Nuno Bettencourt Issues Apology to Guns N’ Roses’ Richard Fortus + Slash, Fortus Responds
The exchange started as a result of an interview Bettencourt recently did with Planet Rock, where he described the challenges of playing guitar for Rihanna and said Slash would even have a difficult time doing so. "Slash is one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time but I guarantee – and he’d be the first to tell you – that if he jumps up and he’s got play a clean intro to ‘Rude Boy’ from Rihanna, it ain’t happening," he'd said.
Fortus, who's been in Guns N' Roses since 2002 and thus bandmates with Slash since he rejoined the group in 2016, posted a screenshot of the interview on his Instagram, and wrote in the caption that he "respectfully" disagreed.
"[Bettencourt] is one of the greats, for sure. However, there is very little Slash couldn’t do on guitar (if he wanted to). I toured with Rihanna prior to Nuno, and I’ve spent a lot of time playing with Slash. This gig wouldn’t be a struggle for him," the full caption read.
Bettencourt then fired back at Fortus in a post of his own, writing, "@4tus I’ve 'respectively' never heard you play one note in my 56 years of being alive and only know your name from the Rihanna camp and as a replacement player in Guns... And @4tus if you knew me at all and where my heart is you’d know that what I meant in this statement was not about Slash or his capability, It was about rock guitarists like myself or Slash switching genres and the awkwardness of playing these feels."
Many of Bettencourt's fans commented on the guitarist's post, insinuating that he'd blown the situation out of proportion in his response and was "rude" to Fortus.
"I admire you Nuno, you are one of the greatest in the history and your evolution over the years is being amazing, but Fortus didn’t disrespect you as you insulted him on so many ways," one of the commenters stated.
Bettencourt uploaded a four-minute video on his Instagram earlier today (July 27) to address and apologize for his previous comments.
"I'm not that guy, I don't wanna be that guy. I'm not interested in this shit, it actually makes me sick," Bettencourt said, citing how widespread the situation had become. "Bottom line is, this is on me. I need to keep my fucking mouth shut. I got asked a question about Rihanna, and my answer was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I'll take full responsibility for it... I tried to make a point, it kind of backfired on me. I do a lot of press, and every once in a while you say stupid shit."
The guitarist added that going forward, he's only going to discuss his work with Extreme so that he doesn't say anything that might hurt someone else.
"Don't ask me about Slash or Guns or Richard Fortus, who I owe an apology to. Richard — sorry brother. This is ridiculous, you had a complete right to defend your bro, even if it was in the lightest way or whatever it was, you are correct," the rocker continued. "I don't like hurting people, I don't like talking bad about anybody, and this is all coming from me... It came across very arrogant, it came across very offensive, and people love this shit. They're feeding off of it."
"Whether I'd heard Richard play before — which I hadn't — that doesn't give me the right to make that comment... Apologies again to Richard, who's obviously a great guitar player. He's playing with Guns, he's gotta be amazing," he added.
Bettencourt concluded that he didn't know why he mentioned Slash in the initial interview in the first place, and that he hopes to have a beer with Fortus at some point in the future so they can laugh about the whole situation.
"Contacting you directly to make arrangements for that beer," Fortus commented on the post, which you can view in full below.