Video Interview – SUNBURST: Gus Drax (2024)

VISUALS

Οχτώ χρόνια μετά το ντεμπούτο τους “Fragments of Life” οι progsters Sunburst επιτέλους επιστρέφουν με το δεύτερο άλμπουμ τους που θα έχει τον τίτλο “Manifesto” και θα κυκλοφορήσει στις 14 Ιουνίου ξανά από την Inner Wound. Με αφορμή την κυκλοφορία του πρώτου τους video “Hollow Lies” βρίσκουμε την ευκαιρία για μια ενδιαφέρουσα συνομιλία με τον κιθαρίστα Gus Drax, που μας βοηθά να ρίξουμε φως σε λεπτομέρειες της νέας δουλειάς τους.

Ο κιθαρίστας των Sunburst μας ανέλυσε πρόθυμα και με λεπτομέρειες τη διαδικασία εξέλιξης στο δεύτερο άλμπουμ αλλά και τις σημαντικές αποφάσεις που έπρεπε να πάρουν συνολικά σαν γκρουπ για το μέλλον. Σε πέντε ξεχωριστές ενότητες, τον ακούμε να μας δίνει πληροφορίες για τη διαδικασία του νέου δίσκου, το στιχουργικό του περιεχόμενο, τα πρόσωπα που συμμετείχαν και έπαιξαν σημαντικό ρόλο στο τελικό αποτέλεσμα, την αναζήτηση δισκογραφικής στέγης και τα κριτήρια αυτής της επιλογής, αλλά και τα σχέδια προώθησης του νέου άλμπουμ.

Το βίντεο της συνέντευξης κινηματογράφησε και επιμελήθηκε ο Δημήτρης Ζαμπός.

Important notice:

For all Sunburst fans out of Greece, there is the ability of enabling subtitles for english translation at the video. For anyone who feels more comfortable and relaxed in reading, we have the complete text of the five chapters from the interview, right below.

THE PROCESS

The whole process starts with the first album. We start building the first songs. I feel that the first songs we wrote with the last songs of “Fragments” have serious differences between them. We had finished the first album, then played our shows, and we noticed the elements we really liked and wanted to keep them, things that you can call the identity of the band. Some parts in the guitars but also the other instruments we use in a special way to support Vasilis’ work, (the voice is something very important and it’s the same for every band), but when you have a voice like this, then you have to support it. So, you can notice we have many technical parts during the instrumental sections, but when the voice comes we step back for him to have the room to do his work.  So after completing “Fragments” and the shows about it, we had decided about the elements we really like a lot and definitely want to keep them, and the next step was that we wanted to evolve them but also add new things. The certain thing was that we wanted to move into more progressive paths, we had also the will to take away some power metal parts that slightly existed in our first album. It was not that we don’t like this genre but that was simply what we wanted to do at the process. When we start demoing the songs, I don’t want to repeat in the second song things I ‘ve already done in the first one, so in any way I know what I don’t want to do at the next one, I want something to make it different even slightly comparing to the first, although it ends to be something completely different. At the fourth, fifth, sixth song, when the album starts to take shape, you have to get back to the first ones to listen again and test what you did, to avoid repeating things. When you get to the seventh song and really close to the end you certainly check again the whole work back, because we don’t want to make the same things, not between the albums but even between the tracks in the same album. So, this was the main goal of the process, to have something different and obviously an evolution of the band.

THE LYRICS

Lyrically, I believe we have found our own style since our first album. There are some certain themes we will deal with them and the lyrics are Vasilis’ work. Everything that has to do with the voice I really prefer to leave it completely to Vasilis, avoiding entering into his field, the melody lines with the lyrics, and probably then we will check them together, if I have something to propose, although I usually don’t because we have the same taste. We have many themes dealing with, a part of them is the daily problems man has to face while living in the modern age. We have many social themes, especially in the longer tracks where we have the time to develop them. For example, “Flood” the opener of the album, deals with 2024 society, all those internet personas and celebrities, and all this fairytale, that finally destroys the society and the human spirit. We try to describe this entire situation using our concern about it. One very basic matter is the daily reality, the daily problems a man can have, from survival to anything else. We can also get into religious themes, not in a way a black metal band would do, fighting with gods and demons, but we express personal anxieties as we get older. Everyone has his own obligations and I think that our personal lives offer much stimulation to write music and lyrics.

THE PERSONS

I know John (Koutselinis) since 2007, when I became a member of Biomechanical, and I have repeated many times in public my opinion about his value, as I believe he is a world class musician, as a singer (even though he does n ‘t deal anymore), or as a composer of orchestral music. I really appreciated his work since the first time we met, I find extremely difficult all this work he is doing, it’s not easy for someone to get to this level, many others can do a similar thing but I don’t know how much easy is to get there. Our corporation started with our former album, when we did “Remedy of my Heart”. It was a first idea we had and turned out to be really great. I believe that “Remedy” is the favorite song for most of the people from this album. So, as I said before, describing the process, we wanted to keep the elements we liked in our first album, so this time we had finally three songs where we used orchestrations, and the decision for these tracks was common. John heard immediately the whole album, so he took eight tracks and we told him we want to work together in three of them, so choose the ones you believe you have the room to work. So he picked up these three we finally did, and “Flood” was the one we wanted to be, because it was written with this option. There were orchestrations in my head, and the same thing happened with “Nocturne”. I think that the shape of the songs was easy for him to pick up the ones, and the third one was “Hollow Lies”. So, in the process, we sent him the songs, he sent us back his first ideas, and besides some very few and unimportant details, the first sample was almost the same to the final form: when we heard them, we were really blown away. It is a fact that I consider John as an outer partner of the band, and I can possibly imagine him bringing new orchestrations to our next album, as I consider his work an element of the band. As for the rest of the guys, everyone is putting his personal touch and personality in the album, while performing or bringing music or changing music. Basically I bring the music, but also Vasilis or Nikos have also brought music, but there is an absolute freedom of proposing changes or other things. I always want it to be a team’s effort, I don’t consider my proposals and ideas perfect, and I want all four of us to be as satisfied as it can be, and to be represented by the result, so I willingly accept the critics and the input of the other guys. It is obvious that with Vasilis, who writes the lyrics and the vocal melodies we have an extended corporation. But I am also willing to try proposals from the others too.

