first minute where it should go and what’s the best band to be played from. Of course there are some exceptions like a song I once demo’ed and gave to Firewind but it ended up years later being the opening track to “Prognosis & Synopsis” with some alterations of course.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Bob: It’s mostly movies and video games. I (try to) spend a lot of time with my PS4. The games, especially the Virtual Reality ones, they help me change scenery and mood and make my mind work differently. That’s how my last album came out like this! Actually…it’s always been like that!
Any touring plans for the solo material?
Bob: I wish but as I told you…it doesn’t really make any sense, the logistics simply don’t work. But IF I do it i want to make it good. I can’t just go out the with a normal 4 piece band and do it. This needs production and lights and all so…it will be a disappointment to give to my fans anything less than that. You know, it can work in a negative way rather than positive in the end.
If so, any other musicians lined up?
Bob:….but thank God I have some great musicians who would jump in the Bob Katsionis Shred-Wagon at any time and I’m really grateful for that. One of them is guitarist Gus Drax, one of Greece’s best shredders and a very good friend. Drummer Vangelis Moraitis who played in the album is in ,too and same goes for the bass player’s position where I have 1-2 extremely good guys in mind. To be honest, THEY have been pushing me to do it more than myself!
What’s next for Bob Katsionis?
Bob: I can’t wait for August to come and record a new album! I wish that inspiration will knock at my door again like it happened last year and make one album at least as good as “Prognosis…” or even better!
In ending, anything you would like to say or add?
Bob: Actually…there is. I would encourage people to check my ICON-DISC format that I released my two latest solo albums. It’s actually a music album in the form of an App for your smartphone & tablet that gives you WAY MORE than just a collection of mp3’s that you get from iTunes.
My previous 2012 album “Rest In Keys” is actually FREE to download, while my new one costs a mere 3 or 4 euros and stays in your phone for as long as you need it,without the need to be online. I think they are an experience that gives you 101% of the music and is recommended to all musicians out there.
You can check them out here: