Bumblefoot Defends Axl Rose’s ‘Chinese Democracy’

In a recent interview with Scott Itter of Dr. Music, guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, formerly of Guns N’ Roses, came to the defense of Axl Rose regarding the much-discussed album, ‘Chinese Democracy.’

Thal, who was part of the lineup for the ‘Chinese Democracy’ tour and joined Guns N’ Roses in 2006, shared his perspective on the album and the process behind it. He emphasized that the long production time was not a result of negligence or lack of focus:

“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. That’s where producer Caram Costanzo was, and he would guide me, and he really made it happen so that I was able to contribute something to it.

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.”

After acknowledging Rose’s detailed and methodical approach to music, Bumblefoot mentioned that it’s essential to look at ‘Chinese Democracy’ in the context of its era. He implied that understanding the song sometimes required more time than initially expected:

“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.'”

‘Chinese Democracy,’ released in 2008 after years of anticipation, represented one of the most prolonged recording processes in rock history. The album, which was met with a mixed reception from both fans and critics, had been in production for over a decade. Many pointed fingers at Rose, accusing him of causing unnecessary delays and being overly perfectionist.

Former GN’R bassist Tommy Stinson also praised Rose’s way of handling the difficult recording process of ‘Chinese Democracy.’ You can read the details here.

The band released their latest single, ‘Perhaps,’ back in August, which you can listen to here.

The rest of the interview is below.