Richard Fortus Gives Advice to Up and Coming Bands
According to Ultimate Classic Rock
During a question-and-answer session at the Gretsch booth at last month’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California, GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Richard Fortus was asked what advice he would give to an up-and-coming band trying to get noticed. He responded (see video below): “That’s a good one, because it’s a very different landscape right now to when I was your age. When I was a kid, you put up flyers, you played everywhere you could and you did everything you could to get your name out. You kept pushing further and further. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. So we kept pushing further and further. We’d go to Columbia, we’d go to Chicago, we’d go to Kansas City, and you spread. Every time you go back — hopefully, if you’re doing it right — then there’ll be more people there. I think that’s very relevant now. I think that’s a great way to do it now. Even though people don’t support live music as much as they used to, grassroots is where it’s gotta build from. And now there aren’t any labels to get in the way. It’s not so imperative that you have a label. When I was a kid, you had to have a record label, and then you made it — except you didn’t… [Bands releasing music independently now is] great, because it levels the playing field. It also makes it harder. You’ve just gotta work harder.”
Fortus recently told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that GUNS N’ ROSES may unveil a new studio LP in the not-too-distant future. Fortus explained: “Slash is on tour [with his solo group] right now. Once he gets back from that, we’re gonna get some more recording done and hopefully get an album out soon. And then we’ll get back to touring.”
There has been speculation about a new album from the band ever since three-fifths of its original lineup reunited in 2016 for the recently completed “Not In This Lifetime” tour.
Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan were joined on the reunion trek by Fortus, who hooked up with the latter-era GUNS lineup in 2001, drummer Frank Ferrer, longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed and second keyboardist Melissa Reese. The tour is now one of the highest-grossing in music history.
Fortus got his big break when his band PALE DIVINE opened for THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS. This led to Fortus forming the band LOVE SPIT LOVE with PSYCHEDELIC FURS frontman Richard Butler and Ferrer. In 2000, Fortus and Ferrer became touring members of the reformed PSYCHEDELIC FURS before Fortus hooked up with GUNS N’ ROSES. Ferrer himself joined GN’R in 2006.
According to Ultimate Classic Rock
Last August, photographs surfaced of Angus Young, Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Stevie Young at the same Vancouver recording studio where the band recorded its past three albums: 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip, 2008’s Black Iceand 2014’s Rock or Bust.
A photo posted in December on Instagram seems to show Johnson and Williams either before or after a workout. Williams’ presence would complete the five-piece lineup that recorded Rock or Bust.
The bassist announced his retirement from the group in September 2016, at the end of the chaotic Rock or Bust tour, which was its first without the late Malcolm Young, who was suffering from numerous health issues prior to his November 2017 death.
After the recording of the Rock or Bust album, legal trouble kept drummer Rudd from joining the tour. Chris Sladetook his place, having previously performed with AC/DC from 1989-94. Then Johnson was forced off the road by hearing problems. He was replaced for the tour’s final dates by Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose. Williams’ retirement left Angus Young as the only remaining member of the band’s 1994-2014 lineup.
While these photos show all five of the men who recorded Rock or Bust have at least been together near a recording studio in recent months, the band hasn’t confirmed any of this or issued any statement regarding its future recording and touring plans.
An unverified report from JAM Magazine quotes “a reliable source inside the AC/DC camp” as stating that the group is working to complete songs from a large stash of unreleased material written and partially recorded by Angus and Malcolm Young prior to the recording of Black Ice.