This episode of The StageLeft Podcast welcomes Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, one of the true heavyweights of the industry.
For the last sixteen years he has been a member of arguably the biggest, and most iconic band of the last three decades. During a career spent in near constant demand, Richard has played and toured with Thin Lizzy, The Psychedelic Furs, Rhianna, Puff Daddy, and rock supergroup The Dead Daises to name but a few.
Richard takes us through some of the many highlights of playing with G’n’R. The audition, which saw him flying to L.A. immediately after playing the Albert Hall, and then Axl Rose’s reaction when told he couldn’t actually join the band due his touring commitments with Enrique Iglesias. The recording process, including his own writing credit, on Chinese Democracy – one of the most expensive, and eagerly awaited, albums ever recorded.
He discusses Axl’s genius, and what special quality he has that separates him from all others. We hear of the professionalism and dedication of Slash, how working with him is more than just recreating what’s on the records, but how each song is constantly evolving.
‘…We’re always trying to make things better, we’re always trying to make things bigger and more inspiring to play…’
‘…If a Hip Hop artist was working with a producer and they needed a guitar player, then I would get a call…. (and) I ended up doing a lot of that stuff. You know, working with the Wu Tang guys, all Puffy’s stuff…’
In keeping with the ethos of the podcast, Richard discusses why he uses equipment such as a Kemper Profiler or Axe FX when playing with the likes of Rhianna, but sticks to a single channel amp when playing with G’n’R or Thin Lizzy.
Ending the episode, Richard answers questions regarding his fears for the music industry, what ambitions he still has to fulfil, and most importantly.... Are Guns’n’Roses going to be recording any new material soon?
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