Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke with Greek Guitarist Gus G (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne). Gus G spoke about trying to make it in music business in Greece, his audition and contributions in his time with Ozzy Osbourne and his new album "Fearless", which was released April 20 via AFM Records
When asked about his audition with Ozzy after the departure of Zakk Wylde
“I ended up being a touring guitarist for Arch Enemy, so there I was at Ozzy Fest with Maiden and Sabbath my first big American tour. What happened that summer there was an announcement that Ozzy was parting ways with Zakk Wylde and he was looking for a guitar player. So I popped in the production office on one of those days on the tour and I just left a Firewind CD on the desk and I said hey I’m on the second stage with Arch Enemy and I heard you were looking for a guitar player. But nothing came out of it and I didn’t hear anything because Zakk continued with Ozzy they made another record Black Rain. Fast forward into 2009 I was having a little bit of success with Firewind. I got an email from Sharon’s Management and they asked me to audition for Ozzy. It was crazy I couldn’t sleep for 3 days I couldn’t believe it . At that point I was thinking I didn’t really expect anything would come out of it. I didn’t think of myself being that good for the band and for the part of guitarist for Ozzy. I thought if anything else it will be a thing to remember for life, that will be a story to tell. I got nothing to lose.”
When asked what songs he played during the audition for Ozzy
“We played ‘Bark at the Moon’, ‘I don’t know’, ‘Suicide Solution’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘I don’t want to change the world’. Five or six songs. Ozzy looked impressed right from the get go, I guess somebody showed him some video of me before and it was like this is the guy! Ozzy even told me before the audition don’t have any stress I saw some videos of you and I have a really good feeling about this so if you make mistakes don’t worry about it . The audition went well.”
When asked what was Ozzy reaction after the audition
“Ozzy turned around and said you are fuckin great and his people went into a room and they chatted for a few minutes and came out and asked me if I wanted to come back and play a gig. They never said anything after that gig they seemed to be pretty pleased. Then I did another gig, after that Ozzy invited me to his house to listen to some of the new material on Scream, I ended up staying for a few days and played some solos, it was a little bit of a trial period Then I went back home and didn’t hear anything for about a month and then I got an email from Sharon asking me to come back to play on the whole album to play all the guitars. “
When asked if he was allowed to contribute to the Scream recordings?
“They had already done the record, they were already happy with the songs. It’s wasn’t a situation where we were going to go in and rewrite the whole thing. There is two ways about this you can try and stand up and say I would like to bring in my songs and they can either listen to you or like go home we will get somebody else. That was not the gig not the requirement. “
When asked if he wrote any material after Scream for a new album for Ozzy
“I wrote a lot of ideas preparing for a possible next album. At some point Ozzy even texted me and asked me to send him a bunch of riffs, think I submitted like ideas for 12 or 13 songs. Nothing came out of that. We even wrote a couple of songs together on the road on the Scream tour. Actually one of them I ended up using on my new solo album Fearless, it’s called Don’t Trend on me. Not with his lyrics or melodies.”
When asked about his new albums ‘Fearless’ musical vibe
“Just a good hard rock metal songs. Taking what I have already started on the first two solo albums and taking it further and making it sound like a band effort rather than an experimental record. Because that is what the first two records were. But this time I had a solid co-writer/ producer Denis Ward. It sounds more cohesive compared to the first two records. My style fits into the whole 80’s scene. When I say 80’s I don’t mean Hair metal and Sleaze rock. I mean the classic 80’s metal , you can hear those influences all over the record.”
Top 10 Metal Albums of 1979 '30 Years of Metal'