Greek melodic metallers FIREWIND, who are led by current OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Gus G., have announced a new distribution deal for North America. Joining forces with DisManic, Inc. via eOne Distribution, FIREWIND‘s hotly anticipated new album, “Few Against Many”, will be the first release of this partnership, due May 22.
Commented Gus: “I’m very excited about this new partnership! While we’ve been around for some time, North American territory is relatively new ground for us. And since the music industry is changing drastically these days, we felt we should be more in control on our new release. We are fortunate to have a great team behind us for our North American release, including Thomas Ziegler of DisManic, Inc./eOne Distribution and together with our management I’m confident that we will reach the next level.”
Added Ziegler: “Gus is correct, the music industry is changing and more artists realize the great opportunity of acting as their own label, being in the driver’s seat and making decisions within a great setup of passionate distribution and marketing professionals. I am very honored to work with Gus G. and gang and I am very much looking forward to a successful great partnership.”
Produced by Gus, “Few Against Many” was recorded with his longtime bandmates, vocalist Apollo Papathanasio, keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis and bassist Petros Christo, at Valve Studio in Greece as well as the Sweetspot Studios in Sweden and sees the band expanding on its signature melodic sound with some of its most aggressive songs to date. The CD also marks the recording debut of new FIREWIND drummer Johan Nunez (NIGHTRAGE). The young Belgian is regarded by Gus as a “phenomenal talent,” and anyone that witnessed him on the band’s most recent world tour will no doubt agree.
“Few Against Many” will receive a European release on May 21 through Century Media.
FIREWIND has already announced a few summer festival appearances (including Summer Breeze in Germany and Czech Republic’s Masters Of Rock) and will be announcing many more, as well as the “Few Against Many” world tour, in the coming months.
FIREWIND debuted two brand new songs — “Wall Of Sound” and “Losing My Mind” — during its headlining concert on January 14 at the Fuzz Club in Athens, Greece. Fan-filmed video footage of both tracks can be seen below.
In a 2011 interview with Oregon Music News, Gus stated about the relative lack of promotion in North America for FIREWIND‘s last studio album, “Days Of Defiance”, “If were up to me, I would have released the album after I would be available to tour behind it. This was the label’s idea who wanted to the album out. Our [most recent North American] label, Century Media, wanted it released. They said, ‘We paid you to record the album and we want the masters.’ I said, ‘Okay, here you go.’ I didn’t feel good about it. This is the politics of the music business, I tried to make the label see that sure we’d get some press due to my involvement in Ozzy‘s band, but we would not be able to tour. Waiting 10 months to tour behind an album isn’t a good business.”
When asked if there were any plans for FIREWIND to re-release “Days Of Defiance” as an “expanded” edition to coincide with the band’s recent North American headlining tour, Gus said, “We have thought about it but it goes back to the politics with our label. This was our last album for Century Media [under the previous deal] and unless you’re signed for a long-term contract, they aren’t going to do much for you. So for FIREWIND, this time around, there wasn’t any creative marketing behind the album. It’s sad, because I do feel that it’s our best album to date and the fans absolutely love it. Unfortunately, there could have better promotion and Century Media should have waited a few months to release it, but that’s record label politics for you.”
“Days Of Defiance” landed at position No. 53 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. The CD was released in North America on October 26, 2010 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media.