Monday, December 27, 2010

Bumblefoot talks touring with Guns N’ Roses

Ronald van de Baan of Metalkrant recently hooked up for a chat with Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.

The two talk about Thal’s solo work and what touring with GNR is like; here’s a bit of that session:

Metalkrant: You come over as a very social guy. You always got time for fans and often play with them outside the hotel. Is it hard to keep being that way, now that you are in the famous rock-band Guns N’ Roses?

Playing in GNR, I have more of an opportunity to do things like this, it's been good. It always happens spontaneously, fans outside a hotel, I'm walking in with a guitar, or they have one, we're talking for a while, next thing ya know we're all singin' and playin'. It's nice. It's why I'm here. On Earth, I mean.

Metalkrant: Being away from home for such a long time must be a hard thing to do. How do you keep up the good spirit and continue being on the road for that time?

My wife visits a lot – we get to see the world together, it's great. I think Skype keeps everyone sane, fathers getting to see their families. There's a lot of band and crew walking around with laptops in front of their faces, talking to it, everyone waving to each other through the screen as they walk by...

Metalkrant: What is the most intense moment in your career so far?

When a tornado tore down the stage in Rio early this year, right before doors opened. Crew was pretty bruised up, and if the audience was there, we would have had a lot of deaths.

Metalkrant: Besides making good solo-records, you also are one of the lead-guitarist in Guns N’ Roses. Is it hard to combine your solo-work with being in Guns N’ Roses?

Yes, the more we tour the less time there is for everything else. The last thing I did was put out my own 'Abnormal' album and acoustic 'Barefoot' album in 2008, while GNR's 'Chinese Democracy' was in its final stages to be released. I spent most of 2009 living out of a hotel room in LA, prepping with GNR for this past year of touring – took a break over that summer and wrote & recorded a batch of my own music, toured with Lita Ford for a few months, then got back to bizz with GNR, hit the road end of '09 and have been touring since.

On breaks in-between legs of the tour I'd try to knock out whatever I could – my first album was re-released by the label that owned it and I transcribed & released a 200-page TAB book of the album, I laid some guest solos, started laying vocals to the '09 songs I wrote ('Invisible' will be the first of them...), did a song for a 'Rock Band' style video game of rock versions of Chopin's music, mixed Return To Earth's new album 'Automata' (Metal Blade Records), mixed and mastered some other demos and albums, did work with some charities as well... just a big race against the clock all the time. I'm getting' things done, but I definitely feel the constant impending 'To Do' list hovering over my head at all times, and scramble to knock down the list every free chance I get....

Metalkrant: The Guns N’ Roses world tour recently will come to an end. What's the next project you will focus on?

Don't know what comes next, can't predict. Ya know, 'We make plans, and God laughs...' GNR has some tentative touring plans, will have to see what comes of it – if not that, will keep putting out my own music, would love to get back to producing bands and teaching, and maybe finally making that instructional DVD that's been on the ol' list for a decade....

For the full interview, check out Metalkrant here.

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