GNRFansAroundTheWorld recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow:
GNRFansAroundTheWorld: We all saw that you like playing fretless guitars. There's not a lot of guitarist playing them. What made you start playing fretless guitar? And wich one you like better...fretless or with frets?
Bumblefoot: Dig playin' both, each has somethin' about them. Fretted guitars you can really dig in and bend the strings 'till your fingers are chewed up, but fretless has a freedom you don't get from a fretted guitar. I kinda dig soloing with the fretless, Vigier makes the ones I use, with the metal neck. And they made the foot guitar. They gave me the fretless to check out, I think it was the NAMM show in 1999. The first five minutes were strange, but after an hour or so, it all started comin' together. Check 'em out at www.vigierguitars.com.
GNRFansAroundTheWorld: I read an article somewhere that you know ALL the songs from everybody. If somebody asks you to play any song, by anybody, you know the song, and you play it. You are supposed to be a real musical encyclopedia. Is there a song that you like very much, and would wanna play but just can't?
Bumblefoot: Haha! I try to make 'em laugh by busting out some unexpected song, out of nowhere, at 4 a.m. on the tour bus or at rehearsal, see who'll join in... fun stuff. I pretty much make up some guitar version of whatever song off the top of my head, kinda like the "Don't Cry" solo. Never planned out what I was gonna do, just busted that out at Rock in Rio without ever playing it, just made it up on the spot. Every song is playable if you make your own rendition of it. It's like telling a story with your voice, you're telling a song through your hands, ya know? If ya mean playing the guitar part of a song note-for-note, that takes dedication and practice.
GNRFansAroundTheWorld: Is there a place in the world that you are dying to do a show there?
Bumblefoot: One of the places I was dying to play was the Madison Square Garden in New York City. Grew up in NYC, first band I saw was KISS at MSG, dream was to play there some day...happened in November. Same for Frank. We played a tribute to KISS that night, Ace Frehley's solo from the KISS "Alive!" album — what a great feeling to play that at the Garden. A lot of places I was working on touring with the solo band, but didn't get to play and hope to some day — Japan, South America, Israel, Australia, Iceland... would love to go back to Russia — played in Moscow in 2004 and 2005 (it's where I got that black furry hat I wear, haha...) And yes, even Montreal, if they'd have me.
Read the entire interview at GNRFansAroundTheWorld.