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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

2021.03.11 - Rob's School of Music - Interview with Richard

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2021.03.11 - Rob's School of Music - Interview with Richard Empty 2021.03.11 - Rob's School of Music - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:51 am



Excerpts from Ultimate Guitar:
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Guitarist Richard Fortus Explains Struggle He Faced Joining Guns N' Roses, Recalls 'Pretty Complicated Stuff' in Thin Lizzy

During an appearance on Rob's School of Music, guitarist Richard Fortus looked back on joining Guns N' Roses back in 2002, while also touching on his 2011 stint as the live guitarist of Thin Lizzy.

Asked what his "process in having to learn all of that material" was upon getting the GN'R gig, Fortus replied (transcribed by UG):

"You know, I did a gig about nine-ten years ago, I did a tour with a band called Thin Lizzy - they were a huge influence on me.

"So for me to learn that stuff, and that's pretty complicated stuff - a lot of harmonies, and it's the nuances, much more nuanced. So learning, matching vibrato, because there are so many harmonies with Scott [Gorham], with the other guitar player.

"So matching his vibrato, I really spent a lot of time on that and shredded, every day. I'd sit, get my cup of coffee, lay down my notes.

"When I'm doing a gig like that, I don't like to write music out because then I find that I rely on it, so I force myself just to stick with the music or just listening with my ear and going over it and over it, and you just play it.

"Just like you do any songs, you sit and listen to, and you're really paying attention to the details, and then trying to figure out.

"Now, when I started with GN'R, it wasn't like it is now. Even though it was just 20 years ago, you didn't have the internet, every song from every band available with somebody sitting there showing you how to play it.

"A lot of times, just so you're aware, you want to watch six or seven different videos of those, because they all have different takes on it, and you'll think, 'You know what? That's not right.' I mean, I watch videos where people are doing my stuff, and I'm like, 'Wait a second, that's not right.'

"Everybody has their own take on it, so you listen to it as many times as you can. Now, if I'm learning something to get me in the ballpark, and then I just use my ear because nine times out of 10 it's a little bit off.

"And when I started with Guns, I sat down and really focused on the parts and listened, and if there were any live videos of the original band that I could see, I would watch as much I could.

"But you hear if somebody is doing something up on the seventh fret or if they're doing something down at the bottom of the neck because there are so many harmonic notes across the guitar where you have the same note in different places or the same chord in different voicings.

"When I'm learning songs, nine times out of 10 I'm always gonna go with whatever is the easiest because that's generally what they were doing originally.

"And you think, 'Man, how do they voice that and then switch here and pick this up.' And then you're like, 'Wait a second, they used a cable.' It's almost always easier than what you think it is initially.

"When you're in music school, everyone has to learn theory on piano because, as you said, it's literally black and white. Getting back to your question about learning when I was growing up, I started off by ear and then I started taking lessons, and I still do, I still take lessons.

"I still buy instructional things, even from my friends - when they put out something new, I'll buy it because I'm just constantly trying to, you know, I'm always looking for inspiration in any way.

"So I'm always still learning, and I still have a teacher that I go to occasionally. Through your musical journey, it's always, there's hills and plateaus and valleys, it's like any journey.

"And sometimes to get out of those plateaus to move up again, you need something to inspire you, you need somebody to open a door for you."

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

*

Richard Fortus Explains Why Modeling Amps Don't Work for Slash & Guns N' Roses, Talks What It's Like Playing Guitar With Rihanna

During a conversation with Rob's School of Music, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus talked about modeling amps, explaining why they don't work for the band.

When asked, "What is your opinion with modeling technology?", Richard replied (transcribed by UG):

"I use modeling technology every day. I've been using it for years, I've been using it since it first started with the Line 6 stuff.

"I did pop gigs where it was essential to be able to switch scene changes dramatically because if you're doing a pop gig, you're covering 20 different players.

"I toured with Rihanna, and Rihanna has a ton of different people producing, and playing, and writing her stuff. So in the course of a show, I'm covering 20 different guitar players and 20 different producers.

"So you've got to cover a really wide range of sonic territory. And so modeling amps are really useful because you can do complete scene changes.

"Slash and I both tried Kempers out in rehearsal at once, and it doesn't work for us. For what I do with GN'R, it doesn't work because we rely so much on our volume knobs on our guitars.

"So, in other words, I use a single-channel amp with Guns, and it's all about the volume knob. So if I want to clean the sound, I just roll my volume down. With the tube amp, it is clean and pretty sparkly.

"And Slash does the same thing. And there's always so many tones just within your volume control, and if you watch live videos where both of us are constantly on our volume knobs. Always just subtly adjusting things to get the exact sound that we want.

"Now, if I was in Muse or Metallica, and I was just to open, and I was either getting a really clean sound or a really dirty sound - a Kemper would work, Axe-Fx would work.

"But all subtleties and nuances are lost with that stuff. Joe Bonamassa uses it and gets by. But Muse can and it's still effective."

Elsewhere in the interview, Fortus talked about his former GN'R bandmate, guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, saying:

"Ron Bumblefoot can play anything... He does his thing, he doesn't have a palette to work from. He can play anything harmonically as far as with his fingers, he's capable of anything, there's nothing that guy can't play.

"But I think the reason I worked as much as I did as a session player was because I was able to speak that language, and I knew all the reference points, and I knew all the gear.

"And there are a million guys that can play what needs to be played. Nine times out of 10, man, really the stuff that you need to play is not going to be hard, it's not going to be complicated.

"Most of the stuff that sessions that you're playing, you're playing stuff that's boring. Not boring, it's stylized, you're doing what's essential, and it's not like super-flashy most times.

"And occasionally it's gonna happen if they're gonna say, 'Hey, do a solo here, just totally go for it!' And then you can be as flashy as you want to be.

"And as a session player, it's not about you. It's about the song, and it's about giving the producer what he wants."

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