Rock Today

Rock Today


Scottish rockers Gun release their incredible new album Hombres - Spring 2024

Firing on all cylinders!

Iconic Scottish rockers Gun will release their 9th studio album Hombres on 12th April – and it’s an absolute stormer of a record! The incredible tracks released to date, All Fired Up, Boys Don’t Cry, Take Me Back Home and Falling have built a huge amount of anticipation for the full album, and it’s no surprise that Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris has gone on record to say that Hombres “has some of their best songs since Gallus”. We catch up with guitarist Jools Gizzi to get the full Hombres story…

There are so many exciting things happening in the Gun camp as you prepare to release the new album Hombres on the 12th of April and I want to cover it all but the first question I would like to ask is how did you decide on the new title ‘Hombres’?

An album title you want to sound pretty cool. The Taking on The World album title is all about us taking on the world and getting out there - and it’s a big wide world out there – and getting the name across. So that title was kind of easy. And then came the Gallus album and we were talking about a famous boxer who was a guy from a poor background like us. Where we came from here, you wanted to achieve something in sports, music or you were a drug dealer. But Benny Lynch was Gallus that’s how that came about. And Swagger is just another cool name that we had and it felt good at the time. Hombres is about recognising our real special bond with the Spanish fans. Outside of Britain our best territories are Germany, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal, but our best territory out of all of these is Spain. There’s just something really special about our fans down there. I was actually looking at ZZ Top’s album Tres Hombres which was one of my favourite records and I just thought that Hombres was such a good name that would work for the album, affinitive for the Spanish fans. We all kind of spoke about it in the studio when we were recording it and everyone seemed to think that it was something different and pretty cool. It’s just one word. I know Hombres means ‘man’ but it also means ‘mates’ and ‘friends’, and that’s basically where we got the title from. The album cover has the red and the yellow which is like the Spanish flag. So it’s just a bit of a homage to our great fans in Spain.

Well, in advance of the album’s release we’ve already been treated to 3 singles, the first of which was ‘All Fired Up’. This is the perfect example of an incredibly catchy, uplifting rock track that Gun do so incredibly well. But it’s the lyrics I’d like to pick up on, and that message of ‘You got me all fired up, you got me burning with desire and it’s gonna take me higher’. It’s sounds incredibly autobiographical and that it’s perhaps representative of the massive energy, passion and determination that exists within this band to ‘hit it hard’. To what extent is that a fair thing to say?

100%! That’s what Dante (Gizzi – vocals) kind of meant. In the studio we talked about our albums and we’ve had a few great albums but I don’t think we’ve ever had a better vibe in the studio when recording this record. I don’t know what it was, but we worked tirelessly on the songs through Covid and stuff like that. It was the best recording session we ever had and we enjoyed it more than any other session. I just think that we felt relaxed and everything that we did in preproduction was great. We just had to get a real performance in the studio and we were really all fired up for it. We are so fired up with this record and keen to get it out there with a passion, to let people hear it and let people see us play live. We really wanted to make a statement and we are so excited about the record coming out. I really believe that if you can feel the vibe the fans can buy into that, you know? It captures peoples imaginations and that’s basically what we did. But that’s how that track came about – we were all really fired up: fired up in the studio and fired up to go and play all these gigs.

You have of course been showcasing All Fired Up on some of the live dates that you did at the back end of 2023 and of course on the recent album launch UK shows, and the feedback from fans has been absolutely incredible, with comments such as the ‘old school Gun sound shines through’, ‘great new song’, ‘gentlemen, please start your engines’, ‘this has made my day’, ‘roll on album’, ‘sounds bloody great’, and I could go on and on. How does it feel to hear so much love from the fans for this new material already?

Absolutely overwhelming! It really makes my day because you write a bunch of songs and you think ‘Yeah, I love these and I love the ideas - but I really hope the fans like them!’. We can only try our best in the studio. We tried our best to write the songs but it was the enjoyment of them. It really makes you feel good but the most important thing is that the fans like it. When they come back and they dig it and they like it and think it’s great, it just makes me so happy. I’m so elated that the fans get what we’re doing and I’m a real believer that you’re only as good as your last record. The day that you think you can just write a bunch of songs and put them out there… I think you’ve got to put more passion and desire into your songwriting to grasp the fans. I remember hearing Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC for the first time. When I first heard Let There Be Rock and Rosalie I just thought ‘Wow!’. And it’s just because those guys didn’tjust write great songs, you could hear the passion in them through the way they played. So we put real passion into our songwriting and the moment we don’t do that we should just forget it. Reviews are reviews but as long as the fans like it that’s the most important thing. So I’m totally overwhelmed and gobsmacked!

