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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

2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

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2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard Empty 2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Tue May 30, 2023 2:52 pm






Transcript:


Guy "Favazz" Favazza: Def Leppard, KSHE 95 Real Rock Radio. And I honestly didn't think that this man would be in the studio again with me, just for whatever reason. Because he's always, you know, playing rock star all over the world. And he's with Guns N' Roses, and he's from St. Louis, Richard Fortus.

Richard: Hello.

Favazz: How are you?

Richard: I'm good. I'm cold.

Favazz: Yeah, you rode a motorcycle in [laughs] That's nuts.

Richard: Man, I've been gone for so long, I've been looking for a day when I could run, [?] few days like, "Is this good enough?"

Favazz: "Suns out?"

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: Except it's been around 40 degrees. That's the only thing. So the last time I had you in here, do you remember?

Richard: It was with Michael?

Favazz: Yeah, for Pale Divine.

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: Now I still get people asking me, will there ever be another Pale Divine reunion?

Richard: People ask you that too?

Favazz: They do. I swear to God. I know they're asking you-

Richard: They do-

Favazz: -on Facebook.

Richard: Man, we would love to do it. You know, Michael and I are together a lot. We speak all the time and I would love to do it. It's just a matter of figuring out schedules, you know.

Favazz: [?] like crazy.

Richard: Yeah. We like to do it near the end of the year, but then your boys in-

Favazz: El Monstera.

Richard: El Monstera take up all those those days.

[laughs]

Favazz: Yes, they do.

Richard: But yeah, and, you know, that's usually the one time when I'm home, is this time, you know.

Favazz: Right.

Richard: December, the end of December. Usually I'm lucky I get to be home for the whole month.

Favazz: That's good. Now for those that don't know, because there are those that don't, Richard, were you born in St. Louis?

Richard: I was, born and raised.

Favazz: Where at?

Richard: I was born and raised in, like, between Chesterfield and Creve Core.

Favazz: So where'd you go to high school?

Richard: I went to high school, visual performing arts, downtown, which is how I know Michael.

Favzzz: Ah-ha, OK.

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: So then was it you and Michael who started The Eyes?

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: That transformed into Pale Divine?

Richard: Exactly.

Favazz: So Richard's a guy that used to play on The Landing all the time at Kennedys-

Richard: Yeah, I was playing at Kennedys the night that the big GN'R riot happened.

Favazz: Who would have thought that all these years later?

Richard: Yeah, and I've been with them for 15 years now.

Favazz: That's crazy. You have to be, other than Axl, the longest tenured person?

Richard: Next to Dizzy.

Favazz: Oh, next to Dizzy. OK. Wow.

Richard: Dizzy's been there.... Yeah.

Favazz: Oh, crazy. Alright, so wait a minute, before you got to Guns N' Roses, though, you played with a lot of different people. How did you break out of St.  Louis?

Richard: Well, you know The Eyes/Pale Divine signed to Atlantic Records and then we did an album and a tour, and we supported the Psychedelic Furs. And then after that tour they, well, I actually started playing with those guys. With The Psychedelic Furs and then moved to New York. And, you know, from there, I just started doing session work and stuff like that, and then getting calls for other bands.

Favazz: That's how it starts really.

Richard: Yeah, yeah.

Favazz: And you got to play with Rihanna.

Richard: I did do a tour with Rihanna, yeah.

Favazz: What was that like?

Richard: She was great. I played with her and Chris Brown when that whole thing went down, I was in the band at that time.

Favazz: Wow.

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: Were you gonna be at the Grammys that night?

Richard: Yeah, I was. We did sound check, man, we did the run through the night before, did sound check, she was at the run through the night before. Then we came, showed up and did the sound check and she didn't show up. And they're like, "Well, you know, she was in a car accident, but she's OK." It wasn't actually a car accident, it was an accident in the car.

Favazz: Yeah. Well, we can say it because it was, you know, in court and everything. He beat her up. And got a lot of trouble for it, as he should.

