RICHARD FORTUS Says Performing With GUNS N’ ROSES ‘Feels Like Being At Home’
Asked for tips on dealing with anxiety and stage fright as a musician, Richard, who joined GUNS in late 2001 or early 2002, said: “When I’m touring with GN’R, the stage is the most comfortable place to me — because it’s our stage, it’s our gear, it’s our in-ear mixes, it’s our physical stage. It’s the same every night, and it feels like being at home. But when you go to play a club or when you go to sit in with somebody, you’re nervous — because now you’re not at home; you’re at somebody else‘s home. But it’s just part of life, man. You’ve just gotta do it. And the only way to get over it is to do it.
“When I was 15 years old, I was playing clubs — every weekend, we were playing clubs, my band,” he continued. “I grew up in St. Louis, and there were underage clubs. So I would play every week at an underage club, and we would play different underage clubs, and parties and stuff. And that’s how I got over that; it became comfortable for me.”
Last September, Fortus told “The Radical With Nick Terzo” podcast that it has been at times difficult to adjust to the different musicians that came through GUNS N’ ROSES since he joined the band nearly two decades ago.
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 drummer Frank 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.
GUNS N’ ROSES is now reportedly working on a new studio album — the first under the GUNS banner since 2008’s “Chinese Democracy” and the first to feature guitarist Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan since 1993.