Richard Fortus, guitarist with Guns ‘N Roses, takes a break from composing to chat with OWC RADiO host, Cirina Catania, gives us a tour of his amazing gear, reminisces about life as a gifted and passionate musician, his most recent hit, “Made of Rain,” the collaboration on “Tower of Strength,” and studio life in quarantine. Richard offers good advice to others who want to succeed in the music business and warms our hearts when he talks about his family. Listen in to a candid and inspiring conversation with one of the great musicians of our time.
In This Episode
- 00:03 – Cirina Introduces Richard Fortus, guitarist with Guns ‘N Roses.
- 05:09 – Richard and Cirina talk about how the people in Mexico City are lovely and exceptionally resilient.
- 10:16 – Richard talks about creating sessions at his home studio using Pro Tools.
- 15:07 – Richard shares the numerous equipment, gear, and instruments he has in his studio.
- 19:40 – How young was Richard when he knew he wanted to become a musician? What was the first instrument he learned how to play?
- 24:39 – Richard gives some encouraging words to aspiring musicians and creatives.
- 30:06 – What is Richard’s approach in preparing for a recording session?
- 35:45 – Richard describes how OWC’s customer support has helped walk him through situations where he needed a solution.
- 39:38 – Richard talks about The Psychedelic Furs’ album that he produced, Made of Rain.
- 44:16 – Visit Richard Fortus’ website at richardfortus.com to learn more about his life, work, and gear.
You know Richard Fortus as the guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, but he also has a long history with The Psychedelic Furs and was in Thin Lizzy, Love Spit Love, The Dead Daisies, and Honky Toast. He toured with The Crystal Method, BT, Enrique Iglesias, Nena, and many others. But after talking with him today, I keep picturing him as a little five-year-old playing his violin. No wonder he has such a prolific music career. I spoke to him about making music in the time of COVID. His recent hit with the Psychedelic Furs called Made of Rain, the collaboration on a Tower of Strength, and his masterclass at Sweetwater, a place we both loved. He also offers some great advice to those who want to get into the music business. And he gives us a tour of his gear collection and so much more. This is a Richard Fortus that we rarely get to see. So stay tuned. It’s time for another OWC Radio.
This is Cirina Catania with OWC Radio. I am speaking with Richard Fortus in the middle of a crazy schedule that he has. He’s taking a little bit of time off to talk to you guys. So we’re just gonna dive right in here and say, hi, Richard, how are you today?
I’m well, thank you, and thanks for your time.
That’s great. So it’s COVID. We’re all under some kind of wrap. Where are you at the moment and who’s quarantining with you?
I’m actually at home in St. Louis, Missouri, with my family.
And fortunately, I have a studio in my house. So I’m able to work, as we were just talking about it. A lot of my friends are not in that position and have not been able to work. I’m fortunate that I have an engineering background, so I’m able to engineer my own sessions, and I’ve had a studio for the last 25 years. So it’s been great for me, and I’m fortunate enough to have the work coming in. A lot of my friends are touring musicians or are studio musicians that don’t do their own sessions. They go to recording studios. And so I’m very lucky in that regard.
When was the last time you were on tour?
Our last show was in March, as the world was closing down. I think we probably did the last stadium show in the world. We were in Mexico City, and it was the first show of a South American tour that we were doing. And that was going to be about six weeks, and then we went to Europe for a couple of months, and then we went straight to the US and started the US. And I would have finished that tour of the US yesterday. So I was supposed to be gone in the last six months. So we did the last show in Mexico City. Everything was canceling. We knew that the rest of the South American dates were not going to happen. And we were speaking with the promoters in Mexico City were like, “Look, you guys, this isn’t safe.” and they’re like, “No, no, there’s no problems here. We’re all good.” And it became a contractual thing, and we sort of were in a place where we needed to do it. And they weren’t going to cancel it no matter what we said. So we expected to walk out to 80,000 people in masks, but there were no masks.Everything's changed in the music industry in the last few decades. Playing music and promoting it is different now, but the passion remains the same. Click To Tweet
Yeah, it was interesting Mexico, with the new president, he didn’t want to. They made some mistakes with the last virus that hit, and they shut things down, and that administration got a lot of bad publicity for that. For erring on the side of caution, and people didn’t like that. So this administration was gonna bury their head in the sand and pretended nothing was wrong. There are two sides to every coin, I guess, but they wanted to go ahead with it. So we did the show and then flew straight home.
