GUS G. On Being Replaced By ZAKK WYLDE In OZZY OSBOURNE's Band: 'I Think Some People Were More Upset About It Than I Was'
Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G. has reiterated his claim that he was okay with being replaced by the returning Zakk Wylde in Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band. It was announced in April 2016 April that Wylde would be rejoining Ozzy’s backing group for all his upcoming solo show dates. Osbourne’s touring lineup also includes Rob ”Blasko” Nicholson on bass, Tommy Clufetos on drums and Adam Wakeman on keyboards.
Gus, whose real name is Kostantinos Karamitroudis, joined Osbourne’s band in 2009 after building a name for himself as one of metal/hard rock’s most exciting new shredders in his own melodic metal act, FIREWIND. The guitarist would go on to play on Osbourne’s most recent studio album, 2010’s ”Scream” and managed to start a solo career while Ozzy was touring and recording with BLACK SABBATH.
In a recent interview with ”The Right To Rock” podcast (hear audio below), Gus shared his thoughts and feelings when he got the word last year that Wylde would be stepping back into his role as Osbourne’s guitar player: ”I think some people were more upset about it than I was,” he said. ”I’m not saying I was really happy about it or anything, but given the circumstances, I had a really good run. Now he’s retiring and he’s 70 years old this year, I think, and he’s bringing back his classic guitar player and there’s a lot of history between them. It’s something I totally understand. Obviously, he’s a solo artist and he can play with whoever he wants. I can’t say I didn’t see that one coming at some point. Yeah, sure, I would have loved to do some more gigs with him and all that. In all honesty, there wasn’t a lot of shows happening. He was busy with SABBATH and we would do scattered dates here and there. I don’t know, it’s great that he and Zakk are back together and also gives me the opportunity to focus on my own thing and basically just make a more long-term commitment plan into my own career. It was a gig that did a lot of good for me. It opened a lot of doors. It was only good times.”
Gus was then asked if he saw any similarities between his situation in joining up with Ozzy in 2009 and ANGRA lead guitarist Kiko Loureiro getting the call to join MEGADETH in 2015. Like G., Loureiro was a recognizable figure in guitar shred circles and in the European metal scene because of ANGRA but was a largely unknown commodity in America before joining MEGADETH. ”Kiko’s a friend of mine,” said Gus. ”Our bands toured together 11 years ago, ANGRA and FIREWIND. It’s a great thing, it’s a wonderful thing that a guy like that, a great musician like him, he joined an iconic band like MEGADETH. A lot of people are hearing about him in America now. The guy has had a great career in Asia, Europe and South America for many years. Yeah, it’s been a great opportunity for him and I was very happy to see him in MEGADETH. It was kind of a similar situation when I joined Ozzy eight, nine years ago.”
G.’s latest studio album, ”Fearless”, was released April 20 via AFM Records. The follow-up to 2015’s ”Brand New Revolution” marks Gus’s first release since exiting Osbourne’s band in 2017. On ”Fearless”, Gus joins forces with vocalist/bassist Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69, UNISONIC) and drummer Will Hunt (EVANESCENCE).