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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
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2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard

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2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard Empty 2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard

Post by Soulmonster Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:41 pm



Transcript:

From 32:50

Mitch Lafon: You know, I had a chance to see the Dead Daisies this summer on the Def Leppard/Kiss tour and you're heading out to Cuba at the end of the month. I've had a chance to go to Cuba twice myself.

Richard: Oh, wow!

ML: Yeah. You know, being in Canada, we don't have the same restrictions as America.

Richard: Oh, OK. I didn't realize you were.

ML: Yeah, I'm in Montreal and I had a chance to go down twice. Once when I was like 10 years old, my parents took me and then later on. What does it mean for you to be able to go over to Cuba and play one of the first American bands actually to to do this?

Richard: Yeah, that's huge for us. For Americans it's sort of like the opportunity of a lifetime. I don't know anybody that's played in Cuba. So it's a big deal for us. Dizzy and I were just talking about it and it's something that we never thought  we'd see in our lifetimes where, you know... We knew the borders would open up as far as tourism, but as far as being able to play there. This is a great opportunity. I'm really excited about it.

ML: Yeah, the Cuba Rocks for Peace concert. Now, are you influenced at all by the sounds that come out of Cuba? I don't wanna call it salsa, but are you, you know, are you excited?

Richard: I'm really excited about that. I mean, I fell in love with the whole Buenavista thing, and I saw that in New York. And what a beautiful movie that was. And growing up, I mean, in New York City, there's so much Cuban music, you know, that it's a part of... because there's so many Cuban citizens that's a part of the city. And Frank, the drummer from Guns N' Roses. Did you meet Frank?

ML: I did meet Frank. And he was also with you in The Psychedelic Furs offshoot Love Spit Love.

Richard: That's right. And we also played in the band here called Hunky Toast. And I also played with him in Love Spit Love. And he's Cuban. His father came over to New York in the whole Cuban big band era and was a big band percussionist. And so I knew his father. I knew his mom. They still live in the same neighborhood, in Hell's Kitchen in New York. They never have spoken English. You know, that's New York. You know, you have areas where it's just people don't have to speak any other language but their first. And again, it's all over the streets. It's, you know, it's a big thing. So I'm really looking forward to... I actually spoke to Frank today and we were talking about it.

ML: So other than that, let me, if I can just sort of talk about the Dead Daisies, the Face I Love EP came out last year, or in 2013, I guess it was, right?

Richard: Yes. Well, yeah, towards the end [?]

ML: Yeah, is there a full length album coming up?

Richard: Yeah, we're working on that now, and as soon as we finish in Cuba, we're going to Australia to do some more recording and finish that up. We'll be looking at...I guess, May.

ML: So it should be released by May, you think?

Richard: Yeah, by summer for sure.

ML: Oh, that'll be great. Now again, last year you did the tour with Def Leppard and Kiss. Are you doing any kind of package touring this year where you're gonna go open for somebody or?

Richard: We are. We're doing more shows with Kiss. I think we're going to do more with Def Leppard, Whitesnakes, The Who, AC/DC. We've got a bunch of stuff lined up.

ML: Oh, that's great. You know, Def Leppard comes to Montreal in May and there's no opening band announced at this point. Might it be the Dead Daisies?

Richard: They talked to us about doing that, but I don't think it's gonna work out for us. And actually, I spoke with Joe about it and they really wanted to do it and I'd love.... They're such great people, the Def Leppard guys. Really good, good guys. So I am hoping that we do more with them, we're supposed to do more with them this year. But yeah, I don't think we're gonna... we're not gonna make that because I think we're going to be in Europe with Kiss.

ML: Oh, so such a pity, right? You have to choose between Kiss and Def Leppard. I do want to ask you a little bit later on about Guns N' Roses and stuff, but let's, if I can, and I don't know how much time you have, but if I can, let me just ask you about Richard Butler, of course, singer for Psychedelic Furs. How did you get to meet up with him and then end up doing some Psychedelic furs gigs, before moving on to Love Spit Love?

Richard: My first band was called Pale Divine, we were on Atlantic Records, and we actually supported the Furs. And that was like, what, '92? '91, maybe? And the Furs at that time, you know, that was one of my favorite bands, and so it was a real thrill to be able to play with those guys. But we were supporting them and then they asked me if I would come up and sit in with them after our set, and I was planning cello with them. And then after that tour I ended up doing more stuff with them, and then Richard asked me if I would come up to New York and write what was going to be his solo record, but that ended up becoming a band, and they became a band because he and I wrote the whole thing, and afterwards, he said, "You know, I feel like it would be unfair of me to call this a solo project, we've done it all together."
[?]

