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2005.06.22/30 - Sp1at - Interview with Richard

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2005.06.22/30 - Sp1at - Interview with Richard Empty 2005.06.22/30 - Sp1at - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar on Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:50 am

Interview with Richard Fortus

22 June 2005

How are you?

I am very well, thank you. I am preparing to be become a father in November.

What have you been up to recently?

I've been doing a lot of tv ads, movie scores, record sessions and video game scores over the last year.

How is the Nena tour going?

The Nena tour is great. The record that i did with her has just gone platinum in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

How did you hook up with Nena?

I started working with her after her drummer/MD (Van Romaine), reccomended me. I had known a few different players from NY that had worked with her in the past (Andy Hess from the Black Crows and Gov't Mule, Tony Bruno from Joan Jett, etc.), and they all had great things to say about her. She is the real deal. She has that ability to captivate a stadium full of people and have them all in the palm of her hand. She's an amazing talent and a real joy to work with.

Tell me about Pisser.

A few years back, i was in a band called Honky Toast with some of my closest friends in NYC. It was just a fun band that would play when we were all in town at the same time. We were just having fun with it and we played a few shows. Before we knew it, there were all these A&R; guys coming to the shows and a huge bidding war started. It was a great band, but didn't really happen for a variety of reasons. Pisser is the same singer and the same drummer from Honky Toast. It is just a fun, kick-ass, rock band. The same type of thing is starting to happen again though. We'll see what happens.

What is your status with GN'R?

I'm still a member of Guns n' Roses and I still consider that my main band.

What is the current guitarist situation in GN'R?

At the moment, Robin Finck and I are the only guitarists in the band. We switch off between lead and rhythm.

What is the latest news on Guns forthcoming album, 'Chinese Democracy'?

Axl is still finishing up vocals on the record and I've heard rumours that it will be released before the end of the year. Only time will tell.


Interview with Richard Fortus - Part II

30 June 2005

Speaking about musical instruments, how many guitars do you own?

I guess I own about 100 guitars

What is your favorite guitar?

I don't really have a favorite, but if I had to pick one electric guitar, I guess it would be one of my Les Paul Signatures. They were made in '73 and were only made for a short time. Nothing else sounds like them. I have 2 and they are both gold tops.

What is your most recent purchase?

My most recently purchased guitar, is a '60 Kay, black Les Paul-type of thing. I am setting it up for slide. It's sort of like a Jimmy Reed model.

What gear are you using for your current tour with Nena?

With Nena, I am using a guitar that First Act guitars built for me. It's based on the aforementioned Les Paul Signature. However, it looks more like a Black Falcon. The strings go through the body like a tele. It is mostly solid, with tone chambers. Very heavy, but sounds amazing. The electronics are based on a Signature. Looks like a 60's pawn shop guitar, but plays and sounds amazing. For amps, I am using a Cornford Hellcat. It's a class A, 50 watt head. Cornford's are the best amps in the world. I am also using a Mosferatu overdrive and a zen drive (both from Hermida electronics), and a Hiwatt tape echo. The Hiwatt is a new tape echo, I actually am using 2 different ones with Nena. Nothing beats a real tape echo, and the cool thing about the Hiwatt is that the heads disengage when there is no signal being passed through the unit. So, you save tape and heads from wearing out. Also, it has a vco pedal that will sweep the speed of the delay (ala Tommy Bolin), and it has 2 separate play heads for 2 different times like a Space Echo. Really cool box! Plus it sounds great. I'm also using a Sex Drive and a Foxx fuzz. I also recently switched to Rotosound strings from the UK. They are amazing. Great tone and very dependable.

What gear will you use with Guns n' Roses?

With Guns, I will be using assorted guitars (mostly First Act and Gibson). I will also be using the Cornford 100 watt stacks. I will also be using the Hermida pedals and the Sex Drive, as well as the Hiwatt tape echoes.

How long have you been playing guitar?

I've been playing guitar since i was about 12 or 13.

Who are your heroes?

I grew up listening to Robert Fripp, Snakefinger, Adrian Belew, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Peter Green, Steve Howe, Brian May, Buddy Guy, Albert and BB King, God, i could go on forever.

How did you discover the Jellifish tool, and what are your thoughts on it?

I think that I read something about the Jellifish and ordered one on-line. I'm always looking for new sounds, the Jellifish blew my mind. It's an amazing tool. Very simple, but so effective. There are so many different effects you can create with it. I immediately ordered about 20 to give to my guitarist friends. Some people totally get it and some don't. You have to work with it and be creative with it. It takes some getting used to, but it's well worth the effort for me. It's not for your average guitar guy, looking to play rock or blues. It's a very gentle, subtle tool, that is more for creating textures and uncommon tones. I love it for creating zither-ish type sounds on accoustic. If you strike close to the bridge, it gives you a very thin, chimey sound. Great for arpegiated single not lines. Or, you can play very straight, whole-note chords towards the neck for more textural/ambient sounds. I've used the Jellifish with a Godin Glissentar and with smaller octave guitars. It's ideal for more cinematic music.

Have you recorded with it?

I've used it on a number of film scores, video game scores and commercials and tv themes, as well as records.

Have you incorporated the Jellifish into the GN'R sound?

I didn't use it on the Chinese Democracy record, as most of my parts were done by the time I discovered the Jellifish.

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