Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has decried all the divisiveness in our society and villainizing of people who hold beliefs and opinions that differ from our own.
Thal made the comments during a wide-ranging 90-minute interview with "Couch Riffs", a video series and audio podcast series created and produced by Mike Squires of Duff McKagan's LOADED, HARVEY DANGER, ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE and others.
Ron said (see video below): "It's amazing how fragile society is, how easily we can become destabilized and, from there, how easily we can become radicalized.
"I love watching the old [episodes of the American television show] 'Twilight Zone' — from 1959 to '64. I think it's the most genius thing to ever hit television. And everybody should go out and watch an episode called 'The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street'. What happens is some of the electronic, or powered, devices start acting up on their own on this one street, where a car turns on by itself, or lights start flickering in a house, and how quickly it escalates and everyone starts accusing each other of possibly being an alien from outer space or working with them, and it just escalates to the point of things we've seen recently… It's a statement about how easily people can just go into fear mode and panic mode and lose rational thinking and just choose sides and their neighbor is suddenly their enemy and just looking for a villain or someone to dehumanize. People should watch that episode and then take a good long look in the mirror and think a little bit — and then go on with their lives.
"The most dangerous thing we can do as people is to dehumanize — if you wanna call them the 'opposition'; the people that don't agree with us," he continued. "Whether those people are, and whatever it is, once you dehumanize them, that is a very slippery slope and it leads to historically horrific things.
"No matter how much you hate the people that disagree with you and think that they're gonna destroy your way of life, they are human beings, and you should try to understand why they need something differently than you," he added. "Then maybe we can all find something closer to a middle ground instead of having this whole either-or mentality of your way or my way."
Ron 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.
Ron 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 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 2020 via InsideOut Music/Sony.