Gus G

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Gus G.
Gus G Live.jpg
Gus G live with Firewind.
Background information
Birth name Kostantinos Karamitroudis
Also known as Gus G, Kostas (Κώστας)
Born (1980-09-12) September 12, 1980 (age 36)
Origin Thessaloniki, Greece
Genres Heavy metal, melodic death metal, thrash metal, power metal, black metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, keyboard, vocals
Years active 1998–present
Labels Century Media Records
Associated acts Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne, Mystic Prophecy, Dream Evil, Nightrage, Arch Enemy, Kamelot, Angel Vivaldi
Website http://www.gusgofficial.com/
Notable instruments
ESP Gus G Signature Guitars

Konstantinos Karamitroudis (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Καραμητρούδης) also known as Gus G, born September 12, 1980 in Thessaloniki, Greece is a heavy metal guitarist.[1] He currently plays with his band Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne. He has also played in Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage, Arch Enemy and Dream Evil.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Konstantinos was born on September 12, 1980 in Thessaloniki, Greece. His father was a part-time singer who sang Greek folk music at bars and taverns. He was also a fan of rock music. He was introduced to bands like Pink Floyd, Santana and the Eagles by his father's album collections. Gus G. was inspired to start playing guitar after listening to his father's copy of Peter Frampton's album Frampton Comes Alive. He was drawn in particular by Frampton's use of the Talkbox. At the age of 10, Gus asked his dad for a guitar. His father bought him a classical guitar and he started to take lessons from a local music school. When he finally received his first electric guitar at the age of 14, he got heavily into practicing and took lessons from a rock guitar teacher at a local conservatory.

Career[edit]

Gus G with the Ozzy Osbourne 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.[2] 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!.

On July 2005, he temporarily replaced Christopher Amott as guitarist of melodic death metal band Arch Enemy on their Ozzfest dates, and also contributed to their album Doomsday Machine by playing lead guitar on the song "Taking Back my Soul". He has made guest appearances for various artists, including the title track song on Rob Rock's Garden of Chaos, as well as solos on the songs "Felonies of the Christian Art" and "Life Deprived" by Old Man's Child's album In Defiance of Existence. Gus has also performed a few solos on the album Gallows Gallery by the Japanese avant-garde black metal band Sigh).

Later, Gus performed two guest solos for Nightrage's album Wearing A Martyr's Crown marking a return to his former band. The solos appear on the instrumental Sting of Remorse. He also appeared on In This Moment album A Star-Crossed Wasteland on "The Road". Gus played some guest solos on Γυνή Και Θάλασσα (Woman And Sea), a record from the Greek rock band called Δυτικές Συνοικίες (West Neighborhoods).

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".[3] Soon thereafter it was announced that Gus G. would be taking the place of lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy had decided to part ways with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde, because he thought his music was beginning to sound too much like Zakk's band Black Label Society. Gus's first live appearance with Ozzy was at the BlizzCon 2009.

Gus G. performing with Ozzy.

In 2010 Gus G. appeared alongside Firewind[4] in Issue 3[5] of the Eternal Descent Comic Book which is an epic comic series that features characters of several of ESP Guitars' most popular artists.[6]

In 2011 Nightrage released, Insidious in which Gus G. appears. In 2014, Gus collaborated with Jeff Scott Soto on his new self-titled band, Soto. He makes his guest appearance on "Wrath". Gus is credited with a writing the song. This release notes a much heavier sound, akin to Soto's earlier work.

In February 2015, Gus stated that he had written all the songs for a solo album with an intended summer release.[7][8] He also noted that another Firewind album was not planned due to the lack of a suitable singer.[9] On July 24, his second solo album, Brand New Revolution was released in Europe through Century Media.[1]

Musical influences[edit]

Gus G's first influences began with Frampton and his work "Frampton Comes Alive". He also cites Al Di Meola, Joe Stump, John Norum, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch, Uli Roth, Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert, Marty Friedman, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, The Beatles, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Joe Satriani and many others as his influences.[3]

Discography[edit]

Firewind

Ozzy Osbourne

  • iTunes Festival: London 2010 (2010)
  • Scream (2010)

Solo releases

  • Guitar Master (2001)
  • I Am the Fire (2014)[11]
  • Brand New Revolution (2015)[12]

Dream Evil

Mystic Prophecy

Nightrage

Guest appearances

Equipment[edit]

Gus G performing live with his signature ESP guitar.

