GUS G. On Being Approached To Audition For MEGADETH: 'That Was A Discussion That Basically Didn't Go Anywhere'

February 16, 2024

In a new interview with The Logan Show, Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., who spent eight years as a hired gun in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, confirmed that he was approached about auditioning for MEGADETH in late 2014.

He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "What happened was [then-MEGADETH bassist] Dave Ellefson gave me a call and he was telling me that Chris [Broderick] was stepping down and they were looking for somebody to come in and replace him. He said, 'I know you're with Ozzy doing his thing.' So I don't know if David Ellefson, his role was to scout guitar players and talk to people and see who was available. Maybe that's what it was; it was just early stages. I never got to talk to management; I just spoke to Ellefson directly, 'cause I've been buddies with him before. And I was just getting ready to do a South American tour with Ozzy and JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD, the 'Monsters Of Rock' tour, and there was talks about doing more things. And I was, like, 'I love MEGADETH. I'm a huge fan. But it will probably clash with if this continues or something.' I don't think mentally I was ready to just jump ship [and] do that. And so that that was a discussion that just basically didn't go anywhere. And he knew, yeah."

Asked if MEGADETH reached out to him again last year when Kiko Loureiro left the band and they once again needed a replacement guitarist, Gus said: "So, actually, I spoke to Kiko a little bit, and he already had [current MEGADETH guitarist] Teemu [Mäntysaari] in place. And he was asking me, like, Kiko was saying, 'Well, do you have a visa or something? If there's any problems.' I think they were looking for somebody that might be like some kind of a backup thing, in case it doesn't work out, or visas don't work out or passports. And I was, like, 'I don't have a visa, no. Not right now.' I think I had some other gigs scheduled, and I think Teemu was already in place. But, yeah, me and Kiko have been buddies for a long, long time — almost 20 years. And I think he found the guy that was gonna fill in for him, who is incredible, by the way."

Gus also talked about the time he was approached about possibly auditioning for MACHINE HEAD as a replacement for Phil Demmel back in 2019. He said: "I like MACHINE HEAD, I have to say. It's a fucking killer band. And I know Robb [Flynn, MACHINE HEAD frontman] and Phil as well and the guys — not very well, but we met a few times and we hung out a couple of times and they're super cool.

"I think that whole thing came out, I think MACHINE HEAD was gonna come to Greece and do a show, and they had a tour planned," he explained. "And we were talking about maybe going up on stage and jamming a couple of songs — some covers or whatever. And then, I don't know, the discussion went, like, 'How about doing this tour?'

"But, yeah, would it be a good fit? I'm not sure," Gus added. "I'm not a thrash guitar player. And then again, I was in a totally different phase in my life. I was getting ready to do some FIREWIND stuff and all that. And I think actually a few months after, the world shut down anyway; everything got canceled anyway [due to the] pandemic."

Earlier in the month, Gus told The Chuck Shute Podcast that he wasn't sure if he was "really made for being like a hired-gun kind of guy. I'm enjoying calling my own shots, I guess," he said. "It's two different worlds doing those things. I mean, doing your own thing, of course, involves a lot of risks — financial, of course, because you don't know if things will work out. You have to put tours together and you have to front your own capital to do things, to get things going. And you don't know if it's gonna work out, if people are gonna like it. So it's just very competitive, of course, out there, especially nowadays. And then, of course, being a hired gun for a band, you don't have to worry about any of that. But, of course, you're also disposable."

Last November, Gus shared his cover of Marty Friedman's impressive lead section in MEGADETH's "Tornado Of Souls". In a statement accompanying the YouTube release of the video, Gus wrote: "After posting my recent cover of Yngwie's [Malmsteen] 'Trilogy', someone requested MEGADETH's 'Tornado Of Souls'. Happens to be one of my favorites and it got me practicing again.

"We all know Marty Friedman is 'out of this world' level player, the rest of us can keep trying.

"MEGADETH always had insane lead guitarists in their ranks. For me it's an inspiration."

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 2010 studio album "Scream" and managed to start a solo career while Ozzy was touring and recording with BLACK SABBATH.

In a 2018 interview with "The Right To Rock" podcast, Gus was asked if he saw any similarities between his situation in joining up with Ozzy in 2009 and 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 [in 2007], 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 [in 2009]."

FIREWIND will release a new studio album, "Stand United", on March 1 via AFM.

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