GUS G. Says It Was 'A Crazy Moment' Meeting OZZY OSBOURNE For First Time: He's 'The Father Of Heavy Metal'
December 6, 2020
In a new chat with That Metal Interview, Greek guitar virtuoso Gus G., who joined Ozzy Osbourne's band just over a decade ago, was asked what it was like meeting the legendary heavy metal singer for the first time. He responded (hear audio below): "I was starstruck, as anybody would be, really. 'Cause I've met a lot of rock stars, but not at that level — until that point. I'd never met somebody of that caliber; he's like a megastar. And not only because of that — he's such a legend. If you're into heavy metal, that's you father — that's the father of heavy metal. [Laughs] So it was a crazy moment."
According to Gus, Ozzy made him feel comfortable right away. "He's a chilled out dude, at least these days," the guitarist said. "So he was, like, 'Hey, man, take it easy. Let's just jam. Don't worry if you play a few [wrong] notes. It's rock and roll. That's what happens. Just play with all your heart, and let's do it.' So he was just very nice and just a very sweet guy — very warm hearted. He broke the ice right away. I mean, I was nervous until I met him. Once we started jamming, it felt right."
Asked which of the previous Ozzy guitarists' parts he found hardest to play, Gus said: "I think they all had their — not difficult moments, I would say, but stuff that you were, like, 'Oh, I wonder how he did that.' Because back in the '80s, it's not like you had tabs for everything or all this kind of video footage that you have today and access. But obviously, I learned a lot of stuff by searching on YouTube and listening a lot by ear. At the same time, for me, I grew up listening to that, so it felt very familiar. My playing, if you dissect it, it has roots in guys like them — guys like Randy [Rhoads] and Zakk [Wylde] and Jake E. Lee and all that stuff. So it's not like I struggled to learn all the stuff, because it was part of my musical vocabulary and part of my background.
"With that said, all of his players, all the guitar players in that band had very unique styles," he expained. "Zakk Wylde has this very Southern, pentatonic, kind of bluesy country style. And obviously, I'm more of a European-sounding guitar player, so I kind of had to dig into that a little bit. And Randy Rhoads, he had a lot of details in his playing that you should watch out for, 'cause you wanna do those classic songs justice.'
Gus concluded: "But, yeah, I enjoyed playing all that stuff, man."
It was announced in April 2017 that guitarist Wylde would be rejoining Ozzy's backing group for all his future solo show dates. Osbourne's touring lineup also includes Rob "Blasko" Nicholson on bass, Tommy Clufetos on drums and Adam Wakeman on keyboards.
Back in 2018, Gus told TrueMetal.it that "it was a little bit of a relief" to find out that Ozzy was getting back together with Wylde. "I was just kind of tired of waiting around for all these years, not hearing anything about potential tours or recording activities," Gus said. "Of course, [Ozzy] was very busy with BLACK SABBATH — I understand that — but then in between of all that, there would be all these one-off [solo Ozzy] shows popping up and I had to make myself available for that. But there was never any… I felt like there was no… I didn't see stuff coming up for the future, you know? So, as much as I loved being in that band and working with him, in a way, it was a little bit of a dead end for me, speaking personally. Of course, now he's gonna go on a big tour again and do his farewell thing, and that's great for him, but it was not a creative thing for me."
Wylde originally joined Osbourne's band more three decades ago and backed the legendary frontman from 1987 to 1995, then again in 1998, from 2001 to 2004 and also from 2006 to 2009.
Gus's long-running band FIREWIND released its ninth, self-titled studio album in May.