I Heart Guitar recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
I Heart Guitar: Who were you rehearsing with today?
Thal: I have a new band that I'm starting up. I don't want to say anything about it until the line-up is exact. We're just waiting to see who our bass player is definitely going to be, but it's going to be heavier than a lot of the other stuff I've done. It's gonna be interesting. A lot of fretless guitar. I'm really looking forward to recording and touring and getting it out there really quick.
I Heart Guitar: Is it going to be under your name, or are you gonna do a CHICKENFOOT?
Thal: It's gonna be a different one. Actually, I saw CHICKENFOOT last night. I got to hang out with Joe Satriani a little bit and catch up. They have such a great vibe, so down to earth and just having fun. Picture the Hagar-era VAN HALEN with Chad Smith, CHILLI PEPPERS grooves and impeccable, ass-kicking guitar every time. It's just a great thing.
I Heart Guitar: Let's talk about "Chinese Democracy". Production-wise I think that was one of the best-sounding albums to come out last year.
Thal: Mastering was such a big issue and they were so meticulous about everything about it to make sure it stayed clear and the vision was realized. Mastering was a big part of making that happen. I think it was the first album of hopefully a lot more to follow that decided that quality was more important than the volume war — it would rather be not as loud and in-your-face, but something that keeps its dynamics and bandwidth. It's such a full recording. There's so much going on in it, so much information to be processed as you listen, that it needs to be clear and pulled back so you can really get it without it being just this giant square wave. So I'm hoping that with other albums that follow, people will start realizing, "Hey, we can just turn up our stereo, turn up our iPod…"
I Heart Guitar: What are your favorite moments on "Chinese Democracy"? For instance, my favorite track is "Better". What's going on there?
Thal: There are little things I added to it. Besides the rhythm track I put in, there were some little bluesy riffs at the end of the second verse, just little things like a five-beat break after the Buckethead solo, then there's the loud, screaming part going on… after all of that there was a break that was just keyboards and I just put in a simple thing with my fretless guitar. Just little things where, knowing I contributed something of value. But there are so many little things where you can go through it and find something that's so interesting about the production, or musically, or performance-wise.
I Heart Guitar: Are there any plans for more GN'R touring?
Thal: There have been a lot of plans, it's just that when it comes to battling the economy… there are so many variables that could make it not work. I'm guessing at this point that if something is confirmed, management would let everyone know. So at this point, if I said anything it would be premature, so I should just wait for them to say anything.
Read the entire interview from I Heart Guitar.