Guns N' Roses guitarist:
"brought to Minsk his favorite guitar of gold"
| APRIL 22, 2014
Have you ever been in Belarus before? Or anywhere near (Russia,
Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine)? What do you remember most of all if
yes? How do you imagine it if not?
I've only been to Russia so far. My first visits were to Moscow in
2004 & 2005 as a solo artist, then with GNR in 2010 & 2012. My
grandparents were from Lithuania & Poland, so I feel very 'at home'
in this part of the world :) I love the architecture, food, the
history and culture, most of all the people - I've made many good
friends there :) This will be my first visit to Belarus, hopefully
not the last! Looking forward to meeting everyone...!
You’ll be giving a master class in Minsk. Do you value do-what-i-say
or daring students the most?
I will give advice, but the student must walk their own path, make
their own choices, and grow from their own experiences. I hope to
inspire people to do that.
How many guitars will you bring with you? Do you have a favorite
one? Is there a guitar which seems strange to you? Which one is the
most difficult to play?
I'll bring my favorite, the gold double-neck fretted/fretless custom
guitar. I've been playing guitar all my life, no guitars feel
strange. (After touring in GNR, I've seen it all, nothing seems
Belarusian musicians will participate in a jam with you. How much
time do you need to achieve a teamwork with someone?
The bond of musicians happens within minutes, once the music starts,
people start to connect. It's going to be fun...!
It's said that Axl Rose is a man of moods. How is it to work with
I think my moods are worse than his, haha...
How do you choose music for the concert? What should the audience
expect: Guns N 'Roses’ hits, your own music or improvisation?
We'll play some classic rock songs, including GNR, should be some
improvised soloing going on in there too. I'd love to introduce
people to my own music. I've been releasing Bumblefoot music for
over 20 years, it's in TV shows, films, videogames... I want to
share my music with everyone.
What is your favourite Guns N’ Roses song to play?
From new GNR music, I like playing Shackler's Revenge, off Chinese
Democracy. It's a high energy song, and I get to do more of what I
actually do - I sing a bit, play fretted and fretless, and I play my
own parts that I wrote and recorded for the song. From the classic
GNR songs, I like Don't Cry. The song started off as my solo in
2006, playing it myself and the audience would sing, it's always
been the song where I feel a big connection with the audience. The
connection is important to me. I don't like separation between
audience and band, I like it when we're all together, and making the
What’s the most memorable concert you’ve played with Guns N’ Roses?
In 2012 we played the Bridge School Benefit concert
It's an annual acoustic concert in Northern California, all profits
go to the Bridge School, to help people with severe speech and
physical impairments. We had children and parents on stage with us,
I would have the kids strum my guitar during the show, to me it was
the most meaningful valuable show GNR ever did. On my own I do a lot
of charity performances, it's what matters most to me about making
music, doing something that doesn't just entertain people, but truly
*helps* people. That's the most important part of making music.
Which musician’s compliment on your guitar playing
flattered you the most?
Ahhh, I don't remember...! I do appreciate kind words, truly, but I
don't get motivated by flattery or attention or praise... I play
guitar because I love music, and need to share what I love and give
people this love. When anyone reaches out to me and tells me that my
songs lifted their spirits, that's what matters the most. :) When
the audience is happy I'm happy...
Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal