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Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

AtariLegend wrote:

GN'R Guitarist Explains Strange Reason Why Band Is Playing Pink Floyd Classic Live, Recalls State of Group After Buckethead Left

Richard Fortus also looks back on his 2011 Thin Lizzy stint.

During a conversation with Premier Guitar, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus talked about joining the band back in 2002, the ongoing semi-reunion of the classic lineup, his Thin Lizzy stint, and more.

When asked, "Can you tell us about getting into Guns N' Roses?", Fortus replied (transcribed by UG):

    "We spoke back and forth, they sent me songs to learn and then a few days before - I hadn't been hearing back from them for like a week, and so I'm calling, and I wasn't getting any callbacks.

    "So I thought, 'OK, well, I guess that's not happening.' And then I get out, I still go out there to do this album that I was scheduled to do. And on the session was [bassist] Tommy Stinson and [drummer] Josh Freese, who were both in GN'R at that time.

    "So I was like, 'This is crazy, I was supposed to come out and audition for you guys,' and it was the first time I'd met either of them, and they were like, 'Oh, you're the guy from New York. Axl found this guy Buckethead and called off all the rest of the auditions.'

    "And I was like, 'OK, cool.' Tommy and I went out that night and became best friends, and we've been super close ever since then. So that was my first experience.

    "A couple of years later - maybe a year and a half later - they were looking for somebody again because there was a guitar player that played a couple of shows with them that was named Paul [Tobias, member of the band from 1994 to 2002], that was Axl's childhood friend that had come in, and he left.

    "So they were looking for somebody to fill that role; they called me again, and I was actually in the middle of a tour in Europe. I had two days off, so I flew into LA and did the audition, got back on a plane and went back, finished the tour - but yeah, that was my entrance."

I believe you're the only person who survived both the Axl-only version of GN'R with Buckethead and Brain [Mantia, drums] and Tommy, but then also played in the proper GN'R where you're the only new guy among the all-original band. Can you compare the experience?

    "No, you can't. [Laughs] I mean, literally, you can't; it's two completely different things - completely different things. Just the overall vibe, everything about it is different.

    "The experience of playing, of being on stage and that chemistry - there really wasn't much of a chemistry. There was for a brief moment with Robin [Finck], after Bucket left [in 2004] for a minute there.

    "It was just Robin and myself, and we were doing rehearsals and Brain, and it was phenomenal, I mean, absolutely amazing. And literally, I think it was two days before we were supposed to do our first show, the energy was palpable.

    "Everybody that was in the room was like you knew something was happening, it was electric, it was really outstanding, and I'd never had that feeling before of, 'Oh my god, this is incredible.'

    "Axl came down, he was like, 'This is the band I've always wanted.' The next day Bumblefoot comes in [in 2006], and I guess, they found this guy and he came in, and the whole dynamic just completely shifted.

    "But the vibe in the band now is even beyond what that ever was, it's really incredible. Slash is just such an incredibly natural musician, and there's a reason why he is the legend he is."

What was your favorite Guns song to play live?

    "You know, generally it's the newest one. [Laughs] Newest to the setlist, to us. Slash and I did this duet for a long time while they would get the piano in place to do 'November Rain.'

    "The two of us would do it, and this happened at soundcheck of the first show, and Axl had a broken leg, so it's the first arena show - we played a club show where he broke his foot and was in a cast and in a chair.

    "And we were at soundcheck trying to figure how the hell we were gonna do this, 'How are we going to pull this off with our frontman in a chair? How we were going to pull this off?'

    "And the question of, 'OK, how do we get the piano up?' And this is gonna take time, to wheel him out to the piano, and at that point, he's like, 'You guys got to do something while we get this all in place.'

    "Slash looks at me; he's like, 'What do you want to play?' And I'm like, 'I have no idea.' He's like, 'What about [Pink Floyd's] 'Wish You Were Here'?', and I'm like, 'Sure, let's try it.'

    "So the two of us, at soundcheck, he started playing it, and I played the vocal melody - it's got to be there - and then we just went back and forth over the progression, trading solos, and the band comes in, and we did this just off the cuff at soundcheck.

