Gus discusses the recent departure of Apollo Papathanasio, plans for a live album to be released later this year, and his upcoming solo album. He also gives us details on the gear he uses and why, what it's like to play with Ozzy, and this current tour with Turisas.
On touring with Firewind: I just consider myself lucky that I'm even having the chance to go out there and do arenas with a guy like Ozzy Osbourne. Usually this would be the reality of things, doing the club circuit, which is not bad at all. I love it. That's where I come from, and this is where you build your fanbase, and it's always good to play intimate gigs. So for guys like me that get to do both, it's only a blessing.
Apollo's departure: You need to have a certain lifestyle set up in order to be able to do this, because we do have breaks and we don't tour all the time, and we don't make a shitload of money from the band. We can make a decent living, but it depends on what state your life is. For a guy like Apollo, for example, he's got a family, he's got the job back home, and all that stuff. And even when he joined the band, he already had that setup. But let's face it: in order to be able to live like a nomad travelling like that, you need to be used to this lifestyle. You need to want this type of lifestyle, and you need to enjoy this type of lifestyle.
His solo album: Nothing's set in stone. I haven't even signed with a label. I've been writing with a couple really great singers. I've written lots of material. I'm not sure what's going to end up there right now . I'm still putting it together, to be honest. I wouldn't reveal too much information. Let me put it this way: if Firewind would be closer to Deep Purple, this project is going to be closer to Led Zeppelin, if you know what I mean. So it's going to be a bit more of a straightforward rock 'n roll kind of thing. I'm planning to have some instrumentals on there as well. I think it would be cool for the guitar fans, probably people would expect that from me. There's going to be vocal songs on there as well with some guest singers.
On playing power metal: It's the most uncool type of music to play these days. The cool factor is zero. And we know that, but you've just got to do what you've got to do, and you never know what it's going to be like in 3 or 4 years. Heavy metal has trends as well, so you've just got to stick to your guns and play what you like.