By Lisa Mavroukas
Gus G., famously known as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, and original member of his own band, Firewind, released his first solo album called I Am The Fire, in March of 2014, which he himself wrote and produced.
Famous artists, such as David Ellefson of Megadeth, Blake Allison with Devour the Day, Mats Levén of Swedish metal band Candlemass, Alexia Rodriguez of Eyes Set to Kill, Jacob Buntan of Lynam and owner of Deathwish Inc. record label, Tom S. Englund of Evergrey, Ralph Saenz, a.k.a. Michael Starr, of Steel Panther, Jeff Scott Soto, lead vocalist for Talisman, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Journey, and Billy Sheehan, acclaimed bassist who worked with Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, and Mr. Big, are all fηeatured throughout the album's tracks.
For Gus G. fans, this album may differ from the usual power metal rifts they are accustomed to, although there are enough reminders, especially in the first few tracks. This album has been categorized more as Hard Rock, rather than Power Metal, the classification used to refer to Gus G.'s band Firewind. Writer James Wood of Guitar World posted that the album "veered away" from the traditional heavy metal sound, and he expressed how it leans more toward a "classic rock sound." It does indeed combine old and new flavors of rock and metal, thus leaves its listeners open to the interpretation and appreciation of the talents that contributed to the final success of its sound.
Gus G., or Konstantinos Karamitroudis, was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. Despite his leaving Greece to go to college, he pursued his career in playing guitar for rock bands, like Nightrage, Mystic Prophecy, and Dream Evil. He created Firewind in 1998, along with others, which has gone through various transformations of band members throughout the years. He was hired by Ozzy Osbourne to replace guitarist Zakk Wylde in 2009, for whom he still plays lead guitar for today. He also continued launching albums with his band Firewind. Their most current album is Few Against Many, which was released in 2012. He recently replaced his lead vocalist for Firewind, Apollo Papathenasio, with Kelly Sundown Carpenter in 2013. A new album featuring the new lead vocalist has not been released yet.
In the meantime, Gus G. fans can enjoy his new debut solo album I Am The Fire, and can hope that he will soon venture to New York on a tour in the near future. Perhaps he can even stop by New Greek TV's studio for an exclusive interview.