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Gus G – Guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne & Firewind

Date: 7/22/10
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. What has the fan and critic reaction been like as Ozzy’s new guitarist?

GUS: It’s been real good, very encouraging. The fans have been really nice and supportive.

2. GUS: It’s been real good, very encouraging. The fans have been really nice and supportive.

GUS: No, they’ve been great so they must like what they are hearing, hahaha, which makes me happy. These songs are classics and not only do I want to do them justice but I want the fans to be happy. Playing with Ozzy is a dream come true and such a great opportunity so I wanna be sure to do my best.

3. Did you play all the guitars on Ozzy’s new album "Scream" and did you use the same rid and guitar sound as you use with Firewind? I ask because you guitar tone does sound different than it does with Firewind’s music.

GUS: Yes I did. When I recorded "Scream" I switched amps which is why you are hearing a different tone than what I usually use with Firewind. I use to use Randall and Engl amps. For "Scream" I used Blackstar amps and I’m not only using them for Ozzy but for Firewind. I’m also using Active pickups. I think the guitars on "Scream" still sound like me. I really like the Blackstar amps.

4. How many Ozzy and Black Sabbath songs did you have to learn for the tour?

GUS: Umm…about 40, a lot of stuff.

5. Is the setlist going to be the same night to night or will it change throughout the tour?

GUS: It will change a bit from night to night, a few will go in and a couple will come out.

6. Aside from ‘Bark At The Moon’ and ‘Shot In The Dark’, the "Bark At The Moon" and "Ultimate Sin" albums are, and have been, ignored for many years. For this tour ‘Killer Of Giants” has appeared in the set. Can you tell us what songs could be played from those two albums?

GUS: Yeah the last couple shows we have played ‘Killer Of Giants’ and it went over great, and ‘Shot In The Dark’ is back in. So hopefully more often than not those two should be played. I hope we keep doing both the rest of the tour.

7. Any other rarities getting dusted off?

GUS: Yeah a couple Sabbath songs like ‘Fariies Wear Boots’ and ‘Into The Void’ have been included. ‘Road To Nowhere’ from "No More Tears" has made an appearance. So it’s cool the setlist covers most of Ozzy’s career.

8. What other songs would you like to play that are as of now not possibilities?

GUS: As of now the stuff we are playing I enjoy doing. But I really like ‘Waiting For Darkness’ from "Bark At The Moon" but I don’t know how well that will go over or if the fans like it, and ‘Secret Loser” from "Ultimate Sin" I really like.

9. Who would you say your style of playing is similar to Randy, Jake E Lee, or Zakk?

GUS: I don’t know, I want to think I’m myself, I have my influences and these guys are some of my personal favorites, and I spent a lot of time practicing and learning from their songs, but I think I still am myself. I like all three for different reasons. Randy was of course unique and every note counted, a very classical player. Zakk is just wild, hahaha… I like his wide vibratos and pentatonic licks, his heaviness. Jake was very bluesy, I like his chordal playing and he got some crazy sounds out of the guitar without using the wammy bar. I got a little bit of everything from all three guys really.

10. How close to the original recordings do you try to play the solos?

GUS: O, I try to play them as close as possible because that’s the way it should be. It’s not only the right thing to do but these songs are all classics, and if I went to see Ozzy in concert I would also want to hear those songs the way they were originally recorded. You don’t fuck with this stuff.

11. As a result of playing with Ozzy has that helped Firewind getting more attention and fans?

GUS: O yeah, man, we are getting a lot more fan-mail now, people saying they heard I was Ozzy’s new guitarist and checked out Firewind because of that. You know Firewind is not very different stylistically from Ozzy because we are a classic heavy metal band too.

12. When does the new Firewind come out?

GUS: It comes out sometime in October (through Century Media) and it’s called "Days of Defiance". We recorded in our home studio (like we always have), and mixed it in Finland. It’s a bit more unpolished and rougher sounding. I think some of our other stuff from the previous albums may be a bit more power metal in style, or thrashy, or even modern. I think with "Days Of Defiance" is a bit more traditional and back to basics. I think you will hear more Iron Maiden and Judas Priest this time around.

13. Did you try anything different with the music on "Days of Defiance"?

GUS: I don’t think so, maybe a little less of a focus on the musicianship part but we still have another great instrumental so you can hear us wanking off, hahaha.

14. Do you have an idea of Firewind’s touring plans?

GUS: Well that depends on Ozzy’s schedule. Right now I am booked with Ozzy until December, then after that Firewind will do some shows in January, European dates. Now I have to see what Ozzy’s schedule is like but so far it looks like we may come back to the States with Firewind in the spring. The last two times we played the U.S. with Sonata Arctica and Arch Enemy it went great. With Sonata we were really unknown but by the time the dates came around with Arch Enemy we were really well known and got exposed to their fans. Now through my involvement with Ozzy I think next time it will be even better.

Official website: http://www.firewind.gr


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