You have just released your latest single Boys Don’t Cry. I love the anticipation that stretched guitar chord gives right at the outset before that incredibly infectious riff kicks in and drives the song. It’s an absolutely stunning anthemic track. But again, it’s the lyrics I want to pick up on. The words are just so empowering, one example being that simple line in the chorus ‘no one’s gonna weigh me down’. It is so uplifting! I felt taller after listening to that track. I also think A Shift In Time is another great example of one that builds strength with its lines ‘why don’t we all just change our ways’ and ‘times are hard and we might fall, come together, stand tall’ and it just made me wonder, how important is it to you that your music can have that effect of leaving people feeling stronger? It’s a beautiful example of the power that music can have.

A Shift In Time was really written about Covid. I don’t think we’d ever been so down when the pandemic was happening. Everything took a battering, the music industry and the arts more than anything. It was so difficult to get motivated. We wondered what would happen afterwards. Are we going to make a record? When are we ever going to bring that record out? When are we ever going to be able to support it? When are we ever going to play live gigs again? That song was about all this and everybody getting together. It was written during Covid and we weren’t feeling sorry for ourselves, we just thought this is where we’re at so we just wrote a song about it that actually meant something to us. They made us realise that this is where we are and we need to do something about it, and that’s why Dante just went off and wrote all these lyrics for it and tried to make a statement of it. We were just taking what was thrown at us and trying to stand up and be tall because boys aren’t meant to cry! (Laughs!)

Another song I would like to talk about is Falling. Here we see the tempo change and with it’s clean guitar intro it’s just the most gorgeous song and it’s a very emotive song. Here Dante sings the ‘these strange days as I lie awake, I can’t control my fears in the morning rain, and all I need is for you to stay, cos I just can’t breathe when you say you’ll leave’. The honesty and vulnerability is so incredibly authentic and I wondered where the inspiration came from. To me it could be about a relationship or even a fear around current world events, but I’d love to hear the story behind this song.

It’s one of my favourite songs. I came up with all the melody for it and I came up with the chords, and I was listening to a lot of Boys Of Summer, you know. And just the way the intro starts and the way it closes so high. We wanted a really strong guitar intro that slowly builds and then comes the drums and then comes the double beat. The song goes up and down and I love the arrangement of the song – I think it’s fantastic. Lyrically, I think it’s reflective of the relationship split that Dante was going through. It fits the mood of the song and what he wrote was perfect. A lot of people have commented on that song when we played it live. We played it at the Barrowlands and the response we got was phenomenal. It really stood out!

An absolutely incredible track, and one of my current favourites (it changes all the time which I think is a good thing) is Fake Life. That opening lyric ‘she’s a girl with the hardcore followers’. It’s got a wonderful T-Rex feel to it.

Yes, 100%!

To me this is a song that really shows how ridiculous the TikTok and social media ‘influencer’ culture is. To what extent is this a protest song against all this ridiculous stuff?

When we were growing up there was nothing like that. When we were growing up it was all about going out with your mates and going to the record shop to see what records were coming out. You were looking but you couldn’t afford it! Growing up was playing football and the streets were just full of a lot of kids and it would be your mother shouting at 5 o’clock for you to come in for your tea but you wouldn’t bother because you’re too busy doing what you were doing! That’s real and that’s reality. That’s what’s made us the people we are today. But this society? You look at Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or whatever - is this your life? I know there are people who are saying that this is the way the world should be but it’s so fake. If you let things like that take over, sitting in front of your phone for 3 or 4 hours or sitting in front of a laptop or a tablet, it’s just terrible. I think that’s where Dante is coming from with this song. Sometimes social media has its good things but it’s a lot of rubbish. The only thing I have is Facebook and Twitter and that’s for Gun Official. I don’t have anything in my own name, no chance! I know that’s the way of the world right now but it’s so fake, it really is. But I love this song and I love the vibe of it! It’s very T-Rex of which I am a massive fan of!