Oh, thank heavens for that, though, right? Mexico City, is it still as polluted as it was a few years ago? I spent six months there working on a film and actually loved it, but it’s a dangerous, polluted city.
Yeah, it is. But there is a real charm to it. I love Mexico City.
Yeah, the people there. I cried when I left. I had this wonderful house. I was running in Coyoacan and going out for freshly baked bread and hot chocolate in the mornings when we weren’t shooting. It was great. And the people are so wonderful. They’re so resilient there. I don’t know if you’ve used local people on your crew. I’m assuming in addition to the roadies that come with you, but I found that the crews in Mexico City could do anything, no matter what happened. Even if something critical broke, they’d be in there. They would be MacGyvering it and making it work. Did you find that?
It’s that way throughout South America. In Brazil, it’s sort of a different thing in Brazil; they will tell you, “Oh, yeah, we can do that.” “Yeah, I can do that. I’ve got this.” And they’ll tell you they can do anything. A little bit of a different story, but yeah, they’re resourceful.
Yeah, they were wonderful. I mean, I can’t speak enough about the people from Mexico. My experience was a really good one.
I’ve always had great times in Mexico City.
You’ve been there quite a bit, I’m sure. Have you been to every country in the world with Guns N’ Roses and Psychedelic and all the other groups you’ve been involved with?
Just about. There are countries in Africa I’ve never been to. I’ve traveled extensively. I mean, I think I’ve been to Mexico City to play with Guns since the, not in this Lifetime Tour started, which has been five years. I’ve probably been there like five times. Five or six.
So being a road warrior, and now you’ve primarily been at home. What did you first start working on? Were you working on the Psychedelic Furs album? Or what was your first sort of mission-critical when the COVID hit?
I guess I came home, and we were sort of still figuring out what was going on because we had all these tours planned. And everyone was sort of waiting to see what was going to happen. I guess I just started putting the word out that I was available for sessions. And everyone sort of paused for a month or two. And then people were like, we got to carry on. And a lot of people got bored and thought, okay, now I guess we’re going to make a record. And same with doing ad work and things like that, people pause for a second and then rethought their position and then went back in. And so I had been finishing things up with the Psychedelic Furs; I think that was pretty much wrapped on my end by the time I left to go out on tour in February. So when I went out to Los Angeles to do rehearsals. Actually, I think the record was supposed to come out originally in March. And they pushed it back, and they kept delaying it as a lot of record releases are. People are pushing them back because it’s a different time in the music industry. When I started in this business, we used to put out records, and then you tour to support the record that helps sell the record. And now it’s sort of changed 180 degrees where now you put out a record to promote a tour.
Remember the heyday of the 80s when music videos were so hot, everybody was making music videos and putting their music in films to try to promote. Everything’s changed. The whole business has changed.
They still want to place their songs in movies and TV because that drives people to shows.
You put it out that you wanted to do some sessions; how are you recording those? Are you going on location at all, or are you recording it virtually from home in your studio?
No, I have a studio in my house. So I’m able to do everything here. So people will send me files, and I’ll open them in Pro Tools and then create a session. I have a large collection of vintage gear here, and guitars and amps, and different musical instruments. Actually, the first thing I did, I think, was a session for the mission UK. And they had reached out, and they were doing a remake of one of their hit songs, Tower of Strength for a benefit, as a benefit for COVID relief. So that was one of the first sessions that I did, and I really dove into that and did all the string arrangements that were originally done by John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. And he had produced that original The Mission album, so I did my version of his string themes. So that took up a lot of time, and I really spent a lot of time orchestrating and playing. Because I was by myself, so I played the cello and violin parts and then layered them with samples. And that was a fun project.
