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Ax Facts & Stats with guitarist Guns N' Roses & The Dead Daisies guitarist Richard Fortus (photos copyright Katarina Benzova)

By Dave B. Roberts. Check out this interview in its entirety featured in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats Volume 2 book due for release SOON, featuring Q&As not featured in the online interviews!

My name is:
Richard Fortus.

My current job is:
I am the guitarist for the Dead Daisies and Guns n’ Roses.

My hometown:
Saint Louis.

My current album or project is:
The Dead Daisies- Face I Love.

Former bands:
Pale Divine, Psychedelic Furs, Love Spit Love, Nena, Thin Lizzy, Honky Toast

My guitar influences growing up were:
Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Fripp, John McGlaughlin, Mick Ronson, Marc Ribot, Carlos Santana, Peter Frampton, Johnny Thunders, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Snakefinger.

The guitars I use are:
Lately i have been favoring my James Trussart Steel O Matic and my Scala- Underdog’s (I have a burst and a white custom), and I’ve also been using an Alluvium Jr.

The strings and tunings I use are:
D’Addario NYXL 10-52 and I mainly use standard, drop D and open G with the Dead Daisies.

My current Dead Daisies rig setup consists of:
Scala/Trussart guitars>mogami platinum cables>Dunlop Bonomassa wah or RMC wah>Spaceman Saturn V overdrive> Love Pedal, Eternity or Hi-Volt>Pigtronix, Echolution 2, Strymon, El Capistan> Salvation Mods, Vivider>Voodoo Amps, talk box>Voodoo Amps R4-100 and a Marshall Plexi PA head (modded by Obeid Khan of Magnatone), I also sometimes use a Marsha by Dave Friedman

The greatest invention for guitars is:
My favorite new invention is the VKNOB- you can put it on any pedal know and it allows you to turn the pot using your foot. Very useful for me!

My normal songwriting process consists of:
I don’t have a normal process. Every situation is unique. The best songs just write themselves. You just have to be open enough to serve as a simple conduit.

My favorite guitar solo from our band:
We just finished recording some new songs and there is a song called “Something I Said”. I really like that solo.

My favorite all-time guitar solo (from another guitarist):
probably "Sympathy for the Devil”. That solo always hits me, even though I've heard a million times. It really says something and has so much attitude.

Favorite all-time song (any artist) is:
Impossible, but the first thing that comes to mind is “Happiness Is a Warm Gun."

Favorite song by our band:
The last one we wrote! Hasn’t been released yet but i think it’s our strongest yet.

Favorite song to perform in front of a live audience:
"Face I Love."

My Career highlight thus far is:
I’ve been so incredibly fortunate. Probably the first time I played Rock In Rio with Gn’R. Looking out at that many people is just mind-blowing. However, getting to play guitarmonies alongside Scott Gorham in Thin Lizzy was pretty stellar as well!

Other than my guitar and amps, the one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is:
If I’m going to bring one pedal, it would be my Love Pedal Eternity overdrive.

The first song I ever mastered on guitar:
Probably either “Blue Wind” by Jeff Beck, or Soul Sacrifice by Santana.

My first guitar was:
an Electra. I wish I still had it. It was stolen out of an apartment in NY. Someday, it will come back to me.

The first time I ever heard our band on the radio was.:
I don’t listen to the radio much, however I do occasionally listen while in my car. I recently heard Face I Love by the Dead Daisies on KSHE in St Louis. That was pretty cool because it was a station I grew up listening to. It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard the Daisies on the radio, but it was special for me. The first time I ever heard my music on the radio was when I was a teenager. A college radio station that I listened to played my first band. Pretty big moment for me. I guess I was about 15.

If I am only sure of one thing in life, It's:
that I really don’t know anything.

The exact moment I knew I would pursue a career in music was:
I don’t think there was one defining moment. However, I do remember sitting in Sunday school when i was about 5 and the teacher asked each one of us what we wanted to be when we grew up. I distinctly remember thinking that I wanted to be a musician, but when it was my turn, i said whatever the kid before me said because I didn’t want to be judged. .

The best advice I could give beginning guitarists:
Listen to everything you possibly can.

CD(s) I'm listening to right now:
Foxygen and Findlay.

My 3 all-time favorite albums:
Bob Dylan- Highway 61 Revisited, Rolling Stones- Let it Bleed, Led Zeppelin -Physical Graffiti .

Best gig:
the one tonight!

My biggest pet peeve:

The word or catch phrase I say too much is:

The hardest part of my job:
having to be away from my kids.

What I like to do in my "off" time:
I run and go to the gym and I love to ride motorcycles.

The first thing I do when I come home from touring is:
Hug my daughters.

Previous or first day job:
I worked in a music store when I got out of high school.

Right after this interview I'm going to:
Go for a run.

I couldn't imagine being on the road without:
My laptop.

If I wasn't doing the musician thing, I could really see myself working as:
Investment Banker or Lion Tamer.

Favorite movie:
Dr Strangelove.

My mission in life:
To enjoy it as much as possible and to help others enjoy theirs.

My guilty pleasure band or artist:
Arcade Fire.

My next goal is:
to make today the greatest day of my life.

The greatest contribution guitars/music have brought into my life is:
providing me with a career in which I am able to do what i love.

Check out our Website at: - & .

The one musician I would love to work with that I have not yet had the chance would be:
David Bowie.

If I could have three wishes, they would be:
to never have to worry about money again, to be able to spend every day with my daughters and for every day to be full of joy and happiness

When it's all said and done, I want the world to remember me for:
Not something I really care about. I won’t be here!


Copyright 2014 Dave Roberts &

Copyright November 2014 Dave B. Roberts & is the web home of articles and interviews written by Dave Roberts. All Dave Roberts interviews & articles are available for use or FREE reprint ONLY by Permission and proper credits. Permission can be obtained by contacting All materials are Copyright 1999-2014 Dave Roberts and Ent., All Rights Reserved.


This interview will appear in the forthcoming Ax Facts & Stats vol. 2 book, but in the meantime, be sure to check out OTHER exclusive Ax Facts & Stats interviews in's Ax Facts & Stats, Vol. 1 on sale now at, and many other fine online book retailers!

This large format 8.5 by 11 inch paperback Features 97 of's celebrated Ax Facts & Stats interviews; including tons of classics from our extensive archive spanning the last 10 years as well as dozens of BRAND NEW never seen interviews! Interviews include guitarists from 3 Doors Down, Anvil, Foghat, Puddle of Mudd, Hall & Oates, Evans Blue, The Great Kat, Finger Eleven, Staind, Train, Gwar, Halestorm, Hinder, Judas Priest, Gary Hoey, Night Ranger, Shinedown, Alabama, Janis Ian, O.A.R., Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Matchbox Twenty, Sick Puppies, Styx, Stone Sour, Tantric, Candlebox, Sevendust, Stryper, Derek Trucks, Thriving Ivory, Seven Mary Three, Chicago, Cracker and many others! A portion of proceeds from every book sold is being donated to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. Check out the book's official website at for complete lineup

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