GUS G. Says He Was Approached To Audition For MEGADETH Before KIKO LOUREIRO Joined The Band

February 12, 2024

In a new interview with The Chuck Shute Podcast, Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., who spent eight years as a hired gun in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, was asked if he ever got approached by any other bigger artists to join them. "I had offers to… Actually, I've never told that anybody — in the press, at least," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I've had offers to audition for other bands and stuff — not to join but to audition — but I didn't do it. During my time with Ozzy, actually, MEGADETH reached out [in early 2015]. I was still with Ozzy and they were looking for somebody. And I said, 'Well, I can't really leave Ozzy for that,' even though I'm a huge MEGADETH fan. Back then, they were scouting guitar players, and then two weeks later, Kiko [Loureiro] was in the band. And Kiko was a buddy of mine; we've known each other. His old band ANGRA and FIREWIND have toured together, so I knew him and I thought he was a great fit. And in 2019 — who else? MACHINE HEAD asked me to audition once."

He continued: "I'm not sure if I'm really made for being like a hired-gun kind of guy. I'm enjoying calling my own shots, I guess. 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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