Richard: You know what? They were kids. I'm not making any excuses for him at all. I mean, there is nothing tough about that guy whatsoever. Sort of like geeky little kid, you know. At that time he was 20 years old. And you know, all this money and fame and stuff.

Favazz: Yeah, that'll do it. That'll do it. Alright, so, just tell me, how did you get into Guns N' Roses and what was the first time like that you met Axl? How did you get that day?

Richard: I was actually on tour with, believe it or not, Enrique Iglesias.

Favazz: Really?

Richard: So I was in Europe with Enrique Iglesias, I was in the middle of a tour. I got a call... Tommy Stinson was a friend of mine. Brain was a friend... or actually, at that time I think, was it Josh Freese? Anyways, I'd played with those guys and worked with them doing studio work and they had called and said, "Hey, would you be interested in auditioning?" I said, "Sure." And so I found a three day window or two and a half... Yeah, I guess it was like three days and after I finished our last show at the Albert Hall I had a car waiting, went straight to the airport, flew to LA, did the audition, went straight, you know, straight-

Favazz: And who's at the audition?

Richard: Everybody in the band.

Favazz: Including Axl?

Richard: Yeah. So then I hung out with Axl all night talking, listening to music in his car and stuff like that, and had to go back to Europe to finish the tour.

Favazz: Wow. So when did you get the call? How long did it take before they decided and said, "You're the one"?

Richard: He pretty much told me that night.

Favazz: Did he?

Richard: Yeah. We spoke about it and he said, "Well, we're going to start rehearsals in two weeks," and I say, "I can't start in two weeks, I'm in the middle of the tour," and he looked at me like, "Are you kidding me? I'm offering you and you're not going to." And he thought about it for a second, "You know what? We'll wait for you because I know you won't do it to me." And you know, Axl's always been great with me. We've always had a great relationship and he's always been a solid dude.

Favazz: It's good to hear.

Richard: I know that he has a sordid history with St. Louis, but-

Favazz: We'll get to that.

Richard: -he's always been good to me, so we've always gotten along.

Favazz: Richard Fortus is here, Richard is rhythm guitarist [coughs]. Excuse me, in Guns N' Roses. And we announced the date today, July 27th, 2017, and they go on sale this Saturday. And all the details are KSHE 95. So Richard's picking out the tunes. We'll do a couple Thin Lizzies, right?

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: And what's your history with Thin Lizzy?

Richard: Yeah, I also was in Thin Lizzie. [?] cool.

[laughs]

Favazz: All right. Here it is. It's KSHE 95. Richard Fortus is here. [cut music]

Favazz: Thin Lizzie, KSHE 95, Real Rock Radio in the studio with rhythm guitarist from Guns N' Roses, Richard Fortus from St. Louis. Hello Rich.

Richard: Hello.

Favazz: So Thin Lizzy, you were in that band. How many bands? Technically, do you count it if you tour with somebody that you're in that band, I guess?

Richard: Sure, I do.

Favazz: OK. So how many do you think you've done?

Richard: Ah, 327.

Favazz: Really?

Richard: No, I don't know.

Favazz: That's about as many as Jimmy Griffin.

Richard: Yeah, exactly! But he's actually currently a member of over 320.

Favazz: That's true, he is. But how many do you think, over 100?

Richard: No. Oh God no, that I've toured with? No, not that many. Nah, not that popular.

Favazz: So Richard has a couple daughters that are 8 and 11, soon to be 9. And you were just telling me that, you know, now that they realize that dad's got a cool gig, they go out on tour with you sometimes.

Richard: Yeah. This last summer they came out for the first time for a couple weeks. And it was great. It's really great to have them out.

Favazz: Do you have enough time, I guess, when you're out on tour with Guns to take them to see sightseeing stuff?

Richard: Yeah, yeah. Touring with GN'R's super easy because when you're playing stadiums you have to have a few days in between. So we only play three to four shows a week. You know, and usually three shows a week. So that gives us, you know, plenty of time off. So yeah, and they love being at the venues. Their biggest thrill I think was the go karts backstage or the golf carts backstage, you know, they love that.

