This week Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Gus G jumped on Skype with Metalholic to discuss the release of Firewind’s new album, Few Against Many, which will be released May 22, on Century Media records.
Long before Gus became the successor to long time Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, the Greek fret virtuoso made his bones as the founder of Firewind. The project was started in 1998, when Gus, born Kostas Karamitroudis, was merely 18. At the time, Gus was attending the Berklee College of Music. A short-lived experience.
Over the years, Firewind has released a string of successful albums, combining elements of power metal and traditional metal. Records which have earned the band a sizable following around the world. However, it was not until 2009 when Gus was tapped to join Ozzy Osbourne as his new guitarist that the Firewind name really hit the radar here in America.
With Ozzy currently filling his days with the Black Sabbath reunion, Firewind will get a good amount of time to tour for the Few Against Many album. One U.S. tour has already been completed, and Gus says a second will take place as well.
In talking about the new album, Gus said he didn’t know if he was consciously aware that he was looking to make a heavier album, but he’s not surprised it turned out that way. “This time there was a lot of guitar riffs, and guitar oriented material coming out,” offered Gus. “That was kind of like my intention so to speak. I just wanted to make a guitar oriented record again.”
While Gus acknowledges that most of the band members work together to write songs for each album, he did say that this time around he had a lot of material of his own. “While I was on tour with Ozzy I kept on writing a lot of riffs,” revealed the 31-year-old guitarist. “At some point I just came up with a bunch of demos. So on this record it was a lot of my music that was on it. Then Apollo [Papathanasio] did a lot of the lyrics.”
Gus said that despite writing for both Ozzy and Firewind, he doesn’t have any conflict in creating the music and riffs. “Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne are two very different sounds. So I mean I didn’t really have any problems. I knew that the stuff I was doing was for Firewind, but there’s no problem for me to come up with riffs. Even when I start writing with “the Boss” it’s no problem for me to just come up with stuff.”
During the course of our conversation Gus talked about the impact of new drummer Jo Nunez (Nightrage), the upcoming “Ozzy and Friends Tour” with Zakk Wylde and Geezer Butler, the story behind the album name, and his picks for the best Ozzy song with each of the five iconic guitarists who have recorded with “The Boss”, including himself. Listen to the entire conversation watch the video for the first single “Wall of Sound” below.