Guitar legend Ron Thal, better known as Bumblefoot, looked back on his time in Guns N’ Roses and what it was like to work on the 2008 album “Chinese Democracy.”
The album has garnered a reputation among fans. Some view it as an unconventional record that spanned almost a decade in the making and showcased several musicians who are not considered classic GN’R members. On the other hand, others value its distinct approach. Being the band’s undeniable leader, Axl Rose aimed to incorporate all the musicians who had been part of the lineup, including Bumblefoot, Buckethead, Josh Freese, Robin Finck, among others.
“The music was so close to finished, and it was so full, and there was so much going on there. I was just trying to find the thing that would fit best. And that’s where [producer] Caram Costanzo, he was there, and he would guide me, and he really made it happen so that I was able to contribute something to it.”
As Bumblefoot also added, Axl and Costanzo had the final say in which of his parts would end up on the album:
“So it was the two of us in the studio, just going at it. And then he and Axl would just go through the stuff and decide what works, what doesn’t, and what they wanna keep and what will be in the background and what will be in the front.”
Bumblefoot conveyed his appreciation for his contribution to the creation of “Chinese Democracy”, even though the album is often viewed as divisive and solely credited to Axl Rose. However, he maintains that the album possesses much more than its initial impression suggests, and that it necessitates multiple listens to be fully comprehended.
“I’m glad I could be part of that history. [It was] a deep album with a lot of layers. You can listen to it a few times and hear more, even things you didn’t notice. Like [a great] movie, when you watch it a third time, it’s, like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even notice that.'”