Favazz: That's awesome. Alright, so getting back to your story, this is about 2001-ish that you auditioned for Guns N' Roses and Axl said, "We'll wait for you," which was huge, I think, that he said that. Did you start touring right away or, yeah because Chinese Democracy didn't come out for a while.

Richard: That's right.  got the gig, I went back, finished the Enrique tour. Actually, on my way back to the UK to finish that tour I was sitting at the at LAX and this guy comes up to me and he says, "Excuse me sir, are you who I think you are?" And of course I said, "Probably not." And he said, "You're not Izzy Stradlin?" And it was the most biz... Nobody had ever said that to me before. And I looked around like, is this a joke? And I said, "No, I'm not, but I think I just took his gig."

Favazz: That's great.

Richard: And he just sort of looked at me like, "Yeah, thanks-"

Favazz: I can see that though. Yeah. I mean, from, you know, if you're not really up close and paying attention.

Richard: Yeah. I don't know. But yeah, it was just a funny thing that happened.

Favazz: Alright. So what year did Chinese Democracy come out? Do you remember?

Richard: No [laughs]. 2008?

Favazz: Where's that damn album? Oh, I need more light.

Richard: It was like 2008.

Favazz: And so all that time you're touring and stuff. And I know I talked to you during that time. And we were, you know, we talked about, "Man, it would be great if the band played St. Louis," and stuff like that. And even during that period, Axl kind of wanted to do it.

Richard: He wanted to, yeah, yeah.

Favazz: He did?

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: Well, why didn't that ever happen?

Richard: There's always different reasons. St. Louis is tough as far as routing and how, you know, you can't do-

Favazz: But we're in the middle of the country? People pass through and go that way.

Richard: Yeah. You have a lot of people don't play here. You know, it's sort of become a tertiary market, so-

Favazz: For the big bands, I would say.

Richard: Yeeeah.

Favazz: We still get good shows.

Richard: Yeah, but a lot of times they're during the week. Whereas like, you know, Chicago is gonna give the shows on the weekend. You know what I mean?

Favazz: Is that what happened last year?

Richard: That is what happened last year. Yeah. You know, when when I spoke to you last on the phone, they announced it for one day, right? It was in the video....man, that was so bad, but basically, and everyone thought it was an April Fools joke, because we we really wanted to do it. We couldn't work it out routing wise. And they kept adding shows to sort of, like, Chicago got two shows which moved our St. Louis show, and we weren't able to get the venue. We weren't able to get one of the stadiums-

Favazz: And it was going to be the [?] last year?

Richard: I think it was [?] I think it was gonna be Bush but we couldn't get it.

Favazz: That would be cool.

Richard: We needed it. Yeah.

Favazz: So alright, so that's the reason last year.

Richard: Yeah, that was last year.

Favazz: Right. Now, what's the probability that this year's 2017 show will happen?

Richard: Oh, it's announced! We haven't missed any shows.

Favazz: That's the thing. It's been really weird. Why is there no drama with his tour?

Richard: There's no drama.

Favazz: Now, I said before, I know Slash and Axl and Duff. They're the ones making the giant money-

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: -of this tour. So is that the motivating factor? Is that why Axl is showing up? Is that why you guys are going on time?

Richard: No. We've been going on with... Axl has been going on on time for years before that.

Favazz: Really? Yeah, that's the thing we always heard was that he was always late.

Richard: Because there was a time when a lot of shows were late.

[laughs]

Richard: But no, it's been great. And is that the motivating factor for him? Absolutely not. It's not. I've never seen that guy motivated by money as long as I've known him. And otherwise this reunion would have happened a long time ago.

Favazz: Now, did you know Slash before this reunion started?

Richard: No, uh-uh.

Favazz: So you didn't? Slash just got divorced. And it's an ugly divorce.

Richard: I know.

