Sunburst interview (03/2016)
|Conducted by:||Demonic Tutor (e-mail)|
Sunburst.Their debut album took me by surprise. It is everything I love in a prog power album. I had to satisfy my curiosity. Luckily, I had an opportunity to interview Gus Drax, the main force behind this very promising combo.
From left to right: Kostas Milonas [drums], Vasilis Georgiou [vocals], Gus Drax [guitars], Nick Grey [bass]
DT: Hi! Can you introduce Sunburst in a few sentences for our readers?
Gus: Of course. We are Sunburst from Greece and we play Melodic Progressive Metal. We are influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Nevermore and Conception.
Check out our debut album Fragments Of Creation, which is out through Inner Wound Recordings.
DT: Fragments Of Creation is your debut album, and what an album! Can you explain how did the process feel from beginning to end? How does it feel to have it done?
Gus: It was a very long process and we are really happy and proud that it is finally out. It was a lot of hard work at all the stages of the album, from composing the songs to mixing and mastering the album and finally getting it released.
It feels absolutely great to see it out and we are also very proud from the reactions and the feedback. People seem to love what we've done and there isn't a bigger payback for a band.
DT: How was your collaboration with Bob Katsionis?
Gus: As always, great. Bob is a great friend of mine and we were searching for a normal keyboard player to play the keyboard parts that we had already composed for the song. I asked Bob and he happily accepted and he played what we wrote and also added his own element here and there and we are very happy with his work.
He also directed our first video clip for the song "Dementia". We all worked very hard on it during a super-hot Greek weekend, shooting the clip and he did an amazing job bringing it together.
DT: Already being compared to bands like Kamelot or Vanden Plas. What do you make of so much praise from the reviewing community?
Gus: We are very happy from the reviews and even though we have our own identity we don't have a problem being compared with such great bands.
DT: Can you describe your approach to songwriting? Who does what in the band?
Gus: Well, most of the times everything starts from guitar riffs. I create a song structure and send it to everyone so that they can work on their part and say their opinion about the song and how it should go. Kostas will write his drum parts. Sometimes I will give him a few ideas of mine on how I imagine the drums in various places and he adds his own personal touch. Same happens with Nick's basslines. And in the end, Vasilis writes his vocal lines and we all give the song its final form.
DT: What was the most difficult part of bringing this album to life?
Gus: We had quite a few obstacles but I think that mixing and mastering all that music was the most difficult part. Panagiotis Katsaounis did a great a job on that matter and we are really satisfied with the final result.
DT: Any interesting stories from the recording session?
Gus: The truth is that everyone recorded on his own and everything—luckily—went well and we didn't have any bad moments. But we will never, and I mean it NEVER forget the shooting of the video clip for "Dementia". We were shooting outside and we had a Power generator for the lights some PA we had etc. BUT! The Power Generator was stronger than we needed and it ended up burning most of our lights and a PA!! We were running like crazy to find another generator and shoot the clip and the temperature was 43 degrees!!!
Luckily a few friends of mine gave a hand, we found a generator and lights and we managed to shoot the clip. What a day....
DT: In my review of Fragments Of Creation, I described the track "Beyond The Darkest Sun" as a shiver-inducing instrumental tour-de-force. How much work was put in writing and executing this track?
Gus: Well it was quite natural to be honest. I wrote it very easily, it was a moment of inspiration. Every part led to the other. Recording it was challenging and time consuming for me because it has all these guitar parts. But I practiced it a lot before going in the studio to record it and it didn't gave me a hard time.
DT: "Remedy Of My Heart", an epic 12-minute-long track, closes the album. What does this song mean to you (lyrically and musically)?
Gus: We are very proud for this song. It is really special for all of us. It is the only one in the album that exceeds the 10 minutes. We have the orchestral arrangement on it, which makes it really special. It has many different parts and it goes from really heavy and dark to technical and then mellow, sad and melodic. Many ups and downs and songwriting-wise and composition-wise I do believe it is one of the best tracks on the album, if not the best!
DT: Name your favorite song from the album and the reason why it is special to you.
Gus: That's a really tough question for me, as you can understand, but I would probably say "Remedy Of My Heart".
DT: Who drew that amazing artwork for the album? Did it capture your sound?
Gus: Vasilis Georgiou did all the artwork for the album and he absolutely did a fantastic job! He is the singer and lyricist of the band and that made the whole thing easier on capturing our sound and style. He knew the songs very well and he came up with this great, great idea.
DT: Do you have touring plans already in place to promote the album?
Gus: Yes we have already announced some shows in the Netherlands and Belgium for May and there are more to come really soon.
DT: You recorded a video for the song "Dementia". How was that experience? Are you happy with the result?
Gus: Yes, we did a video for "Dementia" and one more for "Out Of The World" and we are very happy with both of them. We are going to do one more soon but I'm going to keep the song a secret!
DT: Who is your all-time favorite Greek band?
Gus: Hum, tough one. I am between Rotting Christ and Firewind. I like them both even though they are different. I'll say both since it's difficult for me to pick between them.
DT: What else do you like to do when you are not playing music?
Gus: I like spending time with my friends, watching movies, listening to music and I also work out a lot. I am going to the gym almost every day.
DT: Thanks for your time and the great album that is Fragments of Creation. I'm spreading the word about you guys. The last words are yours.
Gus: Thank you very much for your nice words about our debut. We are really happy you like it. Hope to see you soon on the road.
Many thanks to our own D.T. Metal and Emil at Ulterium Records for facilitating this interview.
Posted on 03.03.2016 by
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