By STEVE MASCORD
GUNS N’ROSES guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal says the band should forget about doing a new album and release one song at a time.
And in a wide-ranging interview with Hot Metal, Thal also blames the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame for singer Axl Rose’s non-appearance at the induction, denies lip-synching allegations levelled during GN’R’s last Australian tour and explains what happened at the end of the Gunners’ final Indian show in December, when bassist Tommy Stinson was reported to have thrown a tantrum.
Guns N’Roses members have spoken about working this year on a follow-up for 2008’s Chinese Democracy.
“There’s been talk all the time within us about the next album and what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it,” Thal says.
“But you know, life always gets in the way. Things get in the way. It’s hard to have the momentum and the focus and everything that you need. It’s hard to put everything aside and do a whole album.
“Personally, I don’t want to do an album. I would like to just do a song. Let’s just bite off a song and get a song out there and then bite off another song and get that out there.
“It’s easier to do. Look, waiting for an album to get done is just too much. I can’t do it myself. If I waited to finish an album, it still wouldn’t be done and the album still wouldn’t be out.
“When there’s so much touring and so much other stuff going on, don’t try and take on 14 songs. Do a song, then another song, then another song and then figure it out from there.”
On Rose’s refusal to attend Guns N’Roses Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame Induction on April 14, 2012, Bumblefoot says: “Honestly, we tried to work it out with the Hall of Fame to come up with something but they had it in their mind that it was their way or no way.
“So they wouldn’t budge and they were just trying to force a situation that wasn’t good for everybody. We wanted it to be good for everybody. So…
“A lot of people should be in there that aren’t. Deep Purple isn’t in there. That’s a fucking travesty…”
It was internationally reported when Guns N’Roses play Townsville on December 1, 2010, that Rose had been “caught” lip-syncing, with local television sneaking into the venue and filming the performance.
Thal flatly rejects the allegation. “I assure you,” he says, “everything Axl sings is real, everything I play is real, everything I sing is real.
“Trust me, we fuck up enough that you know it’s real.”
One of the issues that night – and on many others – was the band’s late arrival on stage. While fellow guitarist DJ Ashba recently said this was because of GNR’s “big rig”, Thal said only: “You know what? When you’re waiting, I’m waiting too.
“I don’t want to wait fucking three hours to get on stage. I want to give you guys a show and I want you to be happy.
“But hey, it’s out of my control.”
Finally, Bumblefoot said reports in India that Stinson had lost his temper on stage during an encore performance of Rose Tattoo’s “Nice Boys (Don’t Play Rock’n’Roll)” in Gurgaon on December 12 were a result of misinformation.
“It wasn’t that,” Thal says. “What happened was, we did our bow and we were walking off stage and we said ‘let’s do some more’. They were already packing up the gear and shutting everything down.
“So they first had to fire up everything all over again and half the shit was away so we started playing with half our gear and finally it was just like, ‘you know what? Fuck it.’ Some shit wouldn’t go on, we’re re-connecting cables, so the crew was going crazy trying to get it all done and it was just another moment in the history of the band.”
The Angels were to be on the bill for GN’R’s upcoming Australian tour but have been replaced by Rose Tattoo after singer Doc Neeson was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Sending a message to Neeson though Hot Metal, Bumblefoot said: “Just positive thoughts. That was so out of nowhere, it hit everybody by surprise and everybody just wishes you well, wishes you health and comfort and to get past this the best you can and to stay positive.”
By STEVE MASCORD