Favazz: And he's going to need the money for sure.

Richard: I don't know. Honestly, I don't think that was a motivating factor for anybody other than the stars just seem to align, that we didn't have a bass player, we didn't have a guitar player. That's how it sort of happened.

Favazz: So did the Axl swallow his pride and go, "Maybe I should call Slash"?

Richard: No. I think, you know, Slash have been trying to get hold of him for a while and they sat down and, you know, Axl was like, "OK, let's just talk it through." And they sat down privately, went through their laundry list of issues and were able to put it behind them.

Favazz: And here we are.

Richard: And here we are. And it's been really great. It's been incredible, actually.

Favazz: But is it one of those vibes where, like in Van Halen, nobody wants to talk to Dave?

Richard: No, it's not like that.

Favazz: So everybody talks to one another?

Richard: Everybody... Man, we communicate all the time. You know, between Slash, Duff, Axl and myself, you know, every night there's text going back and forth. After, you know, once we're back in our hotel rooms and, you know, we hang out, we all travel together on the same plane-

Favazz: So what does Slash think of you when he met you? Because you've been in the band a long time?

Richard: I had actually been asked to join Slash's band awhile ago, actually, at a Thin Lizzy show. We were playing a festival and his manager came up to me and said, "Man, we'd love to steal you." Yeah, I can't do that, I couldn't do that to my friend, you know? That would be such a slap in the face, you know?

Favazz: So you met him then?

Richard: I hadn't met him. He was there, but I hadn't met him.

Favazz: So what did you guys think of one another when you finally did, like, "We're gonna do this"?

Richard: We just we clicked really quick.

Favazz: You have to because you're playing rhythm and he's playing lead.

Richard: It was a trial period, you know. We were checking it out and if this is gonna work, you know? Duff and I played together before and it really clicked, quickly and easily. So we have a great report. We come from this very similar background, you know, as far as the classic rock and the punk rock stuff.

Favazz: Right on. We're talking to Richard Fortus of Guns N' Roses and we're gonna play a song now that you have songwriting credits for from Chinese Democracy. And it's called Better. You wrote the chorus. You remember that whole thing? I mean, how did you get, you know, songwriting credits-

Richard: You know, most of these, in fact almost every song on this album would done before I came into the band. And there was one section that he was like, "Hey, do you have anything for this?" And that just happened.

Favazz: And you did it.

Richard: Yeah. Yeah.

Favazz: Here it is. It's Better. Richard Fortus, Guns N' Roses. It's KSHE 95.

[cut to music]

Favazz: That's Problem Child from AC/DC. It's KSHE 95, requested by Richard Fortus of Guns N' Roses, who is here in the studio with me. And Richard is here because we announced Guns N' Roses this morning at 4:00. o'clock in the freaking morning. Because that's the way the band wanted it done. July 27th at the Edward Jones Dome. It will be the first date on - Is that the last leg of the tour for 2017 or will there be others?

Richard: Well, I can't-

Favazz: You can't say yet?

Richard: I can't say.

Favazz: Well, I do know that that tour, that stint, ends on September 8th.

Richard: That's right.

Favazz: I do know that.

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: But it will be the first.... because you guys are going to be coming from Europe.

Richard: Right. It's the first of that US leg. It's the first show of that leg.

Favazz: And tickets go on sale this coming Saturday. All the details kshe95.com, we'll get to it in a second but we were talking about AC/DC and here we are. I completely forgot that Axl did AC/DC and went, you know, went out on tour with them and even you said it was incredible.

Richard: It was incredible. I was absolutely blown away. I would fly up to Detroit to see it. Absolutely devastatingly good. Yeah, he really killed it.

Favazz: And you couldn't believe that he was gonna go audition.

Richard: You know, he texted me, he said, "Hey, I haven't told anybody yet, but I'm going to go audition." Well, he didn't say audition, "I'm going to go play with AC/DC, see how it goes." And I was thinking to myself, "Man, that's tough, I don't know, man, that's a tough one." And then everybody got back to me, that we went to the audition and saw it, and said he was just amazing. And when I saw it, I was blown away.

