In another milestone for the emerging Southern California music gear company SoloDallas, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus is officially using the company’s EX Tower across the globe this year as the band continues their groundbreaking Not In This Lifetime Tour.
The relationship began last fall in Los Angeles, when SoloDallas presented Richard (Thin Lizzy, Dead Daisies, Psychedelic Furs, Rihanna) with his first SD Towers. Fortus had been turned on to the SD Towers after extended dialogue with Angus Young.
By this time, Fortus, having initially joined the band in 2001, was now officially sharing guitar duties with Slash in the re-anointed Guns N’ Roses.
"So, I got hip to these the last leg of the tour [in 2016]”, said Fortus. “The front of house guy completely lost his mind, just fell in love with it. It’s a very subtle effect in a way, where it's a pre-amp that shapes and colors your sound. So it shifts the mid-range, and it puts it perfectly where you want it. It becomes much more aggressive, and it gives the sound, the tone teeth. It's a subtle thing to somebody that's not a player, but it's essential when you're missing that, and that's what's so awesome about this. Everybody in the room freaked out on it when we started using it. The front of house guy came in and said, 'What did you guys do? Whatever you did, that's awesome.'"
A direct descendant of the legendary Schaffer Vega Diversity System (SVDS), the EX Tower is also being used internationally this year by Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Blackberry Smoke and other preeminent artists.
The first generation of SoloDallas Towers were presented to Angus Young in May 2014, when Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri flew from NYC with inventor/visionary Ken Schaffer, who has been friends with Angus since the mid 1970s when he was building Angus the SVDS wireless units. These units became an immortal part of Angus Young's bombastic, electrifying (but now resistant to electrocution) stage show.
Arriving in Vancouver, Ken reconnected with Angus and the band, and Fil had the opportunity to talk life and guitar wth his idol, whose seminal Back in Black album inspired the three-decade SoloDallas quest for tone.
Handbuilt in the mountains of Colorado, the newest 2017 SoloDallas EX Tower iteration is the result of constant dialogue between SD artists, engineers and creatives. As Fortus explains, "This has become the key to my rig, it's become essential. I have to have a backup to it. I have to have a backup amp, and I have to have a backup SoloDallas.”
The Spring 2017 SoloDallas Schaffer Replica EX Tower is now available worldwide at solodallas.com.