So you’re probably in your studio recording this right now. Everybody always wants to ask you about your gear. I hope you don’t mind. I really want our listeners who may not have heard about some of the equipment that was used. Do you mind telling us to look around and telling us what you have there and what you’re using specifically? For example, what microphone are you talking to me on?
Oh, I’m talking to you on my phone.
Isn’t that amazing? Are you on your iPhone?
Yeah, I’m actually on it. I have an earpiece in. But looking around…
Yeah, look around. Tell me what you got there.
Looking around, I’m right in the midst of the project, and I’m trying to get it out by Sunday. And I tend to work where I’ll just let things pile up around me until the session is over. And then I have a minute, a chance to breathe, and then I clean out everything and start again. So looking around, I’ve got tons of amplifiers. There’re 13 amplifiers sitting in my control room right now.
Okay, I think you just won the prize for the most amps in one small room.
I have a vault that’s full of stuff, so I pull out what I need for that particular session. And then in the next room, I have my live room if you will. So that’s where all the recording gets done. And that’s where my mics are, and the amp cabinets and combos are out there. And right now, microphone wise, I’ve been using mainly a Royer 122 and tab 57 with the chase transformer, and then also a set 47. And there’s this collection, and there’s a couple of Stager mics out there. Depending on the amplifier that I’m using, or if I’m recording acoustics, or whatever. And then I don’t have a proper mixing console. I have a rack of preamps, 500 series in an API lunchbox. There are mainly Brett Avril stuff, the BAE stuff, and then a couple of API pieces, and some Retro. Some Joemeek stuff, Ampex preamp. And then I run Pro Tools, so I’m running an HDX rig with a Mac tower, and that’s pretty much it.
And your guitars, you got to talk about your guitars too.
Oh god. Okay, so right in front of me, I’ve got a 1953 Les Paul, a 1960 ES-335 Dot Neck, a 1953 Fender Esquire, and there we’ve got a Gretsch 5120, that’s from 1968, Les Paul Signature, 62 Jazzmaster, just like ten guitars.
And you’ve also used Paoletti, right?
Nice. I want to see that. Hopefully, you can send us pictures. That would be great.
So what about your pedals?
Oh god. I’ve got racks and racks of pedals not in the control room area, but I do have a board right in front of me. And that’s something that I do have to clean up daily. Right now, I’ve got an R2R Treble Booster that I just got that is incredible. I’m in love with that. Also another important piece of gear is the SoloDallas preamp that I use before amplifiers a lot. There’s a Vox Tone Bender MKII, there’s also an MKI, WAH pedals, that type of stuff.
I’m just envisioning you directing people about what you want to take with you when you’re on tour. You have other equipment that’s already packed up in cases for when you go on tour. How many guitars, for example, do you travel with?
There’s, I think, I’ve got about 12 in each rig. So we have two touring rigs for Guns N’ Roses that live in Los Angeles. An A rig and a B rig. So each rig has about a dozen guitars, three amps, and then a backup. So usually, there are five amps in total. And then identical rigs, identical racks of pedals and stuff, all that stuff, those 24 guitars and both racks of gear that live in Los Angeles, so I have none of that here.
Okay, I have to ask you this. Are you a sentimental person?
When it comes to gear?
Yeah. I mean, these gears have memories, right?
There are some pieces that I’m attached to.
Like, maybe Les Paul or something?
There are always other guitars, and there’s always now, but there’s nothing really that I’m sentimentally attached to, I don’t think. I’ve had enough guitar stolen over the years to where I’ve sort of gotten over that.
Oh, geez. Really?
Well, yeah, I mean things happen on the road. Trucks flip over, there are monsoons that hit, there are tornadoes that happen. We’ve had all sorts of it. And then there’s also riots you have to contend with. I don’t take my vintage pieces out much anymore. I think the last vintage guitar I toured with was when I was with Thin Lizzy, and I took the 55 Les Paul Jr. and a 68 Les Paul Custom.
Well, I tell you, the life you have lived, I want to take you back to when you were a little boy. And what did you like to do when you were five and six years old?
When I was five years old, I was playing the violin. I remember being five years old, sitting in Sunday school, and the teacher was going around asking everybody what do you want to be when you grow up. And I specifically remember, I remember thinking, I want to be a musician. But I didn’t say that I said whatever the kid before me said, fireman or whatever. But I distinctly remember that.Back in the day, the live shows get people to listen more to your music. Nowadays, it's your music that drives people to live shows. Click To Tweet
Isn’t it funny how sometimes the thing we want the most we’re afraid to verbalize? I’ve seen a lot of people do that.
Yeah. Because it opens you up, doesn’t it?
When did you declare it? When did you take ownership of it?
I don’t know that I ever did. I mean, this is a strange thing. Because my father instilled in me that this is a great hobby, but it was always my passion. I don’t think you analytically sit down when you’re getting ready to go to college and think, Okay, what am I going to do with my life? I am going to be a musician. It is a poor career choice. I just was incredibly fortunate. But I didn’t really have a choice because I was so driven and so passionate about music that it just never seemed like there was an option. If that makes sense. So I don’t remember ever declaring it to my parents or to the world that this is what I’m going to do. Because in the back of my head, my father’s voice was always there saying this is great, and eventually, you’ll need to get a career and but you can do that later. I started going to college, and my band sort of was becoming more and more popular. And it was taking up more and more my time to the point where I couldn’t really stay doing both. So I always thought, well, I’ll come back to school when I need to. So I’ve always felt like I was living on borrowed time, in a way, career-wise if that makes sense.
What did your dad want you to do?
He didn’t care. It wasn’t like he was pushing me into something. Actually, he was an accountant, but he was part owner of a music company, a wholesaler, that made musical instruments. They made Alvarez Guitars, and Electra, and Crate amps and Ampeg Amps, and they distributed it to retailers. So I grew up surrounded by music. I fell in love with music at a very young age. And it’s sort of always been my passion.
And you just kept doing it. And here you are.
Yeah, every so often, I think, man, how long is this gonna last?
For a long time, you got many years to go, you’ve got a long time ahead of you.
It’s funny. I mean, at this point, I don’t have much choice.
No, I mean, looking back on all those years, I’m sure a lot of kids come up to you at concerts, and they go, Oh, I want to be you. I want to be a musician. What do you tell somebody who is incredibly creative, but the world is telling them no? What would you tell them to keep them going?
When I can actually sit with somebody and talk to them, you suss out pretty quickly whether or not they have a choice in the matter. As I said, I didn’t really have a choice. It consumed me. Music was everything. I just breathed it. So I didn’t really have a choice, and that is how it is. So, I mean, as I said, if you sit down and you think about realistic career paths, it doesn’t make sense. It’s such a long shot, and no matter how good you are, there is an element of buck, and– there’s also a big element of resourcefulness. I mean, putting yourself out there, knowing how to step aside from the art of it, and really looking at how you can exploit your talents, and separating that from your creativity. You sort of creating something, and then you have to step back from it and go, Okay, now, this is what I do. Now, how do I sell that? How do I get attention for it? How do I get this out to people to see if they like it? That’s the part that I think, where a lot of people fall short.
Yeah, and they want to know how they can make a living doing it. You’re lucky; you’ve got both the left and the right side of the brain going. And I think, well, I don’t know you, we are not friends, but I’m assuming that that has really been part of what’s kept you going because you understand the business side and you understand the relationships that are necessary from what I’m gleaning to keep that going, but you also have this amazing creative side. I mean, you as five years old, playing the violin. Come on, that’s a great image. I mean, what a cute little kid.
I think a lot of that was my parents’ sort of giving me that opportunity. But essentially, I mean, so many kids are given that opportunity. It’s what you choose to do with it, really. It’s that passion that just consumes you, and you either love it with everything that you have, or you enjoy it, and you do it as a hobby. I think both are equally valid.
So you’ve taught a master class at one of my favorite places, Sweetwater. Sweetwater, those guys are great, aren’t they?
They are. They’re wonderful. It’s a great set up they have there.