Favazz: Now, what's going to happen with that band, though? Because Angus says that he would like to make new music and have Axl's as singer.

Richard: Yeah, I know that Angus does wanna do that. I don't know. I don't know. Because, you know, Cliff is out, so that-

Favazz: Everybody's out!

Richard: Yeah. It just-

Favazz: -leaves Angus.

Richard: Yeah. yeah, so I don't know. I mean, I was in a band like that.

[laughs]

Favazz: Yes, you were.

Richard: Yeah. So I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen and they're still feeling it out I think.

Favazz: OK alright. So the Dome here in St. Louis.

Richard: I've never been in it.

Favazz: You know, I was at a few football games. I did, you know, Monster Jam I think in there. They'll set it up to where it's a 45,000 capacity, I believe.

Richard: OK. Because I know it holds 66 cat [?].

Favazz: Yeah, yeah, I mean it's a football stadium. But I think the way that you set it up and everything it'll be 45. What does Axl think about coming back here to St. Louis and performing? Because Slash and Duff, they've been through many times, especially Slash, but I remember I sat on [?], I sat on a couch between Slash and Duff at the Pageant when Velvet Revolver played their opening night anywhere, it was here. And I remember Duff saying that he couldn't believe how nice everybody was here and that he was kind of hesitant at first because he didn't know how they were going to react to him. But you know, everybody, you know, loves those guys but does Axl have any trepidation at all?

Richard: I'm sure he does. But he wants to do. I know it's been very important for him, and that's why it's first, you know. We were trying to make it the last show-

Favazz: Tell everybody that story.

Richard: Yeah we were trying to make it the last show of the last tour and it just, it didn't work out. There's no way... Axl wanted that to happen but it doesn't make sense financially. It's a huge mistake for us because we have to, you'd have to ship everything from the West Coast, where we're ending all the way back and get everyone out. It's just difficult, you know, it wasn't good routing and as much as he wanted to do it. So that was part of why we either knew, we were going to do this, was St. Louis was going to be the first show or the last show.

Favazz: And then over the weekend he still was undecided.

Richard: It wasn't just him. They were trying to work out the logistics to make that happen cause it's not the place to start a tour or end a tour usually, you know, you usually start out one coast to the other and so, you know, they were trying to talk him out of it. But this is, you know, it was important that this be the first or last.

Favazz: You know, I think it, as far as you know, I was at the riot show, I will be at this show. I can't wait to hear what he says, what he talks about, you know?

Richard: Me too.

Favazz: [laughs] I mean, everybody changes. You know, it's 25 years. It'll be 26 years by the time the show hits. And yeah, everybody's different. And some people are still harboring these, you know, ill feelings toward Axl. But just like he didn't do anything personal to you, unless you were actually hurt at the venue or something, then maybe I could see-

Richard: You know what, I've met people that were hurt. I've met people that lost their jobs because of that, you know, there's, I get it, you know, but.... Yeah, he's definitely a different person. It was so long time ago.

Favzz: And have you interview.. Want to show him something? Just don't go to the show, basically. Don't spend your money on it. It's time to get over it.

Richard: It's a pretty killer show.

Favazz: I mean, I've seen tons of videos and it's amazing.

Richard: It's definitely unlike anything I've ever been involved with.

Favazz: Two hours show? Two and a half?

Richard: Three hours show.

Favazz: Three hours.

Richard: Yeah.

Favazz: Wow. So is there anything from Chinese Democracy?

Richard: Yeah, a few. It depends. Every night's different. So some nights we'll throw in more or less, but yeah, we always play at least a couple. Chinese Democracy and Better off that album like get played every night. And This I Love actually. So three songs every night. And then there's, you know, sometimes we'll do, there's about four other songs from that album that we'll do.

Favazz: Now as showtime gets closer are anybody in the band gonna be worried about security or or anything like that, do you think? It's a valid concern on your part.

