Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, formerly of Guns N’ Roses, defended Axl Rose with regard to the hotly debated album “Chinese Democracy” in a recent interview with Scott Itter of Dr. Music. Thal, who joined Guns N’ Roses in 2006 and was on the lineup for the ‘Chinese Democracy’ tour, offered his thoughts on the record and the creative process. He highlighted that the prolonged production period was not due to carelessness or lack of attention: “I was simply trying to find the thing that would fit best because the music was so close to being finished, it was so full, and there was so much going on there. In order for me to be able to assist in some way, producer Caram Costanzo was there to guide me and make things happen. Therefore, there was just the two of us working together in the studio. He would simply go through the material with Axl and pick what works, what doesn’t, what they want to keep, what will be in the background, and what will be in the foreground.
Bumblefoot acknowledged Rose’s meticulous and systematic approach to music and said it’s important to consider “Chinese Democracy” in the perspective of its time. He suggested that it often took more time than anticipated to understand the song: “I’m honored to have contributed to that history. A lot of layers made up this complex record. After a few listens, you’ll hear more, even stuff you missed. When you see a wonderful movie a third time, you realize, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that. After years of anticipation, “Chinese Democracy,” which was released in 2008, was the result of one of the longest recording sessions in rock history. The record, which received mixed reviews from both critics and fans, has been in the works for more than ten years.
Many laid fingers at Rose, saying he was overly meticulous and caused unneeded delays. Tommy Stinson, a former member of GN’R, lauded Rose for how she handled the challenging “Chinese Democracy” recording process. The specifics are available here. You can listen to the band’s most recent single, “Perhaps,” which was released back in August, here. Below is the remainder of the interview.