--- Bob Katsionis Interview--- 12/Feb/07
Hey bob, thanks for taking some time out to answer some questions for us here at shred academy, it is a pleasure to have a guitar/keyboard virtuoso with us.
How long have you been playing each instrument and do you find it difficult to balance them both?
- I've been playing the keyboards since 1988 and the guitar since 1992, so it's kind of natural for me! Of course, knowing music theory helped me to balance both of them.
Who inspired you to play guitar/keys?
- It's kind of funny story...there was a time that my grades in high school really sucked so my parents took away from me all my tapes and vinyl's so the only way I could listen to music was from a video tape featuring among others..Annihilator's "Stonewall" video! So, Mr Jeff Waters was my first inspiration to play guitar. As for the keyboards...it was only Dream Theater's Images and Words cd that made me look at the keyboards different than how I used to!
You have many past works such as Star Queen and Imaginary albums, for those unfamiliar with your past work, what have you achieved over the years?
- The thing that I am most proud of is my 2 solo albums "Turn of My Century" and "Imaginary Force". There you can find which is the real music that Bob wants to play and listen, I also did 2 albums with a project called IMAGINERY, two CD's with Greek deathsters NIGHTFALL and lots of other stuff that I can't recall right now! I've also played with some of Greece's best metal acts like Septic Flesh and Acid Death, did a lot of touring and generally spend all of my life since 1993 that I formed my first band "Skyward" in the studios and stages!
You have now joined the band Firewind, we interviewed Gus G and he speaks very highly of you, do you enjoy your position in the band?
- Firewind was the band I always wanted to be in! You see, I enjoy playing both keyboards and guitars especially on stage as well as I am contributing a lot in the writing process. I think me and Gus we are a truly loving couple, haha!
What is different with working from Firewind compared to what you have done in the past?
- hey, Firewind is 100% professional way of working and doing music and business while most of my previous bands were not taking that seriously. It always seemed as the band will never be our main thing, but in Firewind there's nothing else and less on our minds than making this band the biggest metal band in the world!
You studied music for a long time, for those who are considering studying or haven't studied music, do you recommend it?
- Well, teaching music (mostly guitar!!!) Used to be my main job but I started not to find it interesting anymore as most of my students were not practicing enough and were attending the class just to talk about Firewind and stuff! Now my main job is doing productions and arrangements for other bands in my home studio and also directing music video clips.
What do you think of Tony MacAlpine and Jordan Rudess?
- Tony is one of my biggest heroes, I love his style, harmony and of course the fact that he can play both instruments like I do! On the other hand, Jordan Rudess is just THE BEST keyboard player ever lived on this planet...Period.
You do a lot of production besides playing instruments, would you recommend people getting into it, I guess it gives you more control over what you want to do, what do you think?
- Yes of course! I've been recording my ideas for as long as I can remember myself playing music...Be it on a fostex 4-tracker, or an ADAT or a PC, this was what helped me the most to be a complete musician from all aspects. I know many great players that when they face the "REC" button they just can't play, hands shaking and stuff! It's also helping you to compose better and more solid and of course having one word more in the whole process of making an album and being in a band in general.
Have you got anything lined up for the upcoming year, any projects on the go?
- My 3rd solo album is completed and surely my best one ever! Other than that, as I already told you I'm only working with my productions and video clips, being loyal to Firewind. With so much touring and studio obligations with them I couldn't do anything else anyway! No more "project fever" for Bob...
I wish you the best of luck with your future and may even catch up with you and Gus again in the future, any closing statement?
- Keep/start studying music, practice with your instrument as long as you think its ok for you, try to be inspired when you play and don't just play for any other reason than the pure love for making music...this will help you go further! See you on tour!