ML: Any chance that you might do some more with Richard at some point or?

Richard: Yeah, yeah, we've actually been talking. He's one of my my favorite people and I've played with him for a long time. I've played with...you know, whenever I can, I played with the Furs. And I've actually been exchanging song ideas with him. So I think there probably will be more together in the future.

ML: That's really great.

Richard: He has one of the greatest voices in rock'n'roll as far as I'm concerned.

ML: Well, you know, having grown up in the 80s and listening to all that those songs, you know, he's one of the voices of the soundtrack of my life. So it's great to know that he's still going at it, you know. Marco Mendoza was in Thin Lizzy for a while, and then Whitesnake, and you joined him in Thin Lizzy. How was it for you as a guitarist to be in that band?

Richard: Thin Lizzy was a huge, huge influence on me when I was really young. I mean, Jailbreak was probably one of the first rock albums that just blew me away. And like, I can remember where I was the first time I heard it and the impact that that moment had on me, you know, I never heard guitar sound like that before, where they were so in your face. I realized when I started, you know... I got what would be the Live And Dangerous when I was a kid and that just really was the ideal guitar tone for me, like that was what I sort of based what the perfect guitar phone sounded like, you know, and I've been chasing that elusive sound since, you know. You know, as a guitarist you're always chasing that, you know, the perfect guitar tone and it really had a lot to do with my ideal [?] perfect, you know, with guitars rocking [?].And I told Scott Gorham that when I first started working with him, he said, "Man, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, kid, but that's all we had, that was all we could afford," you know, "Our Marshalls weren't the new Marshall, they were a few years old," which, of course, you know, made them [?]. And he only have limited guitars and, you know, so it's funny how it just happens, you know, to work out in that way. But, yeah, it really shaped me and [?] To stand next to Scott Gorman and play those guitar parts is every guitarist's wet dream.

ML: Well, you know, I'm not surprised to say that because I actually looked at some videos of you with Thin Lizzy on YouTube and your smile when you were doing sort of the shoulder to the shoulder stuff with with Scott was undeniable. You could say, "Man this is a kid in a candy store."

Richard: Oh, absolutely.

ML: I don't know if you noticed it. Go back and look at YouTube. You can see that.

Richard: Oh, I felt it. I know, I know. I was so happy. I mean, yeah, it was a dream come true like I said. I mean that's amazing. I mean, just to play those guitar harmonies with Scott is... it doesn't get any better than that. And to be part of that lineage, you know, you look at all the great guitar players that have been in that band from Snowy White to Robertson to Gary Moore to Sykes. [?] I replaced Vivian Campbell. It's been an amazing line of guitarists in that band.

ML: Absolutely. Even Damon Johnson who spent some time with Alice Cooper and Brother Cane is doing a great job with them and now as Black Star Riders. So yeah, just a wonderful band. Let me ask you about another band that you played with, X Japan back in 2008. You, with Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit, went out and did some of their reunion shows. X Japan in Japan is as big as The Beatles. In North America, probably couldn't fill a cafe. What was it like to play with that band and why do you think they just didn't translate to the North American market?

Richard: Japan is such a strange market, isn't it? I mean, they try and....everything is amplified, you know, and that's what X Japan was. They were metal band, but like they had the whole popcore thing going on, and they had that real heavy verses and super fast. And so it was faster and heavier than anything else. And the choruses were poppier and cheesier than anything else. And everything was just like amplified. Everything was [?] there, their hair was taller, their clothes were more outrageous. You know, it was times 10, everything is times 10. And their power ballads were more powerful, and more ballady. It's funny. I mean, to us a lot - and we look at it and some of the stuff is genius - and other  things you just, you stand back and look at it and go, "Oh my God, this is just so over the top." And the Japanese just eat it up. You know, they love it. Like it can't be too big or too fast or too, you know. And I think culturally that's the difference. [?] they've been singing English really-

ML: What's your connection though to X Japan? Like why would you agree to do the gig? Was it just a paid gig and you went and did it or did you actually-

