Gus G. submitted 12-13 ideas for songs to Ozzy for ‘Scream’ follow up before Zakk Wylde came back
Firewind and former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Gus G. was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay of Canada’s The Metal Voice and spoke about how his audition to become Ozzy‘s next guitarist after Zakk Wylde‘s departure back in 2009 and the follow up to the Scream album released back in 2010.
When asked about his audition with Ozzy after Wylde‘s departure, Gus G. stated (as transcribed by The Metal Voice with slight edits): “I ended up being a touring guitarist for Arch Enemy, so there I was at Ozzy Fest with [Iron] Maiden and [Black] Sabbath my first big American tour. What happened that summer there was an announcement that Ozzy was parting ways with Zakk Wylde and he was looking for a guitar player. So I popped in the production office on one of those days on the tour and I just left a Firewind CD on the desk and I said hey I’m on the second stage with Arch Enemy and I heard you were looking for a guitar player. But nothing came out of it and I didn’t hear anything because Zakk continued with Ozzy, they made another record Black Rain. Fast forward into 2009, I was having a little bit of success with Firewind. I got an email from Sharon’s Management and they asked me to audition for Ozzy. It was crazy I couldn’t sleep for 3 days I couldn’t believe it . At that point I was thinking I didn’t really expect anything would come out of it. I didn’t think of myself being that good for the band and for the part of guitarist for Ozzy. I thought if anything else it will be a thing to remember for life, that will be a story to tell. I got nothing to lose.”
In terms of what songs that he played during his audition for Ozzy, Gus G. advised: “We played ‘Bark at the Moon’, ‘I don’t know’, ‘Suicide Solution’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘I don’t want to change the world’. Five or six songs. Ozzy looked impressed right from the get go. I guess somebody showed him some video of me before and it was like this is the guy! Ozzy even told me before the audition, ‘Don’t have any stress. I saw some videos of you and I have a really good feeling about this so if you make mistakes don’t worry about it.’ The audition went well.”
With respect to Ozzy‘s reaction after the audition, Gus G. recalled: “Ozzy turned around and said, ‘You are fuckin great!’ and his people went into a room and they chatted for a few minutes and came out and asked me if I wanted to come back and play a gig. They never said anything after that gig they seemed to be pretty pleased. Then I did another gig, after that Ozzy invited me to his house to listen to some of the new material on Scream. I ended up staying for a few days and played some solos, it was a little bit of a trial period. Then I went back home and didn’t hear anything for about a month and then I got an email from Sharon asking me to come back to play on the whole album to play all the guitars.”
When asked if he was allowed to contribute to the Scream recordings, Gus G. advised: “They had already done the record. They were already happy with the songs. It’s wasn’t a situation where we were going to go in and rewrite the whole thing. There is two ways about this you can try and stand up and say I would like to bring in my songs and they can either listen to you or like go home we will get somebody else. That was not the gig not the requirement.”
In regard to whether he wrote any material after Scream for a new album for Ozzy, Gus G. stated: “I wrote a lot of ideas preparing for a possible next album. At some point, Ozzy even texted me and asked me to send him a bunch of riffs, think I submitted like ideas for 12 or 13 songs. Nothing came out of that. We even wrote a couple of songs together on the road on the Scream tour. Actually one of them, I ended up using on my new solo album Fearless, it’s called ‘Don’t Trend On Me.’ Not with his lyrics or melodies.”
Sleaze Roxx stated the following in one of its two reviews of Scream:
“The question now is how will Ozzy Osbourne‘s new album fare? On Scream, Kevin Churko is once again at the helm resulting in a production that is a continuation of Black Rain… slick, pounding and bombastic. Ozzy, never the power vocalist, sounds pretty good on here as he doesn’t tackle anything that he couldn’t pull off in a live setting. Tracks like “Let It Die” and “Let Me Hear You Scream” are clearly written with the live setting in mind. But overall Scream falls short in the songwriting department — if there would have been more songs like the aforementioned tracks this album would have been mentioned in the same sentence as No More Tears or Blizzard Of Ozz. Instead Scream will go down as another transition album where Ozzy introduced his new guitarist. I’m confused, if you’re bringing in a new guy shouldn’t you let the guy loose and allow him to inject his own style into the songs? Gus G. came in too late to do any writing, but I swear to you that if you didn’t know there’s a new guy in the band you’d think this is a restrained Zakk Wylde playing. I just can’t get my mind around why Gus wasn’t allowed to make his mark on Scream. If you want Zakk lite wouldn’t it make sense to keep him around?
The verdict is that Scream isn’t a landmark album. It falls somewhere between Down To Earth and Black Rain in the Ozzy Osbourne catalogue. Regardless of what Scream isn’t, it will sell relatively well and becomes nothing more than a reason for Ozzy and Co. to hit the road again.”
You can listen to the interview with Gus G. with The Metal Voice below:
Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice spoke with Greek Guitarist Gus G (Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne).