GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal is currently using the downtime from touring to work on a new solo album and also has a fun new app on the iTunes App Store called Rock Science, which is a rock trivia game with a social gaming twist.
Asked by John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews if he has gained some perspective as far as how radically different it is for a band like GUNS N' ROSES to put out an album as opposed to an artist like him releasing a new solo CD, Ron said: "Yes, and it's two totally, totally different scenarios, absolutely. I don't even know how to begin to compare the two. For one thing, in my own situation, in 'Bumblefoot' world, I have all the keys to the whole project. I know I have to write an album, record it and release it. In the GN'R world, Axl [Rose, GN'R lead singer] holds the key, and [laughs] when he decides to do something is when he decides to do it, and it's definitely at a different pace than say when I do things."
He continued: "Axl and I are two different people with two different lives and two totally different sets of hurdles to jump over, which totally affects our ability to release what we create.
"It's very hard to bust out anything when life becomes more complicated or you have more people trying to pull you in a million different directions or distract you. The bigger a band gets, the more that happens; so at Axl's level, it's definitely not easy and there's a million fires to put out where at my level there is maybe ten fires or even two fires. [laughs]
"When there's not as many things or people distracting you or keeping you from getting in the zone, it really frees you up to do the simple stuff and things don't need to be so complicated. But I've realized that all those complications that are hurled at you, all of those distractions, they're all external, and they don't need to penetrate your skin and get into who you are, or stop you from doing what you do, or change the relationship that you have with music or creating it or releasing it or sharing it or performing it or anything. I've realized that can be untouchable and nobody can change that. People will try, and people will continue to try relentlessly, but they can't, unless you give them the power. Once you realize that as an artist, you realize that you can do anything you wanna do musically and there's really nothing at all that's truly stopping you after all."
Asked if he is surprised by the level of exposure or spotlight that Axl gives each of the GUNS N' ROSES musians during the band's live show, Ron said: "No, because at the same time we're a team, and we're there for a reason, and I will be ballsy and say we fucking earned it. [laughs] We've worked hard all our lives to get here, and it's not like we won the lottery or something. It's not like this is just something we stepped in. I've been busting my ass for 38 years musically, and after 30 years, I did my first show with GUNS, but even before that, I was out there touring and making music for TV shows, putting out albums and teaching at universities and producing bands and had my own studio. God, I had a whole second house that I just gutted and turned into a studio just to work on music. Yes, I am grateful for all the experiences I had with GUNS N' ROSES — good and bad — because the bad ones are just the 'unplanned' ones and you still learn and grow from them, so they still bring you something good inevitably."