Well let’s talk about the band and how of course you do have a new guitarist in Ru Moy from Montrose. I had the good fortune to see Ru perform with the band on this latest tour and he just has the most amazing presence. What was it about Ru that made him the man for the job?

Our previous guitar players like David Aitken who was a member of the band back in the early days didn’t live in Glasgow. David lived in Milton Keynes and before him it was Tommy Gentry and he lived in London. And before him it was Johnny (McGlynn) who lived in Ireland. Every time we had to go in and rehearse it had to be for a limited time because of the limited time we had before going and playing a tour or a bunch of shows. We’d usually only have a week of rehearsals and I have always maintained that we never rehearse enough as a band and I wanted us to rehearse in Glasgow as a full band from Glasgow. So we just thought that David did what he did with us which was amazing – he did a fantastic job - but I thought that we still needed another guitar player who is based in Glasgow. I put out a few feelers and bumped into our our old manager Rab Andrews who managed Gun back in the day, and he manages Primal Scream and Texas. So I was telling him the situation and he said “Well look, there’s a kid called Ru that we’ve been working with and he’s a fantastic guitar player. He comes from a rock background and he loves rock music and stuff like that. I definitely recommend you give him an audition”. So I got his number and phoned him up and asked him if he would be up for coming for an audition, and was like “Yeah, I would really love to! What songs would you like me to learn?” I threw him right in at the deep end. The guitar solo in Steal Your Fire is quite tricky and really fast and there’s a song called She Knows from the Favourite Pleasures album which has a phenomenal guitar solo from Tommy. So I go “If you can learn those 2 songs and you fancy joining the band then you’ll be in the band if you can master those 2 songs and the 2 guitar solos.” A week later he came down for an audition, he picked up a guitar and he was absolutely right on it! He just blew us away! The next thing is I asked him if he wanted to do some more songs and he had a real grasp of them. He looked good and he had a great feel. Ru is 29, he’s a lot younger than us but he’s absolutely buzzing. He played his first big gig in Glasgow at the Barrowlands and I’ve never seen a guy walking on air so much in my life. He absolutely loved it! At that point nobody actually said that he’d joined the band. We just took it that he wanted to do the gigs with us. So I said to him “So, are you in the band then?” and he said “What?! It’s such an honour to be playing with such an iconic Glasgow band!”. He was spot-on and he’s a good kid and he listens. He’s always wanting to learn and he’s got his head screwed on. He’s a great guy to have in the band!

It was wonderful to hear you talking so passionately about your fans earlier and this has made me reflect on that fact that ahead of the new album’s launch Gun have made some incredible packages available with signed CDs and vinyl, bundle packages where you fans could get a CD and a gig ticket for less than £20. It’s something incredibly special and amazing value for money. It seems like you’re putting your fans at the very centre of the release of Hombres. To what extent do you think that’s a fair thing to say?

100%! Thinking about the fans and the merchandise they buy, the tickets they buy, the travelling to the gigs and the hotels, it’s expensive, it really is. They’re doing that because of the passion for your band and that means so much to me. They’re doing it because they really want to go and see the band and because of the love for the music, and you couldn’t ask for anything more. We just thought about giving different things and giving something back to the fans simply because they mean so much to us. I get to do what I do because of them and as long as we have fans there will always be a Gun. Ours fans come first!

Finally, 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of Gun’s absolute smash albums Swagger. What plans do the band have to celebrate this incredible milestone?

We as a band and our management have spoken about it. It all depends on the Hombres record. If the Hombres record does well and we are busy promoting it then we might not have the time to anything this year. But we will put a plan in place for it and work out what we’re going to do. So we might find somewhere along the line that we may have an opportunity to do a bunch of shows around Swagger. We just have to plan it carefully but right now we really just need to get this Hombres record up and running!

Our closing thoughts...

As our conversation draws to a close we reflect on how it absolutely appears as though any celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Swagger will need to wait. Hombres is an absolutely outstanding record and we’ve no doubt that the reception amongst the rock community is going to be massive. To find out more head over to and in the meantime check out the video to Falling below. 

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