Metal Temple magazine conducted an interview with Greek guitar virtuoso GUS G. , well known in rock and metal circles for his work as Ozzy Osbourne‘s guitarist and as leader of his own band FIREWIND, before his February 22 concert in Southampton, England. You can now listen to the chat below.

Speaking about how different it is pursuing a solo career as opposed to running a band likeFIREWIND, Gus said: “Being in a band, it’s a certain commitment that you need to keep everybody on the same page and everybody needs to be there and do things all together, and sometimes that doesn’t go too well. Because, you know, this type of lifestyle is not for everybody; it can get tiring and all that. And I understand when members have to leave and do their own thing, and it’s hard. Of course it’s tons of fun being on that stage and playing, but that’s, like, one hour or one and a half hour out of the whole day. The rest is… It can be tiring sometimes and [you are sometimes forced to travel] not under the best conditions.”

He continued: “The whole idea of the solo thing is basically just… it allows me to collaborate with different friends, different musicians, co-write with different people, which is something I really love doing. And at the same time, it gives me the opportunity of playing… not having one set of fixed musicians for a tour. I have an American band for my American shows and a European band here. And I work with different singers, and it’s also very cool. And, yeah, if somebody cannot do a tour, that’s cool; we’ll bring another friend in. And it’s easy for everybody. There’s no drama. There’s no bad blood with anybody. It’s all friends playing music.”

Regarding why he decided to record a solo album at this point in his career, Gus said: “It’s a refreshing thing for me. Being in a band and doing that for ten years and releasing seven albums and lineup changes and all this stuff… We felt we needed a break after our singer left, and just taking time out from FIREWIND and doing this was just something refreshing for me. That was really what I was looking for. It gave me the excitement again that I had when I was in my early 20s.”

A special expanded edition of Gus‘ solo album, “I Am The Fire”, was released in Europe on November 3, 2014 (digitally in North America on November 4). This limited CD + DVD digipak features four bonus tracks and a 62-minute bonus DVD (including the album’s four official video clips so far, plus three live tracks, six guitar tutorials, as well as an EPK and track-by-track commentary).

Gus has already begun recording his second solo album, tentatively due before the end of the year. Like “I Am The Fire”, the new CD will feature collaborations with and guest appearances by Mats Levén (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, TREAT, CANDLEMASS) and Jacob Bunton (LYNAM, ADLER).