In a recent interview with Scott Itter of Dr. Music, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal came to the defense of Axl Rose in regard to the highly debated album, ‘Chinese Democracy.’
Thal, who was a member of the lineup during the ‘Chinese Democracy’ tour and joined Guns N’ Roses in 2006, shared his insights on the album and the intricate process behind its creation. He emphasized that the extensive production time did not stem from negligence or a lack of focus:
“The music was already so close to completion, and it was incredibly rich and complex. There was an abundance of material to work with, and my goal was to find the perfect fit. This is where producer Caram Costanzo came in; he provided guidance, enabling me to contribute something meaningful to the project.
So, it was essentially the two of us in the studio, collaborating intensely. Subsequently, Axl and Caram meticulously reviewed the material, making decisions on what worked, what didn’t, what should take the forefront, and what should remain in the background.”
While recognizing Axl Rose’s meticulous and methodical approach to music, Bumblefoot stressed the importance of viewing ‘Chinese Democracy’ within the context of its era. He suggested that comprehending the nuances of the songs sometimes required more time than initially anticipated:
“I’m proud to have been a part of that historical album. It possessed great depth with numerous layers. Each listen would unveil something new, even elements that had previously gone unnoticed. It’s akin to a remarkable movie where, upon the third viewing, you discover things you hadn’t observed before.”
‘Chinese Democracy,’ released in 2008 after years of anticipation, represented one of the most protracted recording processes in the history of rock music. The album, which garnered a mixed reception from both fans and critics, had been in production for well over a decade. While many pointed fingers at Axl Rose, accusing him of causing unwarranted delays and being excessively perfectionistic, Thal’s perspective sheds light on the complexity and depth of the album’s creation.