It’s amazing. And that they’re just so dedicated to helping anyone in the creative arts that needs any kind of equipment from them. They have one of those corporate, how do you describe it? It’s just a corporate personality that says, oh, what do you need, and how can I help you? So when you’re teaching the master class, what’s the biggest challenge for you? And also, what did the students expect to get out of it? And will you be doing another one?
I do a lot of different clinic type things. Usually associated with the MI industry. So promoting some type of gear. And I’m very passionate about equipment, as you probably gleaned. So I enjoy speaking about it because I’m really inspired by gear. A lot of musicians are not that way, they have their instrument or a couple of instruments, and their amplifier, they’ve got their sort of setup. And I’m constantly searching for new things that are going to inspire me, just like with listening to music, and I’m constantly listening to new things to inspire me. That’s why I think I’m really attracted to vintage guitars. Every guitar has songs in it in away. It’s going to bring something different out of you. And different sounds inspire different songs or different ideas. And I love that about gear, and that’s why I’m so passionate. So I love being able to go out and talk to people about that and what I get from different pieces of gear. I tend to focus more on that stuff than I do on the technical elements of music because I don’t know; it just seems more interesting to me. I also enjoy talking about answering questions and things about my style and technique and things like that. But it’s more interesting for me, and I think to talk about sort of the step after that which is whether it be recording or using gear.
So talk about recording and how everything that you do in post can affect what you’ve done when you’re first recording. So can you give some tips about how to be better at that? And what is your process when you’re going through post?
I’m constantly learning. I feel like things I did two months ago, and I want to go back and redo because I’ve got a new way of doing it. I love that journey, I love constantly learning, and that’s what’s been great about this whole COVID thing and being home and working. I’ve been collecting gear for the last–especially over the last five years–I’m constantly buying new things. And now I come home, and it’s like, Oh, great. Now I get to really dig in and learn this stuff and use it. And so that’s been a lot of fun doing sessions every day and just come downstairs and start working. I’ve really gotten into different mic techniques. Are you talking about mixing or?
Because post-production, to me, it responds more to video.
No, I’m talking about mixing. Sorry, I come from a film background, so sometimes…
Yeah, obviously when you say post.
Yeah, I’ve worked on like over 160 movies of one sort or another. And you’re talking about the voice that your guitars have, to me, it’s those; everybody says, “What’s your favorite lens?” Well, I don’t have one. It’s like, what kind of mood am I in that day, and what do I want to achieve with what I’m shooting? And I’m kind of what you’re saying with your equipment is resonating with me.
It’s exactly the same.
Yeah. So you can look around, you can say, “Okay, I’m in a melancholy mood,” or “I’m feeling frickin awesome.” or “I’m going to change the world.” and then you pick up that guitar. I’m putting words in your mouth, which I shouldn’t do, but this is my imagination going.
Look at the job ahead of you, you sort of assess the job ahead of you for the day, and you think, Okay, how am I going to approach this? And before I come into my studio, I have an idea of where I want to go and how I want to attack it. So today, for instance, I’ve got to create this theme in this one song. So I’m thinking about sort of lyrical quality and what amps I’m going to pull to, and what guitars I’m going to use to get there that is going to sort of getting me on my way to creating that.
Yeah, kind of match your internal symphony, right?
Yeah. And I would imagine it would be the same with choosing a lens and how that’s going to bring up different; it’s going to inspire you to see things a certain way.
When you’re writing your music, everybody has sort of a different process. I know for me, if I’m writing a script, sometimes I get stuck, or I know I have to create, I have a scene I want to write. And I’ll just sometimes sleep on it, but then I’ll get up in the morning, and I literally have to run to the computer to get those words out. Do you do that with your music too?
Absolutely, absolutely. It’s a very similar thing. And that’s a great feeling. I cherish those moments because when you wake up, and you’re staring at a blank page, that’s the worst. And you have no idea. It’s daunting. It’s hard to stare at a blank canvas.
Yeah. But sometimes you have to take a step back and then trust that the flow is gonna come.
Absolutely. But sometimes you’re not granted those luxuries, and you have to create something, and sometimes that’s the best thing. It’s being forced to create, it’s like, okay, I have to finish this today like, I don’t have a choice, there are people waiting on me. It forces you to get something done. And a lot of times, some of my favorite things happened in that way.