Gus teamed up with ESP Guitars to make two custom model guitars to his specifications, the "Gus. G FR" and the "Gus G. NT".[14] The 'NT' was used in the videos for "Falling to Pieces", "Breaking the Silence" and "Tyranny". The 'FR' is featured along with the NT model in the video for "Falling to Pieces" and "Head Up High" and was discontinued in 2009 for North America, being replaced by the 'NT'. In a 2009 video of Gus playing backstage at Musikmesse Frankfurt with his new T2 amplifier, he is seen with a white ESP Gus model with a black Firewind logo on the front. Before using ESP, he was endorsed by Washburn, playing a Culprit with a chrome pickguard, and before using a Fender Floyd Stratocaster. Recently Gus has released 2 new signature series guitars in Japan the ESP GUS G. NT-II which is a white version of his normal signature guitars with the Firewind symbol on the neck at 1–15 frets, and also in black on the body. And ESP GUS G. FM-NT which is the same as the GUS G. NT ESP, the only change made is to the frets who are now the same as at the ESP GUS G. NT-II. In March 2010 ESP announced a new Gus G guitar the EC Revolver, it has a custom graphic finish, 22 frets, a 25.5" scale, and Seymour Duncan Blackouts active pickups.[15]

While playing with Ozzy Osbourne during the Blizzcon 2009 closing ceremony,[16] he could be seen playing two ESP Eclipse II guitars, one in Amber Cherry Sunburst tuned to Standard D, and another one in Vintage Black, tuned to Dropped C.

In terms of picks and strings, he used GHS strings early in Firewind,then switched to DR, using 9–50. Currently he uses Elixir 10-14-18-32-42-56. He uses 2mm ESP Jazz 3-shaped picks.

Gus has used Marshall Amplifiers in the past as well as Krank, however more recently, he uses Randall T2 and V2 Amplifiers. Gus has a signature Randall amp designed by him and based on the T2 head named Heaven and Hell. It features 2 channels, each using independent gain and tone controls. The head has a 400 watt output. Gus G here performs with Ozzy using 10 of his Signature Randall T2HH amps and cabs.[17]

In January 2010 he was featured on the Blackstar Amplification website to be using the Series One 200 head and matching cab.[18]

In June 2010 Blackstar Amplification launched a Gus G. signature pedal HT-BLACKFIRE at Summer NAMM. The HT-BLACKFIRE[19] is a two channel, valve-driven, metal distortion pedal and was launched at Summer NAMM in Nashville on June 18, 2010.[20] However live he does not play this, rather he uses a BBE Green Screamer.

In September 2011 Blackstar announced they are working on a Gus G signature Series One amplifier. This was announced at a Blackstar, Andertons and Gus G masterclass session at The Boileroom in Guildford.

In a post for the guitarist's forum Gear Talk, Gus says the only effects he uses are a BBE Green Screamer overdrive pedal, Morley Bad Horsie Steve Vai signature Wah pedal, Providence Anadime Chorus pedal, TC Electronic PolyTune tuner pedal, and a Rocktron Banshee Talk box.

A detailed gear diagram of Gus G's 2011 Ozzy Osbourne guitar rig is well-documented.[21] It is based on a 2011 interview with Gus G's guitar tech, Chet Haun.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "How Greek Guitarist KOSTAS KARAMITROUDIS Became Known As GUS G.". 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Guitar Nine Records – Interview with Gus G". Guitar9.com. November 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Gus G. Interview at Guitarhoo!". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Firewind Members Featured in Eternal Descent Comic – in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. November 9, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived May 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ [2] Archived July 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "GUS G. Begins Recording Second Solo Album, Says He Is 'Close' To Finding New Singer For FIREWIND". Blabbermouth. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gus G working on second solo album". metalhammer.teamrock.com. TeamRock Metal Hammer. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "FIREWIND "In No Rush To Go Back into The Studio And Do Another Album And Tour Cycle", Says GUS G.; Audio". bravewords.com. Bravewords. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Firewind - Upcoming Live Album Cover And Tracklist Revealed - Metal Storm". 
  11. ^ "FIREWIND/OZZY OSBOURNE Guitarist GUS G.'s 'I Am The Fire' Album: Track-By-Track Breakdown". March 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "FIREWIND/OZZY OSBOURNE Guitarist GUS G.: New Song 'The Quest' Available For Streaming". July 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ "ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE Featuring MEGADETH's ELLEFSON, ANTHRAX's BELLO: 'Tell The World' Performance Clip". November 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ [3] Archived September 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ [4] Archived April 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET – New OZZY OSBOURNE Guitarist GUS G.: It's An 'Honor' To Step into ZAKK WYLDE's Shoes". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  17. ^ "Gus G & Ozzy | News | News and Reviews". Randallamplifiers.com. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  18. ^ "Blackstar Artist News | Blackstar Amplification". Blackstaramps.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  19. ^ "Blackstar HT Blackfire Effects Pedal – Ultimate Heavy Metal Distortion". Blackstaramps.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  20. ^ "Blackstar Related News | Blackstar Amplification". Blackstaramps.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  21. ^ Cooper, Adam (May 21, 2011). "Gus G's 2011 Ozzy Osbourne Guitar Rig". GuitarGeek.Com.

External links[edit]