APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

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Post by Soulmonster Sun May 16, 2021 2:12 pm

MAY 12, 2006
THE FIRST WARM-UP GIG AT THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROM


For the first show on May 12, the band would debut three new songs, I.R.S., There Was A Time, and Better. For My Michelle, Sebastian Bach would join the stage and duet with Axl. This would also be Bumblefoot's first show with the band.

Review in Los Angeles Times:

Rose, wearing jeans, a black leather shirt and sunglasses, his hair in cornrows and tied in a ponytail, got a hero's welcome as he led the band through its traditional opener, "Welcome to the Jungle." His frame looked a little heftier at age 44 than in his street-waif heyday 20 years ago, but he kicked and scampered around with spirited energy, and his raspy voice had its old barbed-wire edge.

That was the start of a solid, smooth-running 2 1/2 -hour set that was dominated by vintage fan favorites, with no tirades, no impulsive departures from the book, unless you count a guest appearance by Skid Row's Sebastian Bach, singing with Rose on "My Michelle." There was also a lot less of the tension that fueled the band's performances in the late '80s and early '90s, largely because this is a different Guns N' Roses, with the original lineup -- most significantly, Rose's colorful, guitar-wielding foil Slash -- gone and new players in place since the late '90s.


The New York Times would mention both Robin and Bumblefoot:

The newest of the seven musicians backing up Mr. Rose on Friday, one of its three guitarists, is Ron Thal, also known as Bumblefoot. (One of his guitars has been designed to look like the bottom of a foot, with bumblebee stripes.) He takes up the role of the pyrotechnic shredder, vacated in 2004 by the guitarist Buckethead. At certain points in the show, including a few discontinuous unaccompanied solos, he accelerated to impressively fast chromatic runs; he also played some lavish, Hendrix-influenced blues language. Why this band’s gut-level songs now require the ornamentation of a wizardly guitarist at all remains unclear. It makes the band more atemporal, more Vegas-y, than necessary.

It was the group’s principal guitarist, Robin Finck, who made the sweetest and most grounded music of the night, and seemed most comfortable at work. An off-and-on member of the band for nine years now, Mr. Finck assumed most of the lines in the old songs formerly played by the guitarist Slash. But when he improvised, he spun out simple patterns, shaking the guitar’s neck and getting warmth and resonance out of each note or chord; his own unaccompanied solo, just before the concert’s final number, was a beautifully coherent, non-shredding couple of minutes, the best of the less-familiar music played in the show. He gave himself to the crowd, even literally, diving in to the audience three times.


Chicago Tribune:

Wearing a black leather shirt, blue jeans and boots, the mercurial singer was a flash of SoHo cool and Hollywood glam, his serpentine-dance a mix of defiance and sexuality. Rose still has cornrows, and he appeared physically lean and in great spirits. Confidently prowling or manically darting about the stage, he consistently hit piercing highs that probed melancholic pain and flexed a range of shivering wails, shuddering croons and scorching yowls that attacked like a starving animal ripping into prey. Led by stage-diving guitarist Robin Finck, Rose's seven mates executed signature riffs and bluesy rhythms with a sonic fullness that suggested that, this time out, they prepared.


Near the end of the show, Tommy would tell Axl how much fun he has having and the two of them would hug:

Near the concert's finale, bassist Tommy Stinson told Rose how much fun he was having. The singer embraced him, symbolizing the chemistry that the group maintained throughout the evening.


Bumblefoot would later mention that he had been learning some of the songs just a few hours before hitting the stage:

I was having fun, but had to concentrate on song arrangements. I was still learning songs a few hours before going on stage, I had songs written out in my pocket, haha. But I had faith that everything would be ok, I accepted that everything would happen as it was meant to.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Aug 02, 2021 2:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:12 pm

THERE WAS A TIME


One of the songs that was debuted at the May 12, 2006, show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was There Was A Time.

