Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus has spoken out about navigating his place in the iconic band after joining in 2002 while praising Slash for being “incredibly gracious” and “an inspiration” to play alongside. 

Speaking to Premier Guitar about joining the already-established rockers, Fortus described working with the group’s trademark sound while bringing his own flavour to the role.

“It’s a tricky thing, ’cause you obviously wanna bring your own character to the role, to those songs, but you have to really have some reverence for the song and the original parts,” Fortus began.

“So it’s a fine line, it’s a delicate balance that you walk between your own personality and honouring the originality of the song to begin with – and especially with Guns N’ Roses because fans are so attached to the Appetite album — there’s not a lot of room for bringing your own thing.”

“But especially since Slash’s come back, there’s a lot more openness and room for me to inject myself in.”

He went on to explain how his own style has been incorporated into the band’s sound over the near-20 years since he’s been apart of the iconic group.

“It’s been very interesting, because, as different players come and go, my parts morph and change to cover different parts, so it’s constantly evolving,” Fortus said.

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“Obviously, when Slash came [back] in, the parts of his that I was playing I wasn’t gonna be playing anymore. But he’s been incredibly gracious with me as a player.”

“When [Slash] first was coming back, mutual friends of ours were, like, ‘Man, good luck getting to be on the fifth fret.’ But I have not experienced that at all. He’s been incredibly gracious and really an inspiration to play with. It’s very competitive in a very, very friendly, same-team type of way — always pushing each other — which I am flattered to be in that role, and for him to welcome it.”

Guns N’ Roses recently announced their rescheduled live dates from their 2020 North America tour, with the shows now set to take place in July and August 2021.

Check out ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses:

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