In a new interview with nine-year-old Jam Man, former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal was asked if he would ever play with the Axl Rose-fronted outfit again. He responded (see video below): “I think that they’ve gone their way, and I’ve gone my way. We had eight wonderful years together. And that’s that.”
Pressed about whether he and the other members of GUNS N’ ROSES got along, Thal said: “Like any band, sometimes we did, sometimes we didn’t. When a bunch of dudes are living together for months at a time, traveling from place to place and living such an intense life while you have this whole other life that’s happening back home that needs you, there’s a lot of things that can wear a person down, individuals. And when that person gets worn down, they’re not gonna be at their best. And other people, depending on who they are, the way they react to people who are worn down and not at their best, it will trigger things in them and maybe not bring out their best. And it’s very easy for the stress to get the best of people in a group environment — whether it’s a band, whether it’s an office, whether it’s anyting. That’s just the nature of human beings. The way we feel is very contagious. If one person is foul, everyone gets foul. If one person is happy, everyone can get happy. If one person is laughing, everyone starts laughing. So it’s very easy for us — and when I say ‘us,’ I mean any group of people — to react to each other in any direction.
“So, yeah, there were times when we got along great, [and] some times when we really didn’t, and everything in between,” he continued. “But ultimately, when you get on stage, most of the time, you forget everything and you just get lost in the music and you’re having a great time in that moment, just making music and being a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves and more meaningful than whatever you’re going through. And you’re there for hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands or whatever it is, that many people, that are there to be happy. And it’s hard not to be when you’re part of that.”
Thal never officially announced his departure from the GN’R, but a source confirmed to Detroit music writer Gary Graff back in 2015 that the guitarist had been out since the end of the band’s second Las Vegas residency in 2014.
Thal later revealed that he was focusing on his solo career and other projects after spending eight years playing in GUNS.
Thal joined GUNS N’ ROSES in 2006 and played on 2008’s “Chinese Democracy”, an album which contained music that had been written before he came into the group. He has also released a number of solo CDs.
In a 2017 interview with Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF, Thal said that it would feel “kind of weird” if he went to see the reunited partial classic lineup of GUNS N’ ROSES perform in concert. “I quit the band and they moved on and I moved on. It’s not like we quit pretty,” he explained. “And also, what am I gonna do? I’m gonna stand in the audience and everyone’s gonna be, like, ‘Hey, you used to be there.’ It’s too weird, man.
“I wish ’em well and all, but to actually physically go [and see them], after hundreds of times on the stage with them, it just feels very surreal,” he continued. “I always describe it like going to see your ex-girlfriend’s wedding. And I don’t mean any disrespect by that, and I do wish them well and I’m happy that they’re doing so, so good. But for me to go and see it, it would just stir up a lot of stuff. So it’s better that I’m just doing my thing, they’re doing their thing and everybody just wishes each other well from afar. And I get lots of good reports from friends and everything and I’m still in touch with people in the camp. I’m real happy for them — they’re on top of the world right now, so good for them.”
Thal is currently a member of SONS OF APOLLO, which also features drummer Mike Portnoy, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and bassist Billy Sheehan. SONS OF APOLLO released its second studio album, “MMXX” (pronounced: 20/20), in January via InsideOut Music/Sony.
Photo courtesy of SONS OF APOLLO‘s web site
Jam Man talks with the Legendary Bumblefoot about Plantery Lockdown and the over 380 muscians who added to the song, working with Sons Of Apollo, His time with Guns N’ Roses, becoming the frontman for Original Asia, working with The Dodies and Midnight Preachers, doing band camp, becoming a playable Character in Fortnite , playing with Megadeth’s David Ellefson and their upcoming shows, his next band camp, and he even played his guitar and sang with me. He is the nicest guy in Rock N Roll!
Posted by Rocking With Jam Man on Tuesday, September 29, 2020