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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!
SoulMonster

2021.01.30 - Tone-Talk - Interview with Richard

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2021.01.30 - Tone-Talk - Interview with Richard Empty 2021.01.30 - Tone-Talk - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:31 pm



Excerpt from Blabbermouth:
-----------------------------------

JOHN SYKES Auditioned For GUNS N' ROSES In 2009: 'It Was Incredible,' Says RICHARD FORTUS

GUNS N' ROSES' Richard Fortus has confirmed that the legendary John Sykes (THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE) auditioned for the then-vacant guitarist slot in GN'R more than a decade ago. "That was when D.J. [Ashba] came in [back in 2009]," Fortus told Tone-Talk in a new interview. "We auditioned a bunch of people, and John Sykes was incredible.

"I remember Tommy Stinson [then-GUNS N' ROSES bassist] came in, and we walked into rehearsals, and we see John there," Richard recalled. "Tommy turns around to the tour manager, and he goes, 'Man, send him home. Why are we doing this? Axl's [Rose, GN'R singer] not gonna go for this.' And [the tour manager] is, like, 'It's John Sykes, man. He learned the songs. The least you can do is listen to him.' So Tommy was, like, 'All right. Fine.' So we go in the room, and within two minutes, Tommy is looking over at me, like, 'Oh my God!' I mean, it was incredible — incredible. And he just plugged straight into the amp, and just killed it. His tone was incredible. Our jaws were on the ground, for sure."

As for why Sykes ended up not getting the gig, Fortus said: "John's reputation does precede him. But I personally got along great with him, and I kept in contact with him. Actually, I kept in contact with him pretty regularly until I got the THIN LIZZY gig [as a touring guitarist in 2011], and then he didn't call me anymore. [Laughs] But I thought he was great."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/john-sykes-auditioned-for-guns-n-roses-in-2009-it-was-incredible-says-richard-fortus/
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2021.01.30 - Tone-Talk - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2021.01.30 - Tone-Talk - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:55 pm

More excerpts (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
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During an appearance on Tone Talk, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus talked about the band's current state, Slash, Angus Young, Thin Lizzy, and more.

When the interviewer said, "I haven't seen you live with the band. Do you take any solos, or are you mostly playing Izzy's [Stradlin] stuff?", Fortus replied (transcribed by UG):

"Yeah, I do get to play solos. Slash has been very generous, it's a lot of fun playing with him, and he is very gracious."

The guitarist also touched on AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, saying:

"I was shocked when Angus Young came and sat with us a few times, and his amps are not gainy at all! All that sustain is just volume and his fingers. It's incredible."

Like a Plexi not turned up all the way.

"Right. I never crank my Plexis, not all the way up."

We have a question for Richard from a fan. 'Richard, what tips do you have for learning songs, what's your process? And an example of GN'R would be great. And what was the hardest GN'R song for you to learn?'

"Some of the [2008's] 'Chinese Democracy' stuff is pretty complex. And there's a lot going on tonally that I got to cover - a lot of different effects, there's so much stuff in my rig that is just for that stuff.

"All the 'Appetite [for Destruction]' stuff and most of the '[Use Your] Illusion' stuff I just need an amp. But all the effects that I have to carry to replicate all the 'Chinese Democracy' stuff...

"But as far as learning songs, you get into that zone where you sit down and go, 'OK, I'm gonna learn one song, and I'm gonna play through the old ones that I know.' You just sit down and figure out how to make it. Now it's easy, but when we were kids, you had to lift the needle off and put it back, and you would slow it down.

"Now the tools are just insane, a lot of times, open YouTube and look for the videos. A lot of times they are wrong, but it gets you to a starting point. And sometimes people would pick up on something that I didn't. There are so many tools out there now. It must be hard learning now as a kid, there is just so much at your fingertips so you got to be really focused.

"You remember when we were kids, you would get a record or an instructional book, and Hot Licks tapes and Star Licks... You live that! Now, just anything you want is all available at your fingertips, it's incredible. It's hard for me to focus, I'm constantly going, 'Oh, man, I want to learn how to do this and that...'

"It's an incredible asset to be able to just sit down in front of YouTube and go down those wormholes. But for me learning songs is a matter of doing it over and over. If I'm going to do a live gig with Guns or with whoever, I'm not gonna sit down and chart it out because then I rely on that. And I can't do that.

"When I'm going to make a record at a studio, I'll try the stuff out, because I can sit there and read it. But live, if I chart it out first, I'll rely on it. I guess I have two sides of my brain, I just can't do that, I have to sit and memorize right from the beginning. But really, for me, learning a song is mainly listening to it over and over because if you knew it in your head, the rest is easy."

Were you guys doing a lot of 'Chinese Democracy' songs live?

"They change all the time. Since Slash has been back, we played it, probably seven or eight songs from that album. We don't do them all in one night. We don't actually have a setlist, Axl [Rose] just calls stuff out a lot of the time."

Better be ready, you gotta know them.

"Yeah, we do a lot of rehearsing."

Is Axl with you guys?

"Not always. Most of the time it is just us going over the songs. Slash just loves to play, which I'm totally cool with. It's great to rehearse so much that you don't have to think on stage, and I think he does that since always.

"And I totally concur with that, I don't want to think about what's coming up next, you just want it to flow, to be in a moment and not to think about anything."

Are you classically trained, musically?

"Yeah, I grew up playing the violin and cello all throughout school. That still serves me well, I still play when I'm doing stuff like that.

"But I'm doing mostly scoring on the computer, working with different libraries, orchestrating that way which is very time-consuming because every instrument has 40-50 different articulations for every section. So, it's time-consuming, but it's fun, I enjoy it."

If we can go back in time, tell us more about your career because I was reading you played with Psychedelic Furs. Can you tell us from when you were a child and started playing the guitar?

"My first band, we supported the Furs on their tour; we had an album on Atlantic, the band called Pale Divine. And after the tour I ended up joining them, then I ended up doing a couple of albums with a new band called Love Spit Love, and I was living in New York, doing sessions, and playing with lots of people.

"And eventually got the call from Guns. I was on a tour in Europe with Enrique, I think we did three nights at Royal Albert Hall, and we had two days off, so I flew back to LA to do the audition for Guns."

Did you play with Enrique Inglesias?

"This was back when he was huge at the time."

You were in The Dead Daisies too?

"Yeah, I did The Dead Daisies, I did Thin Lizzy for a while, but I did those two after I was already in Guns, just on downtime. Thin Lizzy was definitely one of the highlights of my career just because I grew up on those guys.

"To me, [the 1978 live album] 'Live and Dangerous' is where I developed my ideals of the guitar with the perfect rock guitar tone was from that record.

"I remember telling that to Scott [Gorham, guitar] and he said, 'I hate to burst your bubble, kid, we just had the amps we could afford. We couldn't afford the new Marshalls, we had the older ones."

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/gnrs_richard_fortus_talks_how_slash_feels_about_him_playing_lead_parts_explains_what_shocked_him_about_acdcs_angus_young.html
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