GUS G releases his third solo album “Fearless” on 20th April on AFM Records.
The highly acclaimed “Firewind” Greek guitar virtuoso left Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 2017. Since his departure, Zakk Wylde returned to work with the Prince of Darkness.
During a hard-working career Gus G has played with Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy and Nightrage, and has made many guest appearances with other notable bands since he was cited as one of the best guitarists in the world [BURRN! Magazine 2003.] He temporarily replaced Christopher Amott in Arch Enemy and has worked with Kamelot and Doro among many others.
On “Fearless” Gus G [Konstantinos Karamitroudis] joins forces with vocalist/bassist Dennis Ward who produced the current Firewind album titled “Immortal.”
Dennis is a brilliant songwriter, bassist and producer and also an excellent singer. Also in the “Fearless” power-trio line-up is drummer Will Hunt (of Evanescence, Black Label Society). “Will was at the very top of my wish list…” says Gus. “He’s a real pro with a great groove and an awesome punch.”
We had the opportunity to catch up with Gus in London to talk with him about “Fearless” —
RAW RAMP: Do you think artists and especially musicians have to be FEARLESS if they wanna make a difference and see change?
“I think we all have to be brave, I think we all have challenges to face, sometimes even the most nervous must expose themselves to what the world throws at them. But, as an artist, it’s important, I think, to be able to face criticism and perhaps sometimes even lay bare innermost emotion. We have to be brave if we want to be creative.”
RAW RAMP: So you teamed up with Dennis and Will? Were you going for a classic power-trio sound?
“Well, yes and no, I knew that I wanted to work with both Dennis and Will, but I was really thinking about getting another guitarist too, but, well, that was a completely new band project, I thought about it, then I decided against. I didn’t want to start a new band project, because that’s what it would become… so I decided to stick to a three-man formula.”
RAW RAMP: Will the solo project get in the way of Firewind’s obligations?
“Firewind released an eighth studio album [Immortals ] last year and we worked hard with that. And we recently completed the final leg of a world tour in Latin American. And there are some big shows planned for Firewind during the summer The guys in the band know I am going to be touring with “Fearless” flat-out for the next few months.
RAW RAMP: Songs like album opener “Letting Go” are harmonic, heavy and melodic, but we also detected thrash metal that reminds us of Metallica. Were you aware of that influence when making this album?
“Yes, there are some quick and strong moments on this album, I want the songs to be vigorous and energetic.”
RAW RAMP: Why write a song about Charles Manson?
“Well, honestly, I deny all responsibility for the lyric theme [laughs] I know Manson is a controversial figure even now, Dennis wrote the lyrics for all the songs. I sent him the instrumental parts I had worked on and he came up with “Mr Manson.” When I asked him, later, why had he chosen such a controversial subject? he told me: “Aleister Crowley has already been done…”
RAW RAMP: How do you help regenerate the creative process?
“I try to stay in shape, I do some exercise, but to be honest, it’s not easy in such a tight schedule.”
“I try to stay healthy as best I can, and stay calm and reflective.”
RAW RAMP: Tell us about covering Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” why do that?
“There’s no reason, really. It’s here without any deep reason. I’ve always loved the song and when I discussed it with the other guys we realized it had never been properly covered before — I mean properly covered as a hard rock number!”
RAW RAMP: Have you played any of the “Fearless” songs to an audience yet?
“Yes, just the other week, the reaction was good. The audience were most excited about the newest material. It went well.”
RAW RAMP: Are you playing any rock cruises?
“Actually, I am, I’m going to do the [sixth] Full Metal Cruise in Mallorca this month.”
RAW RAMP: Congratulations on a fine-sounding solo album and we wish you much success with it. Thanks, Gus G.
GUS G releases his new album ‘Fearless’ on 20th April on AFM Records