INTERVIEW BY MARK DEAN
TRANSCRIPTION BY —ABGTH
MD: Tell me a bit about the recording of the new album?
It was funny – we recorded the first part of the record we recorded with a band live. It was the first time that I had ever done it. It’s like you know for me it was like we have been able to capture an energy. I really enjoy that and then I came back to Greece and finished the record here.
MD: Any words about Joe?
GG: Yeah you know, Joe has been my boy all these years and I know I got him when he was very young and he cut his teeth in Nightrage.
They started doing a few tours with us. He’s just super talented.
MD: What about Marty?
GG: Marty, I met him two years ago when I was recording my first album in LA and he’s a buddy of Jay Ruston, the engineer, the guy who mixes the records. When I was in LA a few years ago Jay introduced me to a lot of his musician friends who are really talented guys and Marty O’Brian was one of them.
MD: I noticed you have also involved some very special guests appearing on your new album. Did they actually come in to the studio and work with you or did they submit their individual parts?
GG: Everybody recorded their own parts in their own studios and then I laid down the tracks.
MD: Do you find its difficult juggling Gus G. solo with Ozzy and Firewind?
GG: I’m just super so lucky that I have three full time bands happening. I mean not full time, but three functioning bands. I mean Firewind I have been doing for a long time and with Ozzy it’s just great to be part of that legacy. But for me I’m just lucky because if I ever am not playing with Ozzy I can play with Firewind or do my solo thing. Between all these projects, I’m never out of work.
MD: Do you have any interests or hobbies besides playing music? Obviously playing in three bands must not leave very much time for anything else.
GG: My favourite hobby is hanging out with my wife. After that there really isn’t any time for extra projects or hobbies.
In my spare time I just try to take care of the bills at home, feed the cat…
MD: You’ve been a professional musician for quite a while. Any particular lows or highs you can comment on over your career?
GG: You know I think there’s a big misconception of what the music industry is. A lot of it is travelling on buses and planes and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but all that work. It’s the love of music that makes up for all of that for me. I get such a kick from playing music in front of an audience and creating music in the studio are two different things. However, I love them both.
Highs and lows? Ok so every record is different and fans, fans have their own favourite. It’s like every one of us. Like me, I have ever one of the black Sabbath albums and there are some that I like more than others. I don’t think they are bad albums. I think it just comes down to individual taste.
So you know, I’ve just been a blessed guy. Everyday I wake up and just forget how blessed we are. I mean I have been playing guitar professionally for 15 years now and it’s just like “wow”. I really can’t complain about anything.
MD: What kind of life lessons have you learned being a professional musician?
GG: Many things man. Because when you are a musician you are stressed touring around the world. To leave the little space where you grew up you know your neighborhood and going off to meet lots of different people and different cultures and you learn to accept and respect that. That’s the cool thing though, I cannot explain why on so many different levels.
MD: Just touching on future plans. This album is obviously not long to be released. Do you plan to go out and promote it on tour and will that include Europe?
GG: Yes actually we are looking at doing a European tour in September.
MD: With regard to Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne. Obviously new fans are always going to demand and want to hear new material. What’s the situation with those two projects currently? Do you have songs?
GG: When Ozzy was doing some gigs this year. We were in South America last month or a few months ago and we have a few gigs in Mexico. We are doing Japan in November. However, I don’t think there is gonna be a lot coming out of Ozzy because he is going back to Black Sabbath to make another one I heard. That’s what they have been taking about so, you never really know with them so I don’t make those kinds of plans with Ozzy.
Regarding Firewind – we have been on hiatus since 2013.
When this record’s touring cycle is done, we have had some discussions with the guys to go back and make a new one. I think a lot of our fans start to miss us which is a good thing.
MD: I think the last time the band toured Europe you came to Belfast.
GG: Yeah that was 2012.
I cant guarantee what’s gonna happen by the end of next year or 2017 and we will have all the singers to sort out too
MD: One last question. You have been interviewed many times – however – who would you like to interview yourself?
GG: I’ve actually been lucky enough to ask some of my heroes the questions that I wanted. I mean, spending time with Ozzy Osbourne I got to ask him many things. I got to hear all the stories and just sit there and listen to this man tell you about how it was back then and how Ozzy started out and a bunch of questions along that line.
MD: Being such a big Black Sabbath fan it must have been an incredible experience in real life to actually play with one of your heroes.
GG: of course it is. Its mind blowing. I still pinch myself.
When I’m on stage with him and I’m looking and I’m right across from him and its, you know, amazing.
Every moment with that guy is precious you know. I’ve said that before and I really believe that and I really try to enjoy every second of it when I’m on tour with him.
MD: well that just about wraps me up. Congratulations on the new album and I look forward to maybe seeing you out on tour promoting that.