SROMaginc.com recently conducted an interview with 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 . You can now listen to the chat below.
On his upcoming activities with Ozzy:
"We're doing the Ozzfiesta next year in Mexico. So we're gonna do that show over there. And I don't know if there's gonna be more stuff; we'll see. I know [Ozzy is] also gonna go back in the studio with SABBATH. I think probably there's gonna be another Ozzy [album] after the next SABBATH record, or it depends whenever they decide to finish it up. It's not up to me."
On whether Ozzy will ever retire from performing:
"You never know with Ozzy, man. You never know. That's the thing. You can't predict that. I think he's one of those guys like Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger; he'll be doing it until he's 80 or something. I think so.
"I'll tell you what: He taught me a lesson about fuckin' stamina and energy up on that stage. He jumps up and down more than any 20-year-old I've seen. I mean, he's 65 and he's still doing frog jumps. [Laughs]"
On how he approached playing with Ozzy when he first landed the gig in 2009:
"It's one of those gigs… it's that exact gig that you just shit your pants as a guitar player to get that spot. For me, it was the happiest day of my life, and, at the same time, the most nerve-racking day of my life. But you've just gotta rise to the occasion. It's one of those things where I got called up to do this now, so I'd better practice twice as hard. You just have to approach this gig with a lot of respect for the guys that were there before you and just be yourself, basically. I mean, you can't replace those guys — guys like Zakk Wylde or Randy Rhoads or Jake E. Lee — you can't replace them, you can't be them. They are their own guys, they are their own legends. So you've just gotta bring your own thing to the table, but at the same time, you have to respect those songs and play them as they are."
Gus G. has tapped Jeff Scott Soto (TALISMAN, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) to sing for Gus' backing band on his North American West Coast tour, which kicked off on October 15 and concluded on October 19. Joining Gus and Jeff on stage for these dates were Marty O'Brien (bass; TOMMY LEE, WE ARE THE FALLEN, LITA FORD) and Jo Nunez (drums; FIREWIND, NIGHTRAGE).
A special expanded edition of Gus' solo album, "I Am The Fire", will be released in Europe on November 3 (digitally in North America on November 4). This limited CD + DVD digipak will feature 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).
Ozzy Osbourne is the latest musician to comment on U2's decision to team with Apple to put the Irish rock band's new album, "Songs Of Innocence", on every single iTunes account in the world for free regardless of whether it was wanted or not.
Speaking to Shortlist, the BLACK SABBATH singer said: "I think it's good in one way, and bad in another. People got so pissed off with it, it was terrific. Trying to find out how to delete it off their fucking phones, or whatever. But U2 can afford to put an album out for free, whereas other bands can't, so it makes it difficult for up-and-coming bands. It's fucking selfish, really. They just got a zillion fucking sales from Apple, I suppose. Not everyone is U2, not everyone can get a fucking deal with Apple. There are a thousand bands out there today that aren't going to get heard by fucking anybody because they can't afford to do it."
33 million of the world's 500 million iTunes users have reportedly accessed the U2 album, but there have been complaints about it as well. Apple gave an online tutorial on how to remove it, while BUCKCHERRY guitarist Keith Nelson dissed the Irish supergroup for devaluing their own music.
Ozzy's wife and manager Sharon Osbourne delivered the most scathing remarks via a Twitter rant in which she wrote, "U2, you are business moguls, not musicians anymore. No wonder you have to give your mediocre music away for free, 'cause no one wants to buy it." She also called the Irish quartet "just a bunch of middle-age political groupies" and the group, iTunes and record company president Jimmy Iovine "a bunch of megalomaniacs."
Unlike many who felt that the placement of the "Songs Of Innocence" album was an unwanted intrusion, free or not, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Billboard, "I think U2 are the coolest . . . It's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded."
Ulrich added, "It's not about whether the endeavor is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at all of us."
The drummer hinted that METALLICA itself could do something along similar lines when it comes time to release its next album, saying, "We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely."
While U2 continues to be one of the world's biggest group, the band's last effort, 2009's "No Line On The Horizon", was considered a commercial failure — although the two-year supporting tour was the highest-grossing in history.
Ozzy Osbourne has launched a Facebook page for a forthcoming attraction called "Ozzy Osbourne's Hell Gate".
The BLACK SABBATH frontman has yet to reveal any details regarding the event, which is said to be "coming October 2015."
Some fans have speculated that Ozzy has rejoined forces with Universal Studios Hollywood for the annual "Halloween Horror Nights" event.
Ozzy and the rest of BLACK SABBATH were featured in last year's all-original 3D maze "Black Sabbath: 13 3D" at Universal Studios Hollywood. The maze was based on the darkest lyrics from BLACK SABBATH's biggest hit songs and was the only attraction at the horror event to incorporate 3D video. It also included scenes inspired by the legendary band's comeback album, "13".
Ozzy will release a solo career retrospective titled "Memoirs Of A Madman" on October 7.
His last solo studio effort was 2010's "Scream".
Ozzy's first album under the SABBATH banner in 35 years, "13", came out in June 2013 and topped both the U.S. and U.K. album charts, later winning a Grammy Award as well.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, an online campaign to get Ozzy Osbourne knighted has already notched more than 21,000 signatures. A 65-year-old British fan named Helen Maidiotis has launched the petition, saying that the BLACK SABBATH singer deserves the honor for "his significant contribution to the music industry." She added that he deserves to be knighted "not only for all his charity work but for all his years entertaining us and helping make a difference to peoples' lives who have looked up to him for his strong will and determination to get through the many obstacles that he has come across and for that we thank you Ozzy! Helping to get him Knighted would be our gift to him."
When asked about the campaign in a recent interview, Ozzy said, "I've heard about that. Getting knighted? I can't imagine anything better… And my wife (Sharon) would become a Lady, which would be pretty cool. But I'm not gonna get upset if it doesn't happen. I never thought I'd get further than Aston (the area of Birmingham where he was born)."
BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass) took part in a press conference yesterday (Friday, June 6) before their performance at this year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden. You can now watch video footage of the question-and-answer session below.
Asked about the band's recent concert in Moscow when technical issues prevented BLACK SABBATH from playing "Paranoid" as an encore, Geezer said: "It's probably one of the very few times that we haven't [that song during a SABBATH concert]. But it wasn't our fault, because it was the hard disk in the P.A. system went down. And you can't just replace it. You have to reboot the whole system, and it takes 24 hours, I think." Tony added: "We were all ready to go on, and then suddenly it went off."
Regarding BLACK SABBATH's plans for the future beyond the band's current tour, Ozzy said: "We haven't really discussed it. It is possible there's gonna be another album. But we haven't really sat down and decided what we're gonna do yet. We just wanna finish this tour and then we'll see."
Asked about Tony Iommi's recent remark that their upcoming concert in London's Hyde Park could be their last, Ozzy told Guitar World, "If it's goodbye, we're ending it on a high note… But I'm up for another BLACK SABBATH album and tour. If we can, great. If not, I'll just carry on doing my own thing."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Butler, meanwhile, thinks that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."
Ozzy added, "I never say never. I never thought after 35 years I'd [be back with BLACK SABBATH], have a No. 1 record and a sold-out tour."
"13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Butler and Iommi, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.
Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, said recently that the massive July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could be the band's last because the touring can be tough on him.
Iommi, who is in remission, admitted, "To be honest I don't want to be touring to this extent too much longer, because it makes me feel so bad."
The Hyde Park show will feature SOUNDGARDEN and others in addition to the headliners.