Firewind’s Gus G. talks about new solo album “I Am The Fire”

Gus GGus G. is probably best known as the guitarist for heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and for his own band Firewind. Gus can no add solo artist to his impressive list as in early March he will release his debut solo album titled ”I Am The Fire” via Century Media Records. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Gus recently about the new album and its creation.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about your new album “I Am the Fire”?
Gus G.: This is my first solo album and it features a lot of different collaborations with a variety of musicians. There are guest bass players, singers and drummers. It’s a bit of a different approach this time around especially if you compare it to what I have done with Firewind.  This solo album I wouldn’t even classify as heavy metal. I think it’s definitely more of a hard rock album. There a mixture of styles and it showcases a different side and background of my playing. You will hear a lot of acoustic and instrumental type sounds on this record.

AL: What made now the best time to release a solo album?
GG: We were on a break from Ozzy because he was out working with Black Sabbath and after our singer left Firewind in 2012 I had some ideas that I wanted explore however they didn’t really fit Firewind. After completing some prior commitments we decided to take a break while we searched for a new singer. This time off from both projects gave me the time to start working on these ideas while I was at home.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the guest appearances on the album?
GG: The main singer on the album is Mats Leven from the band Candlemass. He and I wrote 5 songs together and he sings on 4 of those. I did a song with the band Devour the Day which is actually the first single off the record titled. I also worked with Michael Starr from Steel

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Panther and David Ellefson from Megadeth. There were a lot of people involved in the creation of this album. Jay Ruston who produced the album was very instrumental in bringing a lot of these guys in to the project. I took things track by track and Jay guided me through things.

AL: How did you go about putting the songs together for the record and did you make any adjustments to your guitar tone or playing?
GG: I mainly write the music. I will start from there and then go back and work on lyrics. I wanted to have people co-write with so I may have had a song title or something like that but for the most part I would send the tracks out and just tell whoever to surprise me. That’s really how we did things on this album. For the tone side of things I pretty much used all the same gear I normally use. I did experiment a little but you can still hear my sound and style on the record. I tried some new tones on this one and also id some acoustic guitar playing as well.

AL: Can you tell us why you chose “My Will Be Done” to be the first single release?
GG: I thought that track was going to be pretty suitable for radio. It has a sound that I think would fit well in to that format. I had hooked up with Devour the Day through my label and when I first heard their material it blew me away. When we started writing the song I knew it was going to one that was very strong and could be a single.

AL: Have you started to plan out any touring to help support the release?
GG: Yes. I will be starting out with some shows in Greece and then in May I will be tour with Marty Friedman called “Guitar Universe”. There have been talks about hitting some of the festivals this summer and I would love to tour the States as well.

AL: Has there been anything mentioned as to when you and Ozzy will start working together again?
GG: There has been nothing official yet. He is pretty busy with Black Sabbath and there is nothing I can really confirm. I don’t know a lot about that stuff. (Laughs) I know when he is ready we will all be there with him.

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