Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal says that he was so "angry and bitter and frustrated" before he left the band three years ago that it "was not healthy" for him to continue playing with the Axl Rose-fronted outfit.
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 after spending eight years playing in GUNS.
Asked by Metal Wani in a new interview how he looks back on his time with GUNS N' ROSES, Thal said (hear audio below): "Well, how do you sum up such a big part of your life in one conversation? It was great. There were ups, there were downs, just like anything in life. There were challenges, there was good stuff, there was fun times, there was difficult times, but in the end, the one thing that makes me smile when I think back on it is when I think of all the fans that are now friends and staying in touch with them and that connection that we make and being part of something that affects so many people. That was really good. It was nice."
When pressed about whether he would ever consider reuniting with GUNS N' ROSES for a show or a tour, Thal said: "I want to say 'no,' but the truth is you never know what's gonna happen. And let me put it this way, let me say it this way: If somebody was gonna die and their last wish was to see that happen, and everybody put past grievances aside, and all of that, yeah, then it would happen. If it was just, like, 'Hey, Ron, do you wanna tour?' I don't think they would ask me, and if they did, I don't think I would do it, because just the way things ended for me, I was so burned out and so in need of moving on that it was not healthy for me — and for them — for me to be there anymore. I was not happy. I feel like I was doing more harm than good at that point. I was miserable. I needed to get out. I needed to get back to creating and doing the things that made me feel alive my whole life, and I wasn't getting to do that. And it was too much of a challenge to try and schedule between the two. And I didn't want it to be that way, but it was. So I just reached the point that I needed to get out. And I don't wanna go back to that. I don't wanna regress as a human being to the person I left as — very unhappy. So for that reason. Not for musical reasons, not for anything like that — just for that. But also, still, with all that [said], I left angry and bitter and frustrated and unresolved, and it didn't end in a nice way between us when I left. But even with all of that, it's very easy to hold a grudge [against] someone for eternity. But still, in life you can never say never."
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.
Thal is currently involved with ART OF ANARCHY alongside CREED singer Scott Stapp and DISTURBED bassist John Moyer.
Thal told "Trunk Nation" last month that he was not interested in seeing GUNS N' ROSES perform on the "Not In This Lifetime" tour, saying that it would be like "going to your ex-girlfriend's wedding." He explained: "It's just kind of weird. I know too much. I've seen too much. I've been on the other side of the stage, and it's not like it ended pretty — for me. I don't have [any hard feelings] now, but at the time, there was a volatility, yeah."