This was a very special one. He has a solo career with two full albums under his belt, has worked with (and continues to work with) several different bands in the metal and rock community, and he is the current guitarist for the one and only Ozzy Osbourne.
I got to speak with the extremely talented Gus G about his newest solo album, Brand New Revolution, playing with Ozzy Osbourne, and why he gravitated towards ESP Guitars.
I actually saw you perform with Ozzy Osbourne, if I’m correct, on the tour where he was promoting Scream. That was the tour where Slash was opening the show.
Right! That was probably the end of 2010 around November/December, or January 2011 or something?
Yeah! When I saw your performance, I felt like you had that rock edge that’s essential for Ozzy’s music, but I think combined with your style, it almost had that feeling that because you were playing so fast and so well, that it could almost fall apart at any second. To me, that’s true rock and roll, that feeling of chaos. How would you say you’ve been able to develop your style of playing over the past several years?
That’s kinda cool to hear! (laughs) Well you know, this is a constant thing. It never really stops, just like with music, and just like with….well, you’re human. You always grow. You mature. The same thing happens with music, with the playing, the writing, with everything, you know? I’m a much better player when I was back then when you saw us then! I just try to keep developing my sound and my style.
Let’s talk about the new album for a moment. Brand New Revolution is your sophomore solo effort. How would you say that working on the tracks for this release differed in comparison to I Am The Fire? What would you say you were able to learn about creating a song after doing the first album that you were able to bring to the second?
For me, the first record was kind of finding myself as a solo artist. Well, it was kind of like, you know, redefining myself in a sense. It was like some sort of musical rebirth. Obviously I’ve had my band, Fire Reign, for so long. We have our sound and style, but it’s like…when you’re going to go do a solo project, what do you want it to be? So that’s what I kept asking myself. I didn’t want it to sound like Fire Reign. It’s easy to fall into that trap, because I write that stuff there as well. It’s easy to fall into that trap and sound like that, so I said there’s no point in doing that and not calling it Fire Reign.
The first record had a lot of different vibes all over it. A lot of acoustic stuff, some classic rock, some more modern rock moments. The new one, I think…..music styling is not that far from the continuation, but this time, it’s much more focused, much more cohesive. And a bit heavier as well! A lot more riffs on the new one.
ESP is a rather prominent guitar within the metal community. What drew you towards ESP guitars? I know they have a thinner neck and a nicer kind of mid-tone, allowing for the ability to really solo.
Well, for me, it’s just the guitar itself, with the way it’s built and the way it’s crafted. They built me a custom prototype like ten years ago in Japan, and then that was the first signature model that we created. That was like, for me, the best guitar I’d ever had. Whatever crazy idea I’ve ever had, or alterations I wanted to make in those models, they were always happy to do so, and they worked with me closely.
Like I said, it’s the sound, the playability. They’re light, but they sound heavy. So all these things! Whatever you’re looking for in a guitar, it’s there. Plus, everybody there is really cool and relaxed. They treat all of their guys very nicely, you know?
What kind of message, if any, would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
Actually, for me, well…my music is…the lyrics are about actual things that have happened to us, or feelings that we have that happen to us in real life. They’re things that we go through in every day life. I can’t recall really making songs about dragons and stuff. Maybe I’ve done that with Dream Evil (laughs). At least with my solo stuff. So you know, for me, if my music makes them feel good, then it’s great. It’s a win/win situation. You’ve done something good, you know? (laughs) If it makes someone else happy, that’s fantastic.
What does music mean to you?
It’s everything. It’s all the feelings and all the colors, you know? Music is the best trip you can have. It’s just like Jimi Hendrix said, it’s the safest kind of high. (laughs) It’s everything. For me, it’s everything. It’s in every situation, it describes every feeling for me, and every color of the spectrum, really.
Gus G's sophomore album, Brand New Revolution, is available now.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.