Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal says he never felt completely settled in Guns N’ Roses.
His position in the band remains in doubt after he said in February that he was “honouring a request not to make public statements” and that it left him in a “very awkward position.”
He became part of Axl Rose’s outfit in 2006 as replacement for Buckethead, after first being asked two years earlier.
Bumblefoot tells About.com: “When I joined the band, it wasn’t the warmest welcome. I kind of had to earn it. I think it was like a new family member was brought home without the other siblings’ consent, or to their surprise.
“It was like, ‘Who the fuck is this guy?’ It took a good minute for us to get to know each other.”
He continues: “I don’t know if we ever got to really know each other, to be honest. I feel like the environment I was in never gave me a chance to comfortably be myself and not feel guarded.
“But that’s just me – that’s just the way the pieces fell.”
He says of his refusal to join in 2004: “I was doing so many things and I was really happy. I felt that every one of those things had a future and should be nurtured. So I told them, ‘I don’t think I’m the guy for this.’”
The guitarist says he still didn’t think he was the man for the job when he was asked again, but his lawyer persuaded him to at least listen to Rose’s proposal.
“I was like, ‘All right.’ So I went down,” he recalls. “They were rehearsing in New York and I brought by guitar. I figured we’d jam a couple of songs that night. So we did, and then the next night another three songs. We jammed seