Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ozzy says Zakk "Don't Need Me Anymore."

Artisan News Service caught up with veteran rocker Ozzy Osbourne at the Sunset Strip Music Festival and got the skinny on the departure of guitarist Zakk Wylde and his replacement by Gus G.

"I haven't fallen out with Zakk; he's a very good- Our relationship goes way beyond music," Ozzy said. "He's got his own thing now: he's got his own band, he's got his own career — he don't need me anymore." He added, "I've a got a guy, Gus G., a guy from Greece — not the musical, the country of Greece."

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine in June 2009, Ozzy said he was looking for a replacement for Wylde, who played with the band off and on since 1988. "Zakk's got his own band and I felt like my stuff was beginning to sound like [his band] - Black Label Society," Ozzy admitted, adding, "I just felt like I wanted a change, y'know?"

Later, on July 29, Wylde responded to Ozzy's comments to Classic Rock during a radio interview in Eugene, Oregon:

"I've gotta be honest with you. The boss hasn't even given me a phone call, so I mean- I'm just like- I don't know what's going on over there. Are we doing this thing or are we not doing it? I mean, it's like, dude, you don't wanna play with me anymore? Fine. Play with whoever the hell you wanna play with. I couldn't give a rat's ass. Like I'm gonna get all jealous or whatever. But you know what? Man up and give me a phone call and tell me what the hell's going on."

Wylde went on to rant about Ozzy, using ample expletives and causing the radio station to insert censor "beeps" into the majority of the tirade.

Ozzy, who has been working on a solo album in Los Angeles, confirmed that Wylde had recorded material for his latest project, but admitted, "I don't know if I want to use it."

And just when it seemed the plot couldn't thicken any further, Wylde's wife announced in an online posting that her husband suffers from "a rare genetic clotting disorder" and that he is receiving treatment in California.

Meanwhile, Gus G. has told the Greek edition of Metal Hammer magazine that MySpace played a part in his new job with the former Black Sabbath frontman:

"I got a message on my MySpace page from Rob "Blasko" [Nicholson], Ozzy's bass player, asking me what I was doing, if I was living in America or not and saying that he wanted to talk to me. I never thought he'd want me for something like that [playing with Ozzy]. I initially thought that maybe he wanted to talk to me about doing a project or something and then he told me that one of Ozzfest's managers was looking for me. The manager said that they wanted me to fly out to Los Angeles immediately for a show that Ozzy was about to do in Anaheim, California."

Regarding his replacement of Wylde in the band's line-up, Gus said, "Zakk is a tremendous guitar player, just like all the guys that have played with Ozzy. In fact, Zakk is my favourite Ozzy guitar player ever and my biggest influence of them all. It's quite an honour for me to step into his shoes."

Gus G., whose real name is Kostas Karamitroudis, currently plays with Firewind. He has also played with Arch Enemy, Dream Evil, Mystic Prophecy, and Nightrage.

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