Thursday, January 20, 2011
Bumblefoot: Touring the US is too "complicated" for GN'R
Rick Landers of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Guitar International: GN'R is gonna be on the road in February, right?
Ron: We're supposed to be and suddenly there's silence.
I don't think it's gonna happen.
Figuring February is weeks away and I've yet to see a single confirmed date.
It's the kind of thing where you have a tour that's coming together, but it's so complicated at this level with managers and booking agents and different promoters and venues and itinerary and the production. The manager has to figure out how to get the gear from point A to point B all the time, without us going broke, and making sure all the crew is available. With everything, all it takes is just one link in the chain to get weak and everything unravels. So, I don't know what the status is of this U.S. tour that I've been impatiently waiting for. It's been five years since we've played the U.S. Last year we did some acoustic shows in New York in February, but as far as a real tour, we haven't done that. A couple of shows in May and September of 2006 and then a fall tour from October to December.
Guitar International: What does that mean for you? Does that mean you've got to keep February and March open as far as anything else you want to do?
Ron: That's always the dilemma. Things come together so quickly with GN'R that I just get a week's notice.
Guitar International: Jeez.
Ron: In fact, when I joined the band, I only had a week to learn all the songs and then hit the road. And to learn the "Chinese" songs, they wouldn't give me a copy because they were so worried about leaks. I had to learn all of that stuff on a pair of headphones in the rehearsal room on a laptop just listening and taking notes.
Guitar International: That's like learning guitar in the '50s and '60s with a turntable. Crazy.
Ron: Yeah, so with Guns what'll happen is I'll get a week's notice. They'll say, "All right. It's happening. We're FedExing your tickets."
The thing is, for the rest of the world, if you want to plan something, it's months in advance. What would happen is I would plan a tour for five months from now and by that point GN'R would say, "All right. It's time for us to do something," and I would have to cancel. It just becomes impossible to make plans. All I can do is make very short-term plans that don't require too much commitment and if I have to break them, it's not gonna hurt a lot of people.
I've shied away from playing live and doing shows because of that, because if I have to cancel a show, it could disappoint hopefully only a few hundred people — okay, maybe 100. [Both laughing] If it's just a meet-and-greet or something like that, it could be the same, but it's not like they spent a lot of money and made a lot of plans. It's just not as big a thing to cancel. So, I've been doing more meet-and-greets and not doing any performances other than quick jams. Like I played in Sydney, Australia and jammed with Fozzy.
Bumblefoot: "We've yet to get in a room and write as a band."
Read the entire interview from Guitar International here.
Forum discussion here.
posted 6:14 PM