Richard: No, I wouldn't say that I was necessarily a fan of X Japan but I love the spectacle of it and I seen videos of it because as a musician you always, whenever you go to Japan, Australia, you find out all the Australian bands and all the unknown bands to us, you know, the underground bands that we don't hear about, you go to South America, you do the same thing, you know, you search out, you're always looking for inspiration, you're always looking for something to inspire you in any way. And I had seen X Japan videos, then I met Yoshiki, the drummer, who's the star of the band, you know, he's like the genius. And I met him at.... Actually, no, he was producing an album that I played on and... Actually, this is funny, I was asked to audition for Guns N' Roses and I said, "Yes, sure," you know, "It works out because I'll be out in L.A. in a couple of weeks anyway, so I could maybe do it then?" And they said, "OK, great, that's perfect," you know, "We're gonna be doing auditions and we'll spot you in." And then I spoke back and forth with them and then I didn't hear anything more. I thought, "Well, that's weird." But I went out to do this album and the album was one Yoshiki was producing. And he was co-producing I think with Ted Nicely [?] or somebody else that had brought me in. Anyways, I ended up going to the session and on the session the bass player was Tommy Stinson and the drummer was Josh Freese. And they were both with GN'R at the time so I said, "Oh, this is crazy because I was supposed to audition for you guys this week," and they said, "Oh, you're the guy, right! Well, Axl found this guy Buckethead and called off all the auditions." He stopped auditioning people. So anyways, Yoshiki the producer ironically, you know, and then I ended up doing a few other things with Yoshiki as well and we became friends. And I was actually at his studio working on something, I think it's like a movie score or something like that that I was playing on, and he was there, he goes, "Oh man, what are you up to?" We're talking and he said, "You know what, I'm doing some X Japan shows. I'd love to have you come play with us. So that's how that happened.

ML: That's kind of cool. OK, listen, you mentioned Guns N' Roses, I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you a couple of questions. I saw you with Guns N' Roses probably three times, maybe four, in Montreal, in Hartford and so on. Fantastic shows. You know, for all the gruff that Axl got about original band, I thought the band was great. I thought the songs sounded great, I thought the energy was great and, you know, people don't like when I say that, but I thought it was great. What was your experience with Guns N' Roses? Did you enjoy-

Richard: Well, first of all-

ML: Yeah. What is the status of Guns N' Roses? Because there seems to be a lot of rumors swirling around. Are you recording an album? Are you on hiatus? Are you touring soon? What's going on?

Richard: I don't think there's going to be any touring soon. We have been working on material and that sort of starts and stops and, you know, but we're still plugging away at it.

ML: Is it frustrating?

Richard: Is it frustrating? You know, if I didn't have other things going on, it probably would be, but, you know, I've got other things that I focus on. You know, I've been doing GN'R now for what, 13-14 years? It's the nature of what it is. I mean, Axl, you know, I've never met anybody that has so much genuine musical integrity. You know, he won't whore himself out, he won't do anything for business or money, it's just about the music. And he won't defend himself in the press because it doesn't matter, he doesn't think it matters. It's just about the music. That's all he cares about. And I've worked with a lot of people in this business and I've never seen or met anybody that would be motivated purely by that.

ML: Yeah, I could agree with that.

Richard: By the desire to make art. And you can say whatever you want about it because he's not going to defend himself, but he is that and that's for sure. You know, otherwise there would have been a reunion. Because the offers for money have been outrageous, he would never do a reunion unless it was for something besides money.

ML: Well, there has been talk that a reunion might happen in some point. But do you think-

Richard: There's been talk since I've been in the band [laughing].

ML: Yeah, I can imagine. Is the criticism that he's gotten over the last, well, 13 years that you've been [in the band], is it fair or is it just really people aren't being open minded enough?

Richard: Well, it depends on what they're criticizing. I think it frustrates fans with the lack of information that's given. It frustrates them with the lack of product. You know, the fact that they wanna buy albums and support the band and, you know, but they can't, you know?  And, you know, we do tour, we have toured a lot... I don't know. I don't know if it's justified or not.

ML: Yeah, and the tours have certainly gotten better in terms of, you know, when I saw you in Hartford, I think you showed up on stage at 11:45 or something like that and played to 3:00 in the morning.

Richard: Yeah, I remember that show.

ML: That was a tough one. But then after that most gigs I saw after that you were pretty much coming on at 10:20-10:30, and it wasn't so much an issue anymore, so.