    "And the crew, which is the most hardened bunch of pirates you'd ever come across, they are incredibly unimpressed by anything, stopped and applauded. It was just magical. And so we did that for two or three years in the show, and that was my favorite thing because it was different every night.

    "There's a few things like that, like 'Heaven's Door' is different every night, there's this big open section, we don't know what's gonna happen. And one thing - and this is a real testament to the legend that is Slash: he never plays the same thing twice in situations like that.

    "As a guitar player, you sort of fall into your ruts, you get into your lead, your licks that you feel comfortable in that song... He doesn't, and I love that. So that's why I buy that competitive thing - we push each other, we don't want to fall back and rest on our laurels.

    "I'll say this: he comes out every night and does a guitar solo. Axl introduces him, and he just plays by himself - walks to the front of the stage and just plays. I've never heard him repeat himself.

    "I'll be honest: sometimes, the hair on my arms is standing up, and it's hard not to because sometimes we'll come in with a progression behind him and he'll sort of lead it, and there's times when it's very hard for me to focus on what I'm doing because I'm listening to him.

    "And it's just awe-inspiring. Some nights are not magical; some nights you're just like, 'Ooh!' [Laughs] But overall, his musicality, I think that's the sign of real genius.

    "You listen to Jeff Beck, and one night he is the greatest player ever, and then the next night it's not so great, and Hendrix, like, every show was so different. They released a box set of four different concerts with Hendrix over the course of four years, and each set was a lot of the same songs, but completely different versions.

    "He played completely different - that's genius. You listen to bootlegs of Hendrix on the same tour and within different nights he just completely play different things - he approached the song completely differently, I love that."

I think Slash is a very underrated improviser, that kind of output you only really see when you're seeing him night after night and seeing him constantly creating.

    "You know what? He can't improvise the solo to 'Sweet Child,' right? Because when we play South America, every person of 80,000 people is singing the guitar solo. You know, you can't improvise that. There are sections when he does, but hat's not the time to experiment."

Elsewhere in the conversation, Richard talked about his 2011 stint in Thin Lizzy, saying:

    "The hardest, biggest honor for me was when I was asked to join Thin Lizzy because that was a band that I grew up listening to and was very important to me and really helped develop my ideals of what the perfect rock guitar tone was.

    "I was very indebted to them, and it was a great thrill to be able to play guitar harmonies with Scott Gorham. That was a huge thing for me, and in that instance, I really wanted to because it's so intricate, the parts and how they play.

    "I really spent a lot of time copying Brian [Robertson]'s vibrato, as well as Gary Moore, and really sort of honing that in because they really would match their vibrato, which I thought was really cool, and I wanted to nail that.

    "And then I showed up to a rehearsal in Ireland with those guys, and Scott had a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose on it, and he was doing his vibrato with the bar, and I was like, 'Dude, you're messing up the whole thing here.' [Laughs]

    "It was difficult to adapt on the fly to that, but what a blast was to do that tour."

Source: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/ge … _left.html

Vale
 Rep: 2 

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

Vale wrote:

Thanks for sharing!

I love how he speaks of the chemistry with Robin in 2006. You could tell listening to their guitar duet in the set then. I wonder if CD had had a better chance of coming out then if Bumblefoot hadn't been brought in. (And Axl hadn't felt he needed yet another guitar player on the album...)

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

Sky Dog wrote:

Bumblefoot may have been Axl’s biggest mistake of that era....nothing against Bumble. Tommy mentioned that at some point as well. I bet the Tommy/Axl comments on stage at Hammerstein came from the tension caused by Axl dropping in Bumble at the last minute.

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

AtariLegend wrote:

Good catch Sky Dog.

Hidden Text:

"It was just Robin and myself, and we were doing rehearsals and Brain, and it was phenomenal, I mean, absolutely amazing. And literally, I think it was two days before we were supposed to do our first show, the energy was palpable.

    "Everybody that was in the room was like you knew something was happening, it was electric, it was really outstanding, and I'd never had that feeling before of, 'Oh my god, this is incredible.'

    "Axl came down, he was like, 'This is the band I've always wanted.' The next day Bumblefoot comes in [in 2006], and I guess, they found this guy and he came in, and the whole dynamic just completely shifted.