Like you just have to hunker down, and you have to say, I don’t have any choice. This is coming out. And then in the middle of all that, you have this strange woman from OWC Radio that wants to talk to you. I’m sorry.
No. You know, this whole week has been that. It’s like, every day has been like the same time around, I’ll have a different interview.
I’m sorry. No, I’m not sorry. I’m glad we’re talking. But I am gonna send the creative angels over to you today. So that whatever you’re doing is just gonna absolutely just rocket, you’re gonna get it done.
Thank you. I was really anxious to do anything for OWC because their support has been wonderful. I love their drives. I love their product. And what I love about them is their support when I need help with something. They’ve been really great to me and helping me in situations where I needed something right away. They were really great to walk me through things.
Well, they have great customer service. So are you using their RAIDS for storage? Do you use a travel dock at all or like docks?
No, I don’t have a travel dock. I have those smaller drivers that fit in my computer backpack.
Like the Envoy Pro? Are you using a Mac laptop?
We gotta get you a travel dock. Oh my god, it’s tiny. They have an SD card slot, they’ve got a couple of USB slots, they’ve got HDMI, and they’ve got Thunderbolt 3, all in one tiny little thing smaller than the Envoy Pro, actually. And I can’t go anywhere without it because I work on a MacBook Pro when I’m traveling. And you know what a pain it is if you’ve got like something that needs to have a USB or an HDMI connection. How do you do that with the MacBook Pro? We’re gonna get you a travel dock. We’ll talk offline. They’re cute little things. You’re gonna love it.
Oh, wow. That’s great. I love the Envoy. I mean, to me, it’s been great. But the RAID that I have in my studio, that system is incredible. Because I have worked with these really large sample libraries of orchestral things, and, man, it’s just been a lifesaver. That was a total game-changer for me. And that’s why I feel indebted to OWC because when I bought that RAID system, they were great with getting me going on. Like I said, the support has been great.Music was my everything. I just breathe it. Click To Tweet
Yeah, I bought their ThunderBay 8 because storage is a problem when you’ve got as many media files as we do. It’s crazy, but you also need reliability.
It’s reliability and speed.
Yeah. Oh, gosh, they’re screamers. I mean, every time I travel, it would take me overnight to move media on to whatever I was taking with me. And now it’s crazy fast and really reliable. That’s wonderful. Well, I’m going to pass that along to them. And Larry O’Connor, who owns the company, is going to be really, really happy. I wanted to congratulate you too on…
He’s wonderful. I met him at the NAMM Show.
Oh, there you go. Yes, he’s a great guy. He has a brilliant mind, and he’s the kind of person that when you first meet him, you’re struck by how nice he is.
The first time I met him was in Austin, I believe, at ACL, Austin City Limits, that big festival. And his family came up. That was great.
What did you want to congratulate me on?
Well, Made of Rain for one thing.
Oh, right on. That was a labor of love for me, and I’m really happy I have been involved with The Psychedelic Furs for so many years. I saw them for the first time when I was 15. And they were always one of my favorite bands. And then my first band toured supporting them in the US. And I became friendly with them and started playing with them for a few songs because they found out that I played violin and cello, and I started playing, sitting in with them every night. And then at the end of that tour, Richard asked, the singer asked me to come to New York to work with him on a solo album that he was going to do. And that became Love Spit Love, which was a band I did with him. And it was the two of us, we did two albums, and then started the first back up, and then I joined Guns N’ Roses and first continued. So this is the first full studio album they put out in like 28 years.
I mean, it’s all over the charts.
Yeah, it’s doing really well. I’m really happy for them. And it’s something I’m very proud of. I put a lot of work into it.
You should be.
Any parting words for people who are feeling a little down about their creativity or their work during this time of COVID? You seem to be really genuinely thriving, even though it’s got to be a whole different life from thousands of people in the audience to at home with your family, but what do you tell people to keep them going in this difficult time?
