Last October, Firewind mastermind and maestro guitar hotshot GUS G released his critically acclaimed new solo adventure, titled “Quantum Leap” via AFM Records.
Following an impressive music career spanning more than 20 years, nine record releases with Firewind, as well as recording and touring with acts such as Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Ozzy Osbourne, Quantum Leap is Gus’s fourth, and entirely instrumental, solo album, showcasing ten distinctive performance-style tracks and taking fans into new auditory territory.
Quantum Leap formed over the course of the global pandemic which unfortunately prevented Firewind’s 2020 self-titled album from gaining any real momentum. Immobilized by the quarantine measures that kept him at home, Gus began collecting musical ideas to keep busy, which led him to push himself to the limit to write and record an album in the summer of 2021.
The hankering highs are apollonian, and the song-language is expressional…Raw Ramp Music Magazine
As he explains: “I didn’t make Quantum Leap with the intention of it being the next one in the cycle of solo albums, […] It was more of a case of, ‘What else is there?’ I needed the creative outlet.”
Just a few months after the album’s successful release via AFM, the guitarist has shared a new music video for a song from the disc, titled ‘Night Driver‘ (video shared below.) The 80’s style groove is sensational, the Gary Moore-ish hankering highs are apollonian, and the song-language is expressional!
About Night Driver Gus says: “This is probably the most stylistically diverse song of Quantum Leap. I gave it a synth wave twist and it now has that 80s vhs movie vibe!”
Quantum Leap was assembled in pieces, featuring new compositions and material taken from Gus’s “riff vault” where he stores unfinished ideas and revises them when he can. The album began as a full solo outing, with Gus programming drums and playing guitar, bass and keyboards, but a chance meeting with drummer Vincent Velasco, who volunteered for his services and subsequently blew Gus away, began the production process.
Producer / engineer Dennis Ward, was responsible for mixing and mastering Quantum Leap and laid-down bass tracks on eight of the ten tracks.
Unlike many instrumental albums, Quantum Leap doesn’t feel like an abscessed tooth or a surgical procedure without heavy baribituate anaesthetic. Instead, each of the ten tracks are solid, tight musical ideas, with Gus’s guitar acting as vocals.
“I really needed to have the guitar taking a vocal approach...” he says. “ I knew that if I just kept the playing technical it wasn’t going to be enjoyable. So the playing isn’t always about technique, and once I found the formula it was easier to create melodies for the record.”
“I’m a guitar player and I cannot stand most instrumental guitar albums,” he adds. “The classic are the classics, but very rarely do I get into them because after the third track it just seems like an endless guitar solo where everything that sounds the same. That’s something I wanted to avoid on Quantum Leap and I think I succeeded in doing that.”
Imagine Joe Satriani, though rendered with more than a tablespoon of synthwave, and you’ll quickly hook on to what Gus offers here: yes, this is supreme mesmerizing mastery!