Axl would later mention that it is the hardest song they do live:

That's the hardest fucker we do.
Las Vegas, USA, June 6, 2014


Axl would later discuss what parts of the song he wrote:

I wrote Robin’s bit in the second verse. There’s microscopic bits throughout usually woven down in the other guitars. There bits throughout the end, the basic power chord bit was originally mine, there’s a ghost like bit that formed the basis for the end vocal melody right before Robin’s riff’s in one side in the outro before Bucket’s solo and as it gets to the very end there’s lot’s of little over dubbed bits woven in and out very small but structured bits.





There Was A Time
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



There Was A Time
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



And Bumblefoot would talk about Buckethead's iconic outro solo:

I think one of the biggest stand-out solos on [Chinese Democracy] is definitely Buckethead's solo at the end of There Was A Time. I think it is beautiful, it's just, you know, everything about it goes to great places. It's one of the highlights of the album. Yeah, definitely that. Well done, Bucket!
Fret 12 Video Interview, May 2011


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25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC - Page 2 Empty Re: 25. AUGUST 2004-MAY 2006: FINALIZING CHINESE DEMOCRACY; LAWSUITS; RETURN TO NYC

Post by Soulmonster Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:39 pm

I.R.S.


One of the songs that was debuted at the May 12, 2006, show at the Hammerstein Ballroom was I.R.S.




I.R.S.
From the alternative Red Hand album artwork
Credit to troccoli



I.R.S.
From the alternative Grenade album artwork
Credit to troccoli



Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:34 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:41 am

ARRANGING THE GUITAR PARTS FOR LIVE SHOWS


After the touring of 2006, Bumblefoot would discuss how he, Robin and Richard split the guitar parts:

We play together, complimenting each other, harmonizing each other's solos and rhythms.


In early 2009, Bumblefoot would discuss how they worked out which guitarist would play what:

I wasn’t there when Bucket was there, but it seemed like whatever he played, that’s what I played.


Being asked if Robin and Richard are like Slash and Izzy and Buckethead or Bumblefoot then plays all the "stunt" guitar bits:

Yeah, I know what you mean. I can agree with that. But all I know is Axl has a vision, and I trust that vision. For a lot of things, especially earlier on, it was like, “All right, we’ll take care of the pretty stuff. You just shred.” But I think things have loosened up quite a bit. For instance, onstage I’ll play the pretty stuff in between the verses on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Or the end solo of “November Rain.” Or the second part of the “Nightrain” solo.


And being asked how they decide who gets to play what:

There’s not too much thought behind it. During rehearsals we’ll be like, “Hey, you want this one?” It’s pretty relaxed like that. And me, I don’t really give a fuck. As long as in the end the song sounds good I don’t care if I’m playing freaking kazoo parts. Whatever the song needs.


In 2010, Bumblefoot would discuss how hard it had been for him to learn his parts when he joined the band immediately prior to the shows in 2006:

I should probably go back to the beginning when I first started playing with Guns... I jumped in, and I never had a chance to get my gear sounding right. I never had a chance to really learn the songs, and to get my parts where they needed to be. It was just a set of circumstances at that time where I had a lot of things stacked against me when I first joined the group, and it was hard for me to give what I could've given. It was a tough one. I was really just waiting for the moment when all the guitarists could sit down, work everything out, and do it the right way. Now, I finally have that double neck, and I have the right gear that I need to play the songs. Another thing is when I first joined the group, because leaks were such an issue they wouldn't give me the music. I didn't have any of their new songs, and the band would say to me "Just tell them you have to have it - you have to have the songs to learn them", but the management folks would not give me the music - they said "No".

The only way I could learn the songs was during rehearsals before we were on tour, like a week before. I would go into the other room, listen to the songs on the road manager's laptop with a set of headphones, write down notes, listen to them, try to remember all the parts, and do, as they say, the best I could. I would then go into the other room where everyone was waiting, and start playing. That's how I had to learn 'Chinese Democracy' (laughs) - on headphones with a laptop in half an hour. They didn't want me to have a copy, and I respected their wishes. Yes, I could've just gotten a hot copy from somewhere, someone, but I thought "Well, this is how they want it to be... I'm gonna respect their wishes, and when they want things to change, they'll change".