Richard: Right, right. No, for the last few years, it's been very… It's not like a lot of bands, where it's like clockwork. It's different, and it's never gonna be that, because that's not who [Axl] is. But, man, you know, he's the real deal. He is the real deal. And he lives it, and, like I said, all he cares about is the music. For the longest time, when I first started with the band even, I thought it was by design. I thought, "He has this worked out." Because, you know, it's two hours after we're supposed to start, three hours… and people are… stadiums full of people just booing. And the second he'd walk out on stage, all that energy, all that… on the verge of chaos, of just imploding and everyone just rioting, right at that moment he walks out on stage, and all of that negative energy just goes totally up right into the palm of his hand. I mean, it's phenomenal to watch.

ML: It is.

Richard: And I thought it was by design. I thought that he had figured out some type of way to judge the moment, but it's not. [Laughs] It's not. That's just what he is. He's not gonna walk out on stage until he is… It's not like he's sitting back watching TV and eating potato chips. Man, he goes through a lot to walk out on stage.

ML: Yeah, a whole ritual.

Richard: Just everything… with being himself… to get into the right place within himself.

ML: I have heard that he, in the early days suffered from this incredible stage fright and it took everything he had to to get over it.

Richard: Yeah, yeah.

ML: I'll ask you one more GN'R. There was talk that the entire Appetite For Destruction album had been re-recorded by the new guys, the new band, to use for commercials and movies and all that, you know, not to put out. Is that true?

Richard: Now I know that they did some stuff. I think it was sort of, this was before I was in the band. And I think it was not for that reason. But to sort of get a read of where they were reading wise, sonically. And it was songs that everyone knew. I don't think it was with the intent of being able to relicense and not have to pay the old band.

ML: Yeah, well, you know, sometimes that's what you do-

Richard: Or to control the masters. And that happens. [?] for other bands where I've gone in and put stuff in., re-recorded stuff.

ML: Before I circle back to it to Dead Daisies and Jon Stevens, is there a Guns N' Roses band at the moment? I know Bumblefoot's gone off and and done solo stuff, you and Dizzy are doing this, Tommy is doing the Replacements-

Richard: Yeah, we're still doing GN'R and we're still [doing other projects on the side].

ML: OK. It's just that the timing was that everybody seemed to have announced within like a two week period all these different projects and it almost looked as though the glass fell to the floor.

Richard: We've been doing the Daisies stuff before… Actually, when we on tour in Australia, ZZ TOP was opening for us, and on GN'R's 'off' days, ZZ was doing their own shows, and on those days, the Dead Daisies were opening for ZZ TOP.

ML: Gotcha. So let's finish with this: Jon Stevens had a small part in in INXS out in Australia, which I'm assuming is while you're going to be recording in Australia to be closer to to his home base-

Richard: Well, David Lowy, the other guitar player, he's based in Australia, in Sydney, and that's where we're going to be there.

ML: Gotcha. Tell me a little bit about Jon in terms of a vocalist, over here we haven't really had a chance to to hear him like they have in Australia. You know, we didn't really get to see the INXS.... In fact, I don't think they came to America when Jon was... Just tell me how he is as a singer?

Richard: He is a phenomenal singer. I think he's probably one of the greatest voices in rock right now. As far as contemporary singers in that classic, you know, ballsy, bar room, you know, pub rock like AC/DC style. Just balls to the wall, rock and roll singing. I think there's not many people that can hold a candle to that guy.

ML: You know, when I saw you open for Leppard and Kiss, I was impressed. I thought, "But this is a really decent band, good band," and I'm looking forward to it and I certainly wish you well on the Cuban trip. I think that'll be a lot of fun.

Richard: Thank you. I'm really, really looking forward to that.

ML: Yeah, absolutely. Richard, this has been a great, great pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for your time.

Richard: Yes. Thank you for talking to me.

ML: Thank you, Richard. And hopefully we'll see the Dead Daisies in Montreal soon.

Richard: You will.

ML: Fantastic. Thank you.

Richard: OK. Take care. Bye.

ML: Bye now. There you have it, folks, my interview with Richard.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:42 am; edited 19 times in total
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2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard

Post by Soulmonster Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:09 pm

Some excertps, thanks to Mr. Miser at mygnrforum for transcribing:

On touring and new material:

"I don't think there's going to be any touring soon - we have been working on material- there's certainly starts and stops but we're still plugging away on it."

