Richard Fortus Reflects On The AC/DC And Guns N’ Roses Comparison


Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus recently talked about getting his first Gretsch, and while talking about it, he revealed how he feels to be on stage with Slash by his side and compared it to Malcolm and Angus Young of AC/DC.

Fortus and Slash have been working together since Slash rejoined Guns N’ Roses in 2015. The two guitarists have established good sync with each other on stage, and Fortus admires Slash’s ways of playing the guitar at all times. Fortus thinks that Slash is a unique guitar player like Jimi Hendrix and had stated his excitement about performing with him.

In his recent interview with Guitar World, Fortus talked about buying his first Gretsch and related his guitars to the bands he listened to, and how those aspects affected his performance. After talking about the specialties of the guitar, he stated that his Gretsch has a big role in establishing that sync with Slash and resembled it to the AC/DC duo Malcolm and Angus Young.

Here are Fortus’ words:

“I bought my first Gretsch when I was about 16 years old, which was a 1966 Tennessean. I’m a big Billy Duffy fan, and I was also listening to a lot of AC/DC. I guess it was a tone I gravitated towards from an early age. That Tennessean was actually a George Harrison model, and it’s a really cool guitar. It has the HiLo’Tron pickups, which have a very distinct tone. It’s very unusual and hi-fi to my ears. I’ve always been really attracted to Gretsches because they look so awesome.

I remember seeing Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain, that whole Dolls aesthetic. They both played Falcons at different times. What brought me back to Gretsch in terms of them being the main instruments I play on stage is when Slash and Duff came back into the band. I was trying out different guitars – I’m a big P-90 fan and went through a bunch of things when we were rehearsing.

When I landed on Gretsch, it really seemed to come together. There’s something about that classic higher-output humbucker on Slash’s side and then what I’m playing. It really fits together, in the same kind of way Malcolm and Angus [Young] did. There’s a magic to that sound. With less gain, my sound fits around what Slash is doing.”

While Angus Young is the lead guitarist, his brother Malcolm Young who passed away in 2017, was the rhythm guitarist of AC/DC. They also remarkably matched and completed each other with their guitars. While Slash is the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses currently, Fortus completes him in a way and complements his unique solos.