THE DILEMMA

The whole matter with the record labels brings basic dilemmas a band can have while being in this situation, if we deal with a label or go on all alone. The truth is that we had the thought of heading alone, with Sunburst but also with Black Fate, and this thought was strong with Sunburst because we had serious examples to avoid. There is not something perfect or ideal in the music industry, you may think that a deal with a label will bring the best for your band, but not to be like this as everything is judged by the result. So one of the basic thought we had in mind with Sunburst, was that anything we do it has to be with people we really trust. We had some conversations with various labels and finally as everybody knows now, we signed again with Inner Wound where we had released also our first album. To make it clear, if Inner Wound had said from the start that we continue together, I would personally had no interest in talking with someone else. I have such a trust in the way this company works and I am very satisfied with our corporation but also with the connection we have with Emil who is the head guy of the company and the rest stuff there, and I don’t intent to change it just to have a name of a bigger company. I am interested in the result and when I have a person I can completely trust, and using at the same time the examples to avoid that I mentioned before, and having also the experience with Suicidal Angels to face the industry from inside, I prefer to deal with people who will treat me professionally and personally well.

THE PROMOTION

About the promotion of the album, the videos have already started to be released. We have filmed three videos, two of them are completely finished. “Hollow Lies” was released yesterday on the 19th of April, and we are very happy of the reactions of the people so far, we were all very anxious for our first single to be released, and the whole album too, because we have done such a lot of work in this album and when the moment arrives for the people to hear it, you have the agony and the curiosity how this work you have done for such a long time will be faced. Our first two videos were filmed in Athens by Bob Katsionis, who has done an excellent work with both of them, and we have one more, planned to be revealed on the release date of the album, on the 14th of June, and this one was filmed here in Larissa with Panos Batikoudis. Because of our musical style we are planning to make some play through videos where I will play my whole guitar parts in songs, from beginning to end, Kostas wants to make some too, and probably some as a whole band. Beyond this, we really want to play live as much as possible, and we will chase every given chance for it, to play here in Greece and abroad too. Sunburst have played more times abroad than in Greece, so now we will after every sign of interest to play everywhere in our country and abroad too.

The interview was filmed and edited by Dimitris Zampos.

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About Γιώργος Γεωργίου 949 Articles
Αν και από την τρυφερή ηλικία των ισχυρών δονήσεων κυνηγούσε την άκρη του Ουράνιου Τόξου, κάποια στιγμή στην εφηβεία του ανακάλυψε πως γεννήθηκε με ένα Triryche σημάδι, έστω και αν αυτό τον πρόδωσε μόλις τον οδήγησε στη Γη της Επαγγελίας. Ψάχνοντας για μια καλύτερη ζωή ένωσε το αγαπημένο του δίπολο, από το απόλυτο Καναδικό τρίο ως τα παλικάρια του "Νησιού" από το Aylesbury που ανάστησαν ένα ιδίωμα με τον Ψηλό ποιητή-ψάρι και αγκάλιασαν το μέλλον με τον κύριο "Η". Έμαθε και συνεχίζει να αγαπά με το ίδιο πάθος τους μεγάλους του τσίρκου της μουσικής αλλά και τα άγνωστα ευρήματα των ατέλειωτων ανασκαφών, όπως αγαπά και τις υπερβάσεις στα μουσικά ιδιώματα και άνετα θα έπινε κουβάδες από καφέ με τον Martin Walkyier και τον Paddy McAloon στο ίδιο τραπέζι. Ένας από τους διακαείς πόθους του με το πληκτρολόγιο ή την "πένα" είναι να συμφιλιώσει την παραδοσιακή prog metal παράταξη με τους μοντέρνους πιονιέρους του χώρου, μένοντας με πάθος ετοιμοπόλεμος σε κάθε προειδοποίηση της μοίρας για την εξάπλωση των λεπρών. Δυσκολεύεται ακόμα και σήμερα να δραπετεύσει από τις σελίδες του Σαρτρ, έστω και αν ο άνθρωπος είναι καταδικασμένος να είναι ελεύθερος. Σιχαίνεται τη σοβαροφάνεια, τον φασισμό κάθε απόχρωσης και τον Κούγια. Ο κινηματογράφος μάλλον στένεψε πολύ γι' αυτόν μετά το "Διάφανο Δέρμα", ενώ όταν κοιτάζει το Subbuteo με μεγεθυντικό φακό, προτιμά οι ομάδες του σε οποιοδήποτε χορτάρι του πλανήτη να φοράνε βυσσινί.