GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Richard Fortus has told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a new interview that he is looking forward to recording a studio album with the partially reunited classic lineup of the band. "Everyone is excited about it," he said. "There's a really magical thing now with the band. It feels like a new band. It feels like the best version since I joined, and it's the most fun for me. There's so much excitement around it."
Since it began in April 2016, the tour has grossed $230 million and counting.
"It's bigger than anything I've ever experienced," Fortus said. "Doing multiple nights at a stadium is a mindfuck. It's hard to get your head around that level of craziness. Fans are just so rabid for it."
Fortus said in another interview that the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES — which features classic lineup members Slash (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Rose backed by Fortus, Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and new second keyboardist Melissa Reese — has begun "assembling ideas" for a new studio album.
Fortus, who joined GUNS N' ROSES in 2001 and became the band's longest-serving post-Slash guitarist, spoke about the possibility of new music from GN'R during an interview with the new "StageLeft" podcast.
He said: "We haven't started recording anything. I mean, when I say that, as far as in the studio, doing an album… We've been recording a lot of stuff, just ideas, sort of assembling ideas, but not going into a studio and actually tracking a new record."
Asked if he thinks a new GN'R album will happen, Fortus said: "Yeah, I do. It's sort of too good not to happen at this point — that's how I feel about it. This band is really a force right now, and I definitely hope that we do, and I think we're all sort of counting on it, and we're also planning on it."
Fortus was also full of praise for GUNS singer Axl Rose, saying that "the genius of Axl is his ability to assemble songs from different parts and make them feel cohesive as a song. And I've never seen anybody able to do that in the same way."
A St. Louis native, 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 future GN'R 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 kicked off its long-rumored and long-awaited reunion tour in April 2016 with a club show in Hollywood and appearances in Las Vegas and at California's Coachella festival.