On Axl:

"I've never met someone who has so much genuine musical integrity. He won't himself out for business, he won't for money, it's just about the music. He won't defend himself in the press because he doesn't think it matters - it's just about the music. That's all he cares about. You know, I've worked with a lot of people in this business and I've never seen or met anybody who was motivated purely by that - by the desire to make art. And you can say whatever you want about him, because he's not going to defend himself, but he is that- and that's for sure."

On a reunion:

"Otherwise, there would've been a reunion, because the offers for money have been outrageous - he would never do a reunion unless it was for something besides money. There's been talks in passing man [about a reunion]."

On criticism of Axl:

"It depends on what they're criticizing. It frustrates fans with the lack of information given, it frustrates them with the lack of product, the fact that they wanna buy albums and support the band but they can't. You know we do tour, we have toured a lot...I don't if it it's justified or not."

On lateness:

"When I first joined the band I thought it was by design....It just takes Axl a long time to get in the right place, within himself."

On re-recorded AFD:

"This was before I was in the band...It was [done] to sort of get a read of where they were reading wise, sonically. I don't think it was with the intent of relicense and not have to pay the old band, or be able to control the masters."

Is there a Guns N' Roses

"Yeah, we're still here dude."
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2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Sat May 14, 2022 7:12 pm

Excerpts from Blabbermouth:
--------------------------------------

Guns N' Roses and The Dead Daisies guitarist Richard Fortus was interviewed by Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by Blabbermouth.net).

On whether there is truth to reports that Guns N' Roses has been working on new material and whether has any live shows coming up:

"I don't think there's gonna be any touring soon. We have been working on material. And that sort of starts and stops, but we're still plugging away at it."

On whether the long periods of GN'R inactivity are frustrating:

"Is it frustrating? You know, if I didn't have other things going on, it probably would be. But I've got other things that I focus on. I've been doing GN'R now for what?! 13, 14 years. It's the nature of what it is. I've never met anybody that has so much genuine musical integrity. He won't whore himself out, he won't do anything for business or money; it's just about the music. And he won't defend himself in the press, because he doesn't think it matters; it's just about the music — that's all he cares about. I've worked with a lot of people in this business, and I've never seen, or met, anybody that was motivated purely by that — by the desire to make art. And you can say whatever you want about it, 'cause he's not gonna defend himself, but he is that, and that's for sure. Otherwise, there would have been a reunion, because the offers for money have been outrageous. But he would never do a reunion unless it was for something besides money."

On whether fans' criticism of Guns N' Roses and Axl Rose is fair or if people are just not being open-minded enough:

"Well, it depends on what they're criticizing. I think it frustrates fans with the lack of information that's given, it frustrates them with the lack of product. The fact that they wanna buy albums, they wanna support the band, but they can't. And we do tour, we have toured a lot… I don't know… I don't know if it's justified or not."

On Guns N' Roses' reputation for stage tardiness:

"The last few years, it's been very… It's not like a lot of bands, where it's like clockwork. It's different, and it's never gonna be that, because that's not who [Axl] is. But, man, you know, he's the real deal. He is the real deal. And he lives it, and, like I said, all he cares about is the music. For the longest time, when I first started with the band even, I thought it was by design. I thought, 'He has this worked out.' 'Cause, you know, it's two hours after we're supposed to start, three hours… and people are… stadiums full of people just booing. And the second he'd walk out on stage, all that energy, all that… on the verge of chaos, of just imploding and everyone just rioting, right at that moment he walks out on stage, and all of that negative energy just goes totally up right into the palm of his hand. I mean, it's phenomenal to watch. And I thought it was by design; I thought that he had figured out some type of way to judge the moment, but it's not. [Laughs] It's not. It's just… That's just what he is. He's not gonna walk out on stage until he is… It's not like he's sitting back watching TV and eating potato chips. Man, he goes through a lot to walk out on stage. Just everything… with being himself… to get into the right place within himself."

On whether Guns N' Roses still exists as a band:

"We're still doing GN'R as well, and we're still [doing other projects on the side]. We've been doing the Daisies stuff before… Actually, when [Guns N' Roses was] on tour in Australia, ZZ TOP was opening for us, and on GN'R's 'off' days, ZZ was doing their own shows, and on those days, the Dead Daisies were opening for ZZ TOP."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-richard-fortus-on-axl-roses-stage-tardiness-he-goes-through-a-lot-to-walk-out-on-stage
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2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2015.02.16 - One On One with Mitch Lafon - Interview with Richard

Post by Soulmonster Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:42 am

Finished transcribing this.
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