Guns N' Roses have a few select dates lined up, headlining at Rocklahoma on Memorial Day weekend and the Governors Ball fest in New York on June 8th. If guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has his way, those will be the last dates for a while so the band can concentrate on new material.
"There's a lot of stuff, it's just a question of all of us organizing. We're still doing shows, and I think once we clear our schedule and focus more on new music, it'll happen," he told Rolling Stone when we saw him at the Race to Erase MS benefit in Los Angeles last weekend. "We just have little things on the back burner, just waiting for the right time for us to organize and make something new out of it. Hopefully we can make more music – that's what it's about."
To Thal, however successful the band might be on the road at this point, they need to get back in the studio to make a follow-up to Chinese Democracy. "It's what the fans want, too. They want new music, and we can do it. It's not that we're done. I'm not ready for that," he said. "We need to keep making music. We have a great band that's ready to do it and can do it well."
Though a lot of bands write on the road these days, Thal has never mastered that skill. "I've tried every single tour for I don't know how many years. I bring a little rig with me to write. I just can't do it. I need to get home, refresh, recharge the batteries, and that's when it all starts to happen," he said.
"What I started doing in 2011 for my own music is a song a month – put up a song, put up guitar transcriptions with it, backing tracks, remixing stems, everything. And I did that throughout 2011," he said. "And it was a great way to just keep a constant simmer going rather than waiting to build up to a big boil, then shutting the flame off and going on the road and trying to do that again.
"I would love to do that with Guns. I don't think it's in the cards, I don't think it's what everybody wants to do. But me personally, if we could put out a song every time we're about to hit the road, that would be a great way to do it. It would add relevancy to each leg of the tour as well, having a fresh song that we're playing on that leg," he added.
He is optimistic that eventually there will be new music to play: "Let's keep our fingers crossed that life will not get in the way and we can get this last batch of shows done. Looking forward to it, but I'm also looking forward to having the main priority of our Guns time be making new music."