I think now is the time to really focus on things that you wanted to focus on that you’ve been thinking about. Like one day, I’m going to go back to school, I’m going to take online classes and learn orchestration, or I’m going to learn Pro Tools on. And I think that’s something that you can really use this time for. And I know that I’ve been doing that. I’ve really been studying orchestration and diving into that world. But fortunately, I’ve been trying to do that, but also I’ve been really doing a lot of session work. And so I’m really grateful that I have that. I think that’s what you need to use this time for if you’re a touring musician,
So you’re a father, you’re a husband, do you ever think about your legacy? Like, what do you want to leave behind you? What would you say to your family that would be most important for you and your life before you leave? And I know, you’ve got a lot of years to go, but somehow I like thinking about that once in a while. What’s our legacy? What is your legacy?
I never really think about my legacy. All I think about is wanting my kids to do better than I have done. I want them to do–and not that I haven’t done well, you want the next generation to be that much better. So I think, invest not just talking financially, as much as humans. I want my kids to be the biggest asset to society that they can be. I think, influences the world in a very positive one.
And so far, I think I’ve done well. They’re on course.
Oh, that’s wonderful. Well, there’s a reason why you survived that awful crash in 2015; you still have a lot more work to do and a lot of things to give to the world. I wish you all the best. I am going to send the creative angels over there today. And I promised you that we wouldn’t take too long on this. So what I will say is maybe we could do this again in a year or two and look back on what you’ve done since we talked today. How about that?
That sounds wonderful.
All right. Well, it was nice to meet you.
It was a pleasure talking to you too.
Thanks for taking the time, and best of luck to you. That was Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses, Psychedelic Furs, an amazing musician creating work for a lot of people in the world and raising our hopes for a great future here during COVID. Thanks, Richard. You have a wonderful day and everybody, remember what I always tell you, get up off your chair and go do something wonderful today. This is Cirina Catania with OWC Radio. I’m signing off.
- Richard Fortus
- Guns N’ Roses
- Enrique Iglesias
- Honky Toast
- John Paul Jones
- Led Zeppelin
- Love Spit Love
- The Crystal Method
- The Dead Daisies
- The Psychedelic Furs
- Thin Lizzy
- Made of Rain
- The Mission
- Tower of Strength
- Sweetwater Masterclass
- 1953 Fender Esquire
- 1953 Les Paul
- 1960 ES-335 Dot Neck
- 62 Jazzmaster
- Alvarez Guitars
- Ampeg Amps
- Brett Avril
- Gretsch 5120
- Les Paul Signature
- R2R Treble Booster
- Retro Instruments
- Richard Fortus Signature Gretsch
- Royer 122
- Stager Microphones
- Vox Tone Bender MKII
- Larry O’Connor
- OWC Envoy Pro
- OWC Thunderbolt 3
- OWC ThunderBay 8
- Avid Pro Tools
- Austin City Limits
- NAMM Show
- Don’t be afraid to reinvent and evolve throughout your music career. If longevity is your goal, you must find balance in adapting to the changing music industry while still being loyal to your brand.
- Record an album in a studio and invest in good quality equipment and a trusted team. Playing music is an art and passion, and it also means business. Be professional every step of the way.
- Own your talent. If you believe you have something worthy of sharing with the world, by all means, don’t try to be a best-kept secret.
- Determine if your hobby in music has the potential to become a career of your own. Music is not something society deems as a stable career. If you see yourself doing it professionally for a very long time, it might be worth the shot.
- Ignite your passion and stay consistent with your craft. Keep improving your skills and be better than who you were yesterday.
- Just keep going. Don’t stop and be easily discouraged. There will be setbacks along the way but remain true to yourself and stay on the path you’ve worked hard for.
- Promote your music on various media outlets and work on getting it out there so that more people can listen to your songs.
- Understand the business side of the industry. Music will remain an art, but the industry is composed of contracts to sign, deadlines to meet, and fans to please. Be prepared for that.
- Learn more about the technical side of music before playing with style and form. It’s good to know the basics first, before getting creative.
- Check out Richard Fortus’ website to learn more about his work, Guns N’ Roses, and more.