SUNBURST - A Burst Of Magic
February 21, 2016, 2 years ago
Greek progressive metal band Sunburst is a new explosive band who has just released its immaculate debut release, Fragments Of Creation. Featuring guitarist Gus Drax (Biomechanical, Black Fate, Suicidal Angels), vocalist Vasilis Georgiou (Innosense, Black Fate), drummer Kostas Milonas (New Day Slave, Foray Between Ocean, Paradox, Outloud) and bassist Nick Grey (End Of Innocense, Jailcat), the foursome creates quite a magical chemistry for a newer band. Inspired by bands like Dream Theater, Nevermore, Conception and Symphony X, Sunburst demonstrates these influences on its 10 vibrant tracks. BraveWords writer Kelley Simms spoke with guitarist Gus Drax about the band’s origins, the new album and Sunburst’s future plans.
BraveWords: Not only is Vasilis an accomplished singer, he’s also an excellent digital artist, as the cover artwork and booklet was created by him. How does the artwork, title and theme all tie together?
Gus Drax: “Vasilis is our singer and lyricist so he knows what we are talking about, what we are writing for, etc. He didn't need particular direction on what to create for the album. He presented some ideas to us and we all together picked the best and he continued and completed all the artwork concept which yes, ties up with the album title, the song titles, the lyrics and the whole atmosphere of the album. The artwork really fits the band and the album perfectly.”
BraveWords: The album was self-produced. How did the recording process go?
Gus Drax: “We were in control at all times. We started with the drums at Kostas’ hometown, then I recorded the rhythm and lead guitars at Nikos’ (drummer of Black Fate) studio. Nikos, our bassist, recorded his parts in his own studio, Fireball Music Studio, which is where we also rehearse. And Vasilis recorded his vocals in his own studio. We all knew the environment where we recorded and we were comfortable in giving our best performances.”
BraveWords: It was mixed and mastered by Panagiotis Katsaounis. What were you going for sound wise? Did you relay anything to him about how you wanted it to sound?
Gus Drax: “We had a clear vision of how we wanted the band to sound and we gave some directions to Panagiotis. Of course we also relied on his knowledge and experience. He did a great job and we are very satisfied with the result.”
BraveWords: What was your mind frame while writing the songs and how did you go about constructing them?
Gus Drax: “I try not to have anything in mind. We start usually from a guitar riff, which leads to another and another. Kostas writes his drum parts and so does Nikos with his bass lines. Both guys also express their opinion for the song structure of course and at the end, Vasilis writes his vocal lines and he also suggests things about the song structure. We work on the song a lot together; we share mp3s and we have the final result.”
BraveWords: How do you know Bob Katsionis (Firewind) and how did you get him to play keyboards on the album?
Gus Drax: “I’ve known Bob for almost a decade now. He is a good friend of mine. Fragments Of Creation is not the first album he participated on. He has also recorded the keyboards for my solo album In Search Of Perfection. On this occasion we had the keyboard parts already written but we needed a normal keyboard player to record them. Bob happily accepted our invitation and he performed the keyboard parts and he also added his own twist in there. His contribution doesn’t stop there though. He also directed our first video clip for the song ‘Dementia.’”
BraveWords: Greece is such a great metal country! There seems to be an abundance of awesome bands who represent quality metal in many different genres. What is the scene like now and how was it when you first started out?
Gus Drax: “It’s pretty much the same, to be honest. There are a lot of great bands and musicians like you said. So much talent and great works come out very often. I think you are going to hear even more in the near future.”
BraveWords: Some of your influences shine through on the album such as Dream Theater, Nevermore, Conception/Kamelot. Who did you listen to while growing up and who are some of your guitar idols?
Gus Drax: “Yes, you are right. Dream Theater, Nevermore and Conception are some of my favorite bands, among many others of course. John Petrucci is my favorite guitar player of all times. Jason Becker is also a great inspiration of mine; Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Jeff Loomis, Michael Romeo, Criss Oliva and Richie Kotzen are some of my favorite guitarists that influenced me as a guitarist and a musician in general.”
BraveWords: “Remedy Of My Heart” is such an epic, multi-layered musical journey. What was the whole process like writing this song?
Gus Drax: “’Remedy Of My Heart’ is a very special song for us. It started as most of the songs from guitar riffs, but it took its final form differently from the others. We worked very close with Vasilis on this one. We were meeting in his studio once or twice a week to work on it. We knew it was going to be a longer song. Every time I showed him my ideas and we were working on them and gradually we built the song. Vasilis also wrote some vocal lines during the songwriting procedure, which is something that he doesn’t (normally) do. He prefers to work on the final form of the song. But with ‘Remedy…’, it was different and also that led us to different places and the song you hear now.
BraveWords: Vasilis Georgiou sounds similar to Roy Kahn (ex-Kamelot) and everybody that I know is just in love with his voice! How did you two form Sunburst?
Gus Drax: “We’ve known each other for many years now. He is one of my best friends. When we met, he was singing for a few different bands including his own Innosense and I was... too young at the moment. But we became friends and at some point we said that we really need to do a band together. A few years passed from that moment, I also played with Biomechanical and released my solo album. It was when I met Kostas Milonas that I thought, ‘Ok, it’s time to call Vasilis and start the band we were talking about.’ And the rest as they say... is history.”
BraveWords: Since you’re a fairly new band, what do you hope to accomplish or achieve next?
Gus Drax: “We take it step by step. We are very soon releasing our debut album. We want to do as many shows as possible to promote the band and the album and soon we will start working on new material that will lead to our second album.”
Fragments Of Creation is out February 28th on Inner Wound Recordings.