    "But the vibe in the band now is even beyond what that ever was, it's really incredible. Slash is just such an incredibly natural musician, and there's a reason why he is the legend he is."

I watched the video version, he clearly thought Bumble was a mistake... (without saying it directly).

metallex78
 Rep: 189 

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

metallex78 wrote:

It’s weird to me that Axl wanted Bumble in there after Bucket left.

Fortus could easily play all of Buckets parts. Between him and Finck, I can see how all the guitar parts would be covered. But then Fortus was put back to rhythm player behind Bumble and Finck.

For someone with talents that he has, I can see how he’d not be happy with the addition of Bumble

davegnfnr2k
 Rep: 0 

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

davegnfnr2k wrote:
metallex78 wrote:

It’s weird to me that Axl wanted Bumble in there after Bucket left.

Fortus could easily play all of Buckets parts. Between him and Finck, I can see how all the guitar parts would be covered. But then Fortus was put back to rhythm player behind Bumble and Finck.

For someone with talents that he has, I can see how he’d not be happy with the addition of Bumble

yeah, especially since before Axl got BH to replace Finck he almost got Fortus to replace him.  but then when Paul didn't want to tour, that is when Axl got Fortus.

James
 Rep: 627 

Re: Richard Fortus Interview on Guns N' Roses

James wrote:

Wow....his best interview yet.

"So I was like, 'This is crazy, I was supposed to come out and audition for you guys,' and it was the first time I'd met either of them, and they were like, 'Oh, you're the guy from New York. Axl found this guy Buckethead and called off all the rest of the auditions.

I've always shuddered at the thought of an alternate universe where Axl doesn't discover Bucket and goes with Fortus instead.

After hearing disc 1 of the Village Sessions, the shuddering isn't as extreme.  tongue They had an album ready to go without him.

Can you compare the experience?

    "No, you can't. [Laughs] I mean, literally, you can't; it's two completely different things - completely different things. Just the overall vibe, everything about it is different

Yeah...no shit. The quality of your interviews is even different.

His comments reinforce the fact that there was never a real band dynamic in new GNR. It was the Axl Rose show. Period. He was at the top of the totem pole, everyone else at the bottom.

Once Slash and Duff walk through the door, here's two guys with instant clout and credibility. Instead of a king, it's a triumvirate. This new dynamic probably helped everyone tremendously.

there really wasn't much of a chemistry.

And there it is.....

There was for a brief moment with Robin [Finck], after Bucket left [in 2004] for a minute there.

    "It was just Robin and myself, and we were doing rehearsals and Brain, and it was phenomenal, I mean, absolutely amazing. And literally, I think it was two days before we were supposed to do our first show, the energy was palpable.

    "Everybody that was in the room was like you knew something was happening, it was electric, it was really outstanding, and I'd never had that feeling before of, 'Oh my god, this is incredible

I've become very interested in this mid 2005-early 2006 period of the saga. There were clearly diverging things/agendas going on....and this weird, temporary lineup is further proof of that.

I think he's being careful with his words here. I immediately notice the lack of Tommy's name included in this brief description of that period.

As we all now know, rumblings of Duff being in the mix here while Tommy is out(temporarily).

Even IF Duff is not literally in these rehearsals, he's symbolically there. There are two slots conveniently open depending on which direction that the shindig goes.

"Axl came down, he was like, 'This is the band I've always wanted.' The next day Bumblefoot comes in [in 2006], and I guess, they found this guy and he came in, and the whole dynamic just completely shifted

Yeah....this is where it all goes wrong.... again.

As you guys know from my ranting and ravings the past few months, I believe the attempt to get Bucket back and then settling for Bumble in the weeks leading up to Hammerstein was an overreaction by Axl/TB due to the reunion imploding....and it made a bad situation worse.

That slot was kept open until literally the last second....I doubt it's a coincidence.

I don't remember the source but way back then we also heard about Finck loving this brief Fortus-Finck dynamic.

While I highly disagree Bucket is easily replaceable, I do agree that they should've just went with these two for the tour. The project didn't need a new guy. It led to a bunch of tension...which Bumble talked about years ago. He was bullied until he started fighting back.

It also led to an absolutely needless and pointless delay in the album....which they desperately needed released in 2006 to help promote that 06-07 tour.

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