During the recently completed second annual Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF),Artisan News Service asked Ozzy Osbourne about the departure of his longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde and Zakk's replacement, FIREWIND axeman Gus G. "I haven't fallen out with Zakk; he's a very good... Our relationship goes way beyond music," Ozzy said. "I just wanted to... He's got his own thing now, he's got his own band, he's got his own career — he don't need me anymore." He added, "I've a got a guy, Gus G., a guy from Greece — not the musical, the country of Greece."
Video footage of Ozzy talking to the Artisan News Service about Zakk Wylde can be viewed at this location.
Ozzy told Classic Rock magazine in a June 2009 interview that he was on the lookout for a new guitar player to replace Wylde, who has played with Ozzy on and off since 1988. Ozzy said, "Zakk's got his own band, and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like (Wylde's band) BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. I just felt like I wanted a change, y'know?"
In an interview with a Eugene, Oregon radio station on July 29, Zakk slammed Ozzy over his Classic Rock comments, saying in part, "I've gotta be honest with you. The boss hasn't even given me a phone call, so I mean... I'm just like... I don't know what's going on over there. Are we doing this thing or are we not doing it? . . . I mean, it's like, dude, you don't wanna play with me anymore? Fine. Play with whoever the hell you wanna play with. I couldn't give a rat's ass. Like I'm gonna get all jealous or whatever. But you know what?! Man up and give me a phone call and tell me what the hell's going on."
Wylde's answer after that abruptly turned into an obscenity-filled rant directed at Ozzy that had to be heavily bleeped by the station.
The former BLACK SABBATH singer has been working on his latest solo album at his home studio in Los Angeles, He said that Wylde had recorded material for the project, but added, "I don't know if I want to use it."
Zakk's wife Barbaranne revealed in a recent online posting the Wylde is suffering from "a rare genetic clotting disorder" for which he is currently receiving treatment in California.
Gus G. played his second concert with OZZY OSBOURNE on September 12 at the Sunset Strip Music Festival (see video below). Also returning to Ozzy's performing lineup was drummer Mike Bordin, who did not join the singer for the BlizzCon concert on August 22 due to Bordin's touring commitments with the reunited FAITH NO MORE.
Gus spoke out about getting the job with Ozzy in the new Greek edition of Metal Hammer magazine. Asked how he got the gig, Gus said, "I got a message on my MySpace page from Rob 'Blasko' (Nicholson),Ozzy's bass player, asking me what was doing, if I was living in America or not and saying that he wanted to talk to me. I never thought he'd want me for something like that (playing with Ozzy). I initially thought that maybe he wanted to talk to me about doing a project or something and then he told me that one of Ozzfest's managers was looking for me. The manager said that they wanted me to fly out to Los Angeles immediately for a show that Ozzy was about to do in Anaheim, California."
As for replacing Wylde, Gus said, "Zakk is a tremendous guitar player, just like all the guys that have played with Ozzy. In fact, Zakk is my favorite Ozzy guitar player ever and my biggest influence of them all! It's quite an honor for me to step into his shoes."
In addition to his current axe-slinging duties with FIREWIND, Gus (real name: Kostas Karamitroudis) has played in MYSTIC PROPHECY, NIGHTRAGE, ARCH ENEMY and DREAM EVIL.