Firewind, Solo Artist, Ozzy Osbourne
Kostas Karamitroudis (born 12 September 1980), better known as Gus G, is a Greek heavy metal guitarist. He currently plays with his band Firewind. He has also played in Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Ozzy Osbourne's band. The stage name "Gus G" has two sources of origin. "Gus" is a common Greek American English translation of the name "Kostas", and "G" was a nickname given to him by a friend during his time living in the US.
At the age of 18 he left Greece to enroll in the Berklee College of Music, but left after only a few weeks and began working on making a name on the metal scene. During his brief time at Berklee Gus came into contact with Joe Stump, who he credits as a great influence on his career. In 1998, Gus G decided to record a demo with some close musician friends in the United States. The project was entitled Firewind, and was used as a showcase for Gus's guitar skills in an attempt to earn a professional recording deal. The demo attracted the attention of Leviathan Records, but activity was put on hold when Gus was hired by Nightrage, Dream Evil, and Mystic Prophecy. After the release of these bands' debut albums, Gus's attention returned to his band, Firewind. The band has released seven studio albums to date and has gone through many lineup changes. Gus G was declared third of the three best guitar players all over the world in 2003 by the Japanese magazine BURRN!.
In 2009, Gus was sent an email invitation from Ozzy Osbourne's management to learn several songs and take a flight to Los Angeles to audition for the role of guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne's backing band. After jamming with the band, Gus was "asked on the spot to come back and perform a concert with Ozzy a couple of months later". Soon thereafter it was announced that Gus G would be taking the place of lead guitarist for Ozzy who had decided to part ways with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde. Gus's first live appearance with Ozzy was at the BlizzCon 2009, and Gus played on the 'Scream' album in 2010.
I'm a Gus G. fan from the early Firewind days. I love his massive riffs, and his ability to combine speed and tightness with melody in his soloing, here and there referring to his Greek background.
During my journalist days around 2009 I interviewed Gus a couple of times, and he stroke me as a very nice person. Interviewing Gus was always easy, his communication skills were good and he had a lot to share and tell the world. Until that day at the Marriott Hotel n Frankfurt (Germany) in 2009. The appointment we had was made weeks in advance as Gus was in Germany to do promotion at the annual Musikmesse in Frankfurt. Shortly before the Musikmesse rumors got out that Gus was about to join Ozzy Osbourne, a perfect topic for our interview. However, Gus was not allowed to say anything about Ozzy, and I did not feel speaking about Firewind was relevant at that point, so that particular conversation was a bit rusty.
Gus and I got along very well throughout the years and met at several occasions when Gus was touring.
Continuously touring was the reason Gus was not available to play on 'Rise', but when Covid hit the fan, I was lucky to convince Gus to play on the 'Here to Stay' album. His furious soloing on the epic 'Firebird' is amazing, as is his melodic artwork on the 'Saints and Sinners' song. Gus was on my wishlist for years, and now he's on my album, I'm proud and lucky!
To get an idea of Gus' playing, here's a cool video of Firewind's 'Fire and the Fury'.