Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal says that he left the Axl Rose-fronted outfit three years ago because he felt like he had contributed everything that he possibly could as a performer.
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 in a new interview with XS Rock if he was "let go" from GUNS N' ROSES, Bumblefoot said: "No. It was me. I was really burned out. I felt like I had contributed everything that I possibly could as a performer, but my heart was in more things where I was creating, writing, producing and teaching. All of things that I was doing before the heavy touring of GN'R. I really felt that it was definitely time for me to go. I felt like I had taken it as far as I could and I was reaching a point where I was stressed and unhappy. And that's not good for me and it's not good for them. So in early March of 2014, we were rehearsing for the next three months of touring. The first thing that I told the band when I walked in was that this is going to be my last run. I finished out the shows and I did try to recommend people to take my place. I didn't want to stop them from moving forward or anything like that."
When pressed about whether Axl Rose is as difficult of a guy to work with as people make it sound in the press, Thal said: "He's a human being and he has a big heart. The press doesn't give him the same consideration that they would some other people. You know, they try to hold him to a different standard, where he's always supposed to be happy and smiling, nothing should ever be wrong and he's always supposed to be in a good mood and do the right thing and that's stupid. It's bullshit. It perpetuates a lot of negativity and incites a lot of negativity that isn't deserved. He's dealt with a lot of that. I had a great, great time working with him. Is everything perfect? No. I've probably pissed him off more than the other way around, but he's just a human being."
Asked if he has spoken with Axl since he left GUNS N' ROSES, Thal said: "No. The relationship is over between me and them. They're doing fine and I'm doing fine and that’s the way it's supposed to be. I don't regret leaving. I wish it could have smoother on a personal level. I'm happy to see what they're doing now and I'm glad I was able to be part of their world that makes people so happy at the shows. It was a gift. I'm grateful and I thank them for it."
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.