Richard: It is a valid concern anywhere we go in the world.

Favazz: You were just telling me about Brazil.

Richard: We're... yeah. Yeah. Well that's security for a different reason. But, you know, with this band it's such an American band that it's sort of a target for terrorism or anything like that. And you wanna hit a large group of people, you know what I mean? So it's it's always something that is in the back of our minds, but you can't live your life in fear, you know? So I think playing St. Louis would fall into that category.

Favazz: Richard just turned 50 and he was in Brazil and apparently the crowd serenaded you.

Richard: Well, Axl had everybody sing Happy Birthday to me. So that was nice, you know, 40,000 of my closest Brazilian friends.

Favazz: Nice. Will there ever be new music? Because to me this whole thing is great. And you know, I said before Axl and Duff and Slash are making the big, big money, but it would just seem like everything would come around full circle if new music was created.

Richard: We are messing with ideas every day. I mean, every day we do at least an hour sound check and we'll play through different ideas, like new ideas. Put stuff down on tape. Yeah, yeah.

Favazz: Wouldn't that be crazy?

Richard: It's really organic and it happens. You know, same in rehearsals, we are always putting down different ideas and getting stuff together and getting ready for that. Yeah.

Favazz: Alright, Guns N' Roses is here once again. The tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10. They're playing the Dome on July 27th, it will be the first date of that American run and we can't wait. So you can hang for a little bit more.

Richard: Yeah sure?

Favazz: Alright. Richard wanted to hear some Free, so we'll do some Wishing Well. Why? Why Free?

Richard: Paul Kosoff. Greatest guitar player ever.

Favazz: Right. Here it is. It's KSHE 95. [cut to music]

Favazz: Wishing Well from Free. It's KSHE 95, and you say that without Paul Kossoff that Angus Young wouldn't have his tone.

Richard: They have very similar vibrato, very similar.

Favazz: Now I want to listen to it differently.

Richard: Never spoken to Angus about it, but.

Favazz: What a tone he has for a guitar player.

Richard: He's great.

Favazz: Crazy. Richard Fortus is here from Guns N' Roses, the show, July 27th at the Edward Jones Dome. It's gonna happen.

Richard: It's gonna happen.

Favazz: And we're giving tickets away this Friday for free, ticket Friday. So once an hour from 6A to 6P.

Richard: Oh wow!

Favazz: Got a pair of tickets.

Richard: I am going to call because-

Favazz: You're gonna need all the tickets you can get. How many people do you think you're going to have to take care of for that show?

Richard: Oh God, you know, I actually talked to the band and management about it already, explained that I'm going to need to buy like a section.

Favazz: I've already had a couple of people ask me.

Richard: You know, it's Live Nation though and they don't give tickets away.

Favazz: You hear that, Dave Girardi?

Richard: With as much as they have put into this, and are paying some of us, they're... And also when you get three principal members like that and then well, who gets what and [?] the beginning of the tour, [?] everybody pays for their own tickets. Unfortunately for me and the little people.

Favazz: How many requests do you think you will get? A couple 100?

Richard: Yeah. Yeah.

Favazz: Easily.

Richard: I'm seriously thinking about buying, or having them set aside, at least 100 for me.

Favazz: You should.

Richard: That's what Duff did in Seattle when we played Seattle. And he had to buy them. Yeah.

Favazz: You can afford it.

Richard: Yeah. Right.

Favazz: So, man, thanks for coming in today.

Richard: Yeah, man, it's always good to talk to you.

Favazz: You know, it's funny. This whole thing started when I texted Richard Friday and I said, "I know a secret that you know." And you're like, "Who told you?" And of course we're talking about the Guns N' Roses date, and that just led to this and that and that. And you're like-

Richard: That's what you were talking about. I thought you knew I was getting married.

Favazz: No! And Richard is getting married, this coming Saturday. No, I did not know that.

Richard: Yeah. Like, "Who told you?"

Favazz: And then he was like, "Well, I'll just, you know, I'll come on your show." I was like, "Really? OK." I didn't even realize you were in town. I mean, I knew the tour was over.

Richard: You texted me like the day I got back.

Favazz: Yeah, it was Friday.

Richard: You didn't know it?

Favazz: Well, I knew. I knew that Rio was the last stop in Brazil.

Richard: No, Mexico City. Mexico City.

Favazz: Oh, Mexico City was. That's right. And so, you know, I figured you had stuff to do.

Richard: Yeah, I always have stuff to do. This is one of my stuff.

Favazz: All right, good. Well, maybe when July rolls around, you'll be able to come back.

Richard: No, there's no way, I'm busy.

[laughs]

Favazz: We're going to go out with Mr. Brownstone. Is that a song that's played just about every night?

Richard: Every night. As long as I've been in the band that song gets played every night.

Favazz: And like you said, Axl and Duff and Slash, who else is in the band?

Richard: Frank Ferrer, who played with me. He's the drummer. He played with me in Love Spit Love, Psychedelic Furs, a band called Hunky Toast, that was on Epic, Nena, like 99 luft balloons. What else have we done together? I bring him in to everything. We've been friends for a long, long time. We've been playing together for over 20 years.

Favazz: Wow. And Dizzy-

Richard: Dizzy is playing keyboards. And then there's another auxiliary keyboard player named Melissa Reese, who is new. And she does great. She's awesome.

Favazz: Alright, so you're going to be home for the holidays. We might see you at El Monstero.

Richard: Yep. And this Saturday I'm gonna go see my buddies in Steel Panther.

Favazz: Oh, you are? So it's Sunday is the KSHE Holiday Slam [?].

Richard: I didn't know it was [?].

Favazz: It sure is.

Richard: They're really good friends of mine. So I'm excited to see those guys.

Favazz: And then January comes around and then you're back out on the world tour with Guns N' Roses.

Richard: Yeah, I leave on the 9th, we'll do a week of reversals and then we go to Japan. Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand. I've never played Thailand. I've been there a bunch of times because it's one of my favorite places. It is my favorite place in the world.

Favazz: Love that food.

Richard: God, that's the best. Yeah, it's the best. And then, yeah, Dubai.

Favazz: Wow.

Richard: And then I'm back home.

Favazz: You come home. But I saw you're going to play Israel.

Richard: Yeah, that's like one of the last.

Favazz: That might be the last show before the St. Louis. Have you ever played Israel before?

Richard: Yeah, about four or five times.

Favazz: Wow. It seems like the band is going places maybe that they didn't have a chance to before.

Richard: Yeah, we played Israel before.

Favazz: Guns N' Roses have?

Richard: Yeah, a couple of times.

Favazz: Certainly not back in the 80s?

Richard: Yeah. In the 90s, yeah.

Favazz: Oh, right on. Well, Richard.

Richard: Well, thank you so much for having me. And I'm really excited about this show. It's like huge for me. [?] 15 years [?].

Favazz: Axl's ready. It's gonna happen and it's gonna be closure for all of us who got shortchanged if you will, on a show from 1991.

Richard: Yeah, closure or a new beginning.

Favazz: "A new beginning".

Richard: -has a more positive way to look at it.

Favazz: Like I said, I just can't wait to, you know, hear what he has to say.

Richard: Man, it's a great show. It really is a great show and it's getting better everyday.

Favazz: You know what? And I want to do an interview with Axl. And my number go through the channels, but you have the inside channel.

Richard: You know, right now we're doing the only interview of any band member.

Favazz: That's been in the, this whole tour doing.

Richard: Yeah, we're not doing press. We're not doing interviews. So I had to get special permission to do this.

Favazz: Do you think that he would talk to his St. Louis radio DJ? When I'm [?]

Richard: I will do my best.

Favazz: Thank you, Richard. That's all I wanted to hear.

Richard: Put in good words for you.

Favazz: Alright. Have a lovely wedding.

Richard: Thank you. I'm excited.

Favazz: And can't wait to meet your daughters too, and your fiance. Alright, we'll end with Mr. Brownstone. Richard Fortus of Pale Divine and Guns N' Roses.

Richard: Thanks for having me.

Favazz: Alright, brother. See you.
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2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

Post by Blackstar Tue May 30, 2023 3:07 pm

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

Guy "Favazz" Favazza of the St. Louis, Missouri radio station KSHE recently conducted an interview with Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus. You can now listen to the chat in four parts using the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by Blabbermouth.net).

On whether money was a motivating factor in Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose reuniting with guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan and Rose hitting the stage on time during the "Not In This Lifetime" tour:

Fortus: "No. Axl has been going on on time for years before [the reunion]. It's been great. Is [money] the motivating factor for him? Absolutely not. I've never seen that guy motivated by money, as long as I've known him. Otherwise, this reunion would have happened a long time ago."

On whether Slash's expensive divorce was a motivating factor for him to reunite with Axl:

Fortus: "I don't know. Honestly, I don't think [money] was a motivating factor for anybody, other than the stars just seemed to align. We didn't have a bass player, we didn't have a guitar player. Really, that's how it sort of happened."

On whether the reunion happened when Axl finally swallowed his pride and said, "Maybe I should call Slash":

Fortus: "No. I think Slash had been trying to get a hold of him for a while. And they sat down, and Axl was, like, 'Okay, let's just talk it through.' And they sat down privately, went through their laundry list of issues, and were able to put it behind them, and here we are. And it's been really great. It's been incredible, actually."

On whether it's one of those vibes where certain members of the band don't talk to each other when they're off stage:

Fortus: "No. It's not like that. Man, we communicate all the time. Between Slash, Duff, Axl and myself, every night there's texts going back and forth after… once we're back in our hotel rooms. We hang out, we all travel together on the same plane."

On what Slash thought of him the first time he met him:

Fortus: "I had actually been asked to join Slash's band a while ago — actually, at a Thin Lizzy show. We were playing a festival and his manager came up to me and said, 'Man, we'd love to steal you.' And I couldn't do that to my friend [Axl]. That would be such a slap in the face. [Once we started playing together] we got along great. We clicked really quickly. It was a trial period; we were checking it out: Is this gonna work? Duff and I had played together before. And it really clicked quickly and easily. We have a great rapport. We come from a very similar background, you know, as far as the classic rock and the punk rock stuff."

On Axl Rose singing for AC/DC:

Fortus: "It was incredible. I was absolutely blown away. I flew up to Detroit to see it. It was absolutely devastatingly good. He really killed it. He texted me when [he found out he was going to do the AC/DC gig]… He said, 'Hey, I haven't told anybody yet, but I'm gonna go audition…' Well, he didn't say 'audition.' [He said] 'I'm gonna go play with AC/DC and see how it goes.' And I was thinking to myself, 'Man, that's a tough… I don't know, man. That's a tough one.' And then everybody got back to me that went to the audition and saw it and said he was just amazing. And when I saw it, I was blown away."

On the possibility of new Guns N' Roses music from the current version of the band:

Fortus: "We are messing with ideas every day. I mean, every day we do at least an hour soundcheck, and we'll play through different ideas, like new ideas, put stuff down on tape. It's really organic. And it happens… Same in rehearsals — we were always putting down different ideas and gettin stuff together and getting ready for that, yeah."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/axl-rose-reunion-with-slash-wasnt-motivated-by-money-says-guns-n-roses-guitarist-richard-fortus
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2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jun 14, 2023 12:55 pm

Finished transcribing this.
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2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

Post by Soulmonster Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:44 pm

Richard would later say that he got crap from GN'R management because of doing this interview:

I do think I got crap for that. [...] But it's not about anybody in the band, it's management being very protective.
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2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard Empty Re: 2016.12.05 - KSHE 95 St. Louis - Interview with Richard

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