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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2012.12.DD - Total Guitar - String 'Em Up (Bumblefoot, Richard, DJ)

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Post by Soulmonster Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:23 am

2012.12.DD - Total Guitar - String 'Em Up (Bumblefoot, Richard, DJ) 532169_490519940969741_603797618_n

2012.12.DD - Total Guitar - String 'Em Up (Bumblefoot, Richard, DJ) 602256_490515230970212_612373674_n

2012.12.DD - Total Guitar - String 'Em Up (Bumblefoot, Richard, DJ) 535383_490523560969379_1142532579_n


String 'em up
Axl's trio have an appetite for your questions - the critics, late starts, catching fire onstage and what their boss is really like.

HEADING backstage at a Guns N' Roses gig is an experience that's even more surreal and outlandish than you would expect. After weaving a path through the sprawling hall of dressing rooms assigned to the band, TG is ushered into a pokey space. which, despite laying unoccupied both before and after our interview, is dominated by a fridge stocked with every tipple under the sun and an accompanying table groaning under the weight of the laughably excessive mountain of food piled atop of it. Before we can say, 'Whit, no square watermelon?", GN'R guitar trio Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal, DJ Ashba and Richard Fortus bound through the door, ready and more than willing to answer your questions. In fact, they spend the next 40 minutes tackling even the most potentially incendiary queries without a murmur of discontent. Yes, even those about the top-hatted one...

How do you feel about being considered hired guns and having some fans focus on the band's previous guitarists?
Sian Merrell, via Facebook
RICHARD FORTUS: "They only ever focus on one guitarist who's been in the band! Its completely understandable. He was such a part of what made the band huge."
BUMBLEFOOT: "It's like, "You're not my real daddy!" I mean, come on."
DJ ASHBA: The thing that pisses me off is that fans attack us, because we're just trying to do whatever we can to keep the music alive and do it justice. If it weren't us, somebody else would be doing It. But what they don't realise is that we're on their side. I never really understood that: if we hated Slash, we wouldn't be doing this gig. I personally have a lot of respect for all of the guys that have brought this band to this level, and that's why I wanted to be part of it."
BF: "I have respect for most. [laughs]"

What is the biggest challenge of playing in a band with three guitarists? How do you decide who plays the solos?
AJ Craig, via email
DJ: "We all have three different styles, so it's pretty obvious who takes what, and we all don't give a s**t either way. We're like, "You want to take it, take it."
RF: "Also, we all sort of inherited the roles of those before us. We came into those and stuck with those roles."

What were the best and the worst surprises about being in Guns N' Roses?
Chipx Love, via Facebook
DJ: "The best is the guns, the worst is the roses...Seriously, it's a family. It's a circus and a crazy lifestyle. But it's very tight-knit. The worst part is the travel, the crazy hours, getting sick on the road and hating to still put on shows- for me that's the hardest part. But the fans are amazing."

How do you warm up before a GN'R show-do you warm up together or go off and do your own thing?
Daz Skidmore, via email
RF: "Yeah. we get together in a room and watch Ron warm up."
BF: "Pretty much! I walk around a little bit with the guitar and get used to playing standing up before hitting the stage. It doesn't take long to warm up- a good 10 minutes and then I'm good to go."

What gear are you guys currently using?
Luke Hopkins, via Facebook
RF: "DJ should go first because he'll be the quickest!"
DJ: "All Les Pauls. I'm using a Fractal [Axe-Fx II] unit. There are no cabinets or anything - it's just direct out. That's my unit. That's it: it's simple. I have a couple of wah and Whammy pedals as well."
BF: "I am using mostly Vigier (guitars]. I've got a doubleneck, a fretless neck and a fretted neck and a backup of that, a single neck, a single-cutaway Vigier GV Rock model, and then I have my old '89 Gibson Les Paul reissue of the '59. That's it, guitar-wise. I have an Engl I00-watt Invader head going into four 65-watt Celestions [in a cab] from a company called Hermit. I've got two (Audio-Technica] AT4050s going to front of house from there. In the effects loop, there's a TC Electronic Nova system and I have a Dunlop Rack Wah. I have an expression pedal that I use for anything on the 'TC."
RF: "I've cut my rig way down. I used to use the '73 100-watt Jose (Arredondo-modded) Marshall and an Egnater preamp system. Now I'm just using a signature model Voodoo that they made for me. The clean channel is based on the [Marshall] 'Plexi I'm using with (support act) Thin Lizzy tonight. Then I also have the overdrive channel, which is beefier -it's a four-channel amp, basically. The other section is based on my Jose, my main amp for a long time, which I bought from DJ's buddy Mick Mars. That's a good amp, but the channel on this amp sounds even better. I've got a Fractal Axe-Fx II as well. So, it's basically the wet side. It's wet, dry, wet, with the real amp in the middle. Then I've got lots of drawers of pedals."

Do you think Axl Rose is misunderstood by most people?
Louise Campbell, via email
RF: "Oh, absolutely, because he doesn't defend himself in the press. There are a lot of people who take advantage of that, and ex-members know that's the way it is and they fully use that to their advantage."
DJ: "It's easier to get into a fight when you know the other guy isn't going to swing hack"

In your careers, what is the worst thing that's ever happened to you when playing a gig?
Toby Kent, via email
DJ: "Catching on fire. That sucked."
BF: "Is that when you got that hole in your ass?"
DJ: "Yeah, and then they put duct tape on the hole in my jeans and it pulled all my skin off later. That was pretty painful. Richard had to put me out. l was [standing] on [the] flames thinking, 'F**k, it's so hot!' And he had to put me out."
RF:"I pissed on him."
BF: "Then I pissed on Richard."
RF: "But that just happens all the time, though."

Which Guns song do you enjoy playing live the most and why?
Janie Lynch, via email
DJ: "I really like -and at first I hated it- This I Love. At first, I just couldn't get my head around the solo, so I had to tweak it out and make it a little bit more mine. I'm really bad at mocking other guitar players. I've never been that good at learning cover songs - it's just never been my thing, so it was hard to wrap my head around his [Robin Finck's] style. That one was way harder than a Slash solo. in my opinion."
BF: "Shackler's Revenge is the one I love most from the new s**t because I keep real busy in it. It keeps me out of trouble. I'm doing a lot of singing and switching between the two necks. There's tapping and a lot of technical things where I'm multitasking - I like the brain challenge of it all. I think from the old stuff (I like] Don't Cry. It goes back to when I first started [in the band]. I f**king hate taking guitar solos. When I first joined the band I wasn't prepared for it."
RF: "None of us were!"
BF: "I just felt like an idiot, just standing up there and wanking, thinking, 'I was brought into this to wank!' People always wrote to me saying that they wanted to hear Don't Cry. One day I just spontaneously started playing the melody and adding the chords to it and the audience started singing along. People would write and ask if we would do it at the next show, and that became my solo. I minimised all of the other stuff and the audience would sing along. I thought it was a moment of closing the gap between audience and stage, with everyone making music together."
RF: "How did the Pink Panther solo come about?"
BF: "That one happened in 2009 when I refused to take a solo. I was saying, 'I'm not taking a solo, I don't care, I'll leave this f**kin' band, I will not do a solo. Hey, has anybody done the Charlie Brown theme? And they were like, 'Yeah, every kid in MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has.' This was three days before we were going on the road. Then I thought, 'What about the Pink Panther theme?' So, we just started putting it together and it all clicked spontaneously. I did that for a long time, and we recorded it, too, at the end of the touring last year.'

Do you think it's disrespectful to paying fans to deliberately take to the stage late?
Paul Harris, via Facebook
RC: "I think fans understand that to see that guy do what he does, that comes with it. Some fans are real fans who follow everything the band does, then there's a casual fan who just knows Appetite... and just wants to hear the songs. For those, yeah, I guess it can be tough."
BF: "People have work the next day, they've paid a lot of money and they have to choose, "Do I leave now and lose money and only see half a show or do I stay and I'm completely unproductive and pissed off tomorrow?' It's like if you go to see a movie and the movie ends up being five hours long. You think, 'I wanted to see this movie, but it's reaching the point where it has become too much of an intrusion on my life.' Maybe that can happen for people who are more casual about it. They just wanted to go see a movie - they didn't want to go on vacation in GN'R land for a whole night into the next day!
"I think I might have one of the hardest times [out of the band] with the long waits. You don't know until minutes before. It's, 'All right, were going on.' Everyone suits up, slides down the pole and puts out the fire!"
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