In the beginning, I didn't know what the hell I was really doing yet, and I wasn't getting much help (laughs). Even when we played live, I wanted to sing backing vocals and start doing that, but was told they didn't have enough room in the mixing board for me. I felt like the circumstances were minimizing and devaluing what I could bring to the group, and making it so much more difficult for me to do the right thing, and it wasn't helping anyone - it wasn't helping me, it wasn't helping the audience. But eventually, after more touring and laying my own guitar parts into 'Chinese Democracy', I had a better idea of what to play.


Clarifying his comments on being devalued:

It wasn't Axl or anyone in particular - it was the situation. It felt at times in the beginning like I jumped in at the last minute, and there wasn't room for me. There was no time for me to co-ordinate with everyone, so I almost had to play just with one hand tied behind my back in a way. I didn't have the tools I needed to do everything that I could've done.


Talking about how much better they got to prepare before the shows in 2009/2010, with Dj having joined the band:

In a general way, I do the most crazy stuff, Dj gets the melodic parts and Fortus plays something in the middle of all this. It's a good way of keep our identity in this wall of guitars. We do something like that in the rhythm, when I play the low tonic of the chords and riffs with the bass. Fortus fills up the rest of the chords while Dj puts something on top of that. This is the general idea, but it all depends on what sound better for each song. We're getting along well and working a lot on our guitar sounds. We tried different instruments and heads. We're polishing the sound that the crowd will hear, which is very important. Afterall, whats the use of getting a great guitar tone on stage if the sound that makes to the crowd is bad? Everyone, band and staff, worked hard to make sure that the sound that people hear will be the best.

Finally this year, I got my gear together how I wanted it to be. I had my guitar parts and a feel for which parts I should play, and we were able to co-ordinate it between me, DJ and Rich. We came out, and it sounds better than it ever did. Finally. It's something that I wish could have happened years ago, but... yeah (laughs).


As for sticking to the original signature solos and leads:

For a lot of the Guns stuff, the guitar melody is a major part of the song. Straying too far from what was originally recorded would be like changing the lyrics. So I like to respect the song. That said, with “November Rain” I tend to pretty disrespectfully go off and do whatever the hell I want! [laughs] In fact, I usually grab the fretless guitar for that one. But there’s just a lot of creative freedom. No one says, “Don’t play this,” or “Don’t wear that.”

In some I keep faithful to the original because there is solos that are more than just solos. They are an important melody and gives an identity to the song. Change it would be like change the lyrics. This is the case in November Rain ending solo. But in songs like Nightrain and Paradise City I can jam something different every night, playing with my inspiration.

When I first joined the band, I also had the feeling that I had to do something more. I felt like I was brought in to play all the wacky, noodly stuff, and I might've been overdoing it a lot of the time, instead of just being myself. What do I do now? Honestly, I just try to play them the way they were written, and the thing is, no two guitarists play the same way. You can take Eddie Van Halen and you can take Ace Frehley, and have them play the same riff, and you can tell who is who. It comes from the hands. I just play the songs as authentically as I can, and try to respect the way the songs were written, and the way people came to love the songs. That's it. I just feel that if it comes from your own hands, it has your own feeling to it. Sometimes I do things with the fretless guitar. With the slide parts, what I do is I jump onto the fretless neck and do the slide on that neck, and jump back down, little things like that. But as far as changing parts of the songs to make them my own, I would rather respect G N' R's music. On 'Chinese Democracy' songs, I play the parts that I wrote and recorded, and with everything else, I try to respect the songs as they were written and recorded.


Before the European leg of the tour in 2010, Dj would comment on how they split the guitar parts:

We shares the songs between us. I do 80-90 % of the Slash pieces, Ron does the Buckethead stuff and Richard does a lot of what Izzy used to do. Whatever fits each own's style. We are very different guitarists and do whatever feel natural.
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