Gus G. On Playing With Ozzy Osbourne and Touring With Firewind
Ozzy Osbourne's current guitarist, Gus G., may have come out of nowhere as far as casual fans are concerned, but the Greek axe wizard has been making a name for himself among power metal aficionados for over a decade now, performing in a variety of bands including his main outfit, Firewind.
We caught up with Gus while he was on that band's first U.S. tour since he joined up with Ozzy, in support of Firewind's 2010 album 'Days of Defiance.' We asked him what it was like playing with the Prince of Darkness, and how his own shows were proceeding:
So the first night of the tour was last night, how did it go?
It was pretty good, there were hard core fans there. We just came off a European tour, so the band's pretty tight, it was good to just keep rolling like that.
Can you spot the "first-time, came from the Ozzy show" fans?
Well, only if they're wearing an Ozzy shirt. It's not like it's been tons of Ozzy fans coming out, but there's been a few at every show. Which means that people are slowly taking notice, which is a positive thing. I think in the long run, it will do a lot of good for the band. I hope to see as many fans as possible out at these shows, and I'm sure they won't be disappointed!
Which did you record first, Ozzy's 'Scream' or Firewind's 'Days of Defiance?'
It was 'Days' first, we had it in the can for about a year, because we were working on the Ozzy record. To be truthful with you, I wish the 'Days of Defiance' record had come out this year instead, but the label was in such a rush to put it out. I told them, we're not going to be able to tour it until 2011, but they didn't listen. So we're touring that record now, I think it's better late than never. It's all good, we just haven't had a chance to do so many tours, but now we have a month in Europe and a month over here in America.
Is it true you've already started to work on the next Firewind record?
Yes, we're going to be entering the studio around the end of the year, around December. I have no title in mind, no concept, I just have a bunch of killer songs that I've been focusing on for the last few months.
Has your experience with Ozzy changed the way that you write songs?
I don't know, I haven't really changed my style that much. Maybe a little in the sense that I wanted to make a really heavy record this time. I thought the last album just had a little bit too much keyboards, and we can bring the guitar thing up a notch. I think given my situation now, the fans expect me to step it up a bit in terms of the guitar thing. I think this record's going to be the one, you know?
You've been in a bunch of bands, do you sleep four hours a day or something?
(laughs) I actually sleep a lot. I was in a bunch of bands about 8 or 10 years ago, when I was starting out. Of all my bands, I didn't know which would get a record deal, so I was just involved in various projects. Eventually all of the bands got signed. When you make your first couple of albums, you don't have that many touring commitments. But as more and more offers came in, I realized that I can't really be in four bands at the same time. So I quit everything and just did Firewind, that was back in 2006. Then of course, the Ozzy gig came in two years ago.
Did you record a live album on the last Ozzy tour?
I know we recorded a bunch of shows, if not the whole tour. But I don't know if they're going to pick out something and release something, I have no clue about it. I would like to see a DVD of this tour because it was a fantastic experience and a very successful world tour.