GUNS N' ROSES and THE DEAD DAISIES guitarist Richard Fortus was interviewed by Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the "One On One With Mitch Lafon" podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether there is truth to reports that GUNS N' ROSES has been working on new material and whether has any live shows coming up:
"I don't think there's gonna be any touring soon. We have been working on material. And that sort of starts and stops, but we're still plugging away at it."
On whether the long periods of GN'R inactivity are frustrating:
"Is it frustrating? You know, if I didn't have other things going on, it probably would be. But I've got other things that I focus on. I've been doing GN'R now for what?! 13, 14 years. It's the nature of what it is. I've never met anybody that has so much genuine musical integrity [as GUNS N' ROSES lead singer Axl Rose does]. He won't whore himself out, he won't do anything for business or money; it's just about the music. And he won't defend himself in the press, because he doesn't think it matters; it's just about the music — that's all he cares about. I've worked with a lot of people in this business, and I've never seen, or met, anybody that was motivatd purely by that — by the desire to make art. And you can say whatever you want about it, 'cause he's not gonna defend himself, but he is that, and that's for sure. Otherwise, there would have been a reunion [of the classic GUNS N' ROSES lineup], because the offers for money have been outrageous. But he would never do a reunion unless it was for something besides money."
On whether fans' criticism of GUNS N' ROSES and Axl Rose is fair or if people are just not being open-minded enough:
"Well, it depends on what they're criticizing. I think it frustrates fans with the lack of information that's given, it frustrates them with the lack of product. The fact that they wanna buy albums, they wanna support the band, but they can't. And we do tour, we have toured a lot… I don't know… I don't know if it's justified or not."
On GUNS N' ROSES' reputation for stage tardiness:
"The last few years, it's been very… It's not like a lot of bands, where it's like clockwork. It's different, and it's never gonna be that, because that's not who [Axl] is. But, man, you know, he's the real deal. He is the real deal. And he lives it, and, like I said, all he cares about is the music. For the longest time, when I first started with the band even, I thought it was by design. I thought, 'He has this worked out.' 'Cause, you know, it's two hours after we're supposed to start, three hours… and people are… stadiums full of people just booing. And the second he'd walk out on stage, all that energy, all that… on the verge of chaos, of just imploding and everyone just rioting, right at that moment he walks out on stage, and all of that negative energy just goes totally up right into the palm of his hand. I mean, it's phenomenal to watch. And I thought it was by design; I thought that he had figured out some type of way to judge the moment, but it's not. [Laughs] It's not. It's just… That's just what he is. He's not gonna walk out on stage until he is… It's not like he's sitting back watching TV and eating potato chips. Man, he goes through a lot to walk out on stage. Just everything… with being himself… to get into the right place within himself."
On whether GUNS N' ROSES still exists as a band:
"We're still doing GN'R as well, and we're still [doing other projects on the side]. We've been doing the DAISIES stuff before… Actually, when [GUNS N' ROSES was] on tour in Australia, ZZ TOP was opening for us, and on GN'R's 'off' days, ZZ was doing their own shows, and on those days, THE DEAD DAISIES were opening for ZZ TOP."