How excited are you to come to Australia? Have you been here before?
“We are very excited all of us, it’s actually going to be our first time there. I mean we can’t wait to be honest; we have all waited for a long time for this to happen. We booked shows earlier on this year but we had to postpone them and we were fortunate enough to reschedule for this November.
What inspired you to be a musician?
When I was nine years old my Dad had this record at home by a guitar player from the 70’s called Peter Faccit and the record was called ‘Faccit Comes Alive’. I think that’s the defining moment for me where I decided that that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a rock guitar player.
What’s it been your high light of being part of a band like ‘Firewind’?
“Well we’ve done a lot of things over the last 10 years, just the fact that you can make a living from playing the music you love, to travel the world, meet new people and have new experiences. Just getting out of your own country and travelling the world, it’s mind blowing. It’s just mind blowing that all of this can happen through music.
You guys have been together for quite a while now? When did you start? How many albums have you produced?
Well I started doing my first demo’s back in 1998, the first Album was release in 2002 so 11 years ago. Since then we have done 7 studio albums and 2 live albums. We are very proud of our work and we work hard for what we achieve and we still have a long way to go but it’s been a good ride so far.
What’s it like for you to be titled the Greek Guitar God?
It’s really cool, I mean I don’t see myself that way, I appreciate it, I take it as a compliment and I’m very humbled by it. It’s great that my playing had inspired a younger generation; it inspires me to carry on and become better. I mean, when I hear or see that someone says I am the greatest guitar player it puts pressure on me and I release shit I have to live up to something.
Has it been fun touring the word doing what you love?
The coolest thing honestly is playing the shows. Part of it is exploring other cultures from America to Japan, Africa to Indonesia, different worlds. You get to see how fans react in different places. The coolest thing about it, even with Rock ‘N’ Roll and Heavy Metal, the countries may be different and the languages are different but you still connect with the people that love the same music and you have so much in common. This kind of music brings everybody together no matter what. It’s like one language and that’s what I’m expecting in Australia as well.
Well it’s not such a glamorous lifestyle as many might think. If you do it on a big level and your traveling on private jets there is that side of things but for the rest of us mortals sometimes the conditions aren’t the best, sometimes there’s no place to take a shower or no food and you really just have to adjust to that lifestyle. Of course it’s tiring and there’s a lot of waiting in airports, planes, on buses but if you love it you don’t really think about those things. I’m not saying that this touring lifestyle is for everyone because we have had a lot of past members leave because of just that and I totally get it because it’s not for everybody.
What’s has it been like working with Ozzy Osbourne?
Well that’s like the exception of the rule of what I have just said, its like the ultimate touring level, touring the biggest arenas in the world, living in the best hotels, traveling in jets. But it’s not about that the experience is just being on stage with that man, it’s just a blessing and I’m really one of the lucky few guys that get to play and work with Ozzy and I really enjoyed every second of it.
What’s your favorite show that you have played with ‘Firewind’ and why?
There have been a lot of really good shows with this band, I could probably name you at least 10 right now off the top of my head. The shows we play here in Greece are pretty intense because it’s our hometown. The fans it England have also been really, really good, it’s a really loyal fan base there. We don’t have a huge following but that fans we do have are crazy about this band, they are really, really hardcore fans that will write to us. With a tribe of fans like that it really keeps us motivated.
What other bands have you played in?
Well quite a few, when I started out I use to play in a Swedish band called ‘Green evil’ and for a little while I played in a death metal band called ‘Night Rage’ and another band called ‘Arch Enemy’.
What are some of your musical influences that have taken you to this point?
Well a lot of guitar players, Black Sabbath Metallica, Gary Moore and Michael Schenker.
Finally what would you say to help inspire young passionate guitarist that want to succeed in this industry?
I would first say that you should try to achieve one goal at a time, take everything step by step, know that there’s no short cuts, put in the time and hard work. Be respectful of the people you work with and the people around you, stick to your guns, play the music you like and don’t give in to any trends.
Firewind play at Fowlers Live on Saturday November 2nd. Tickets are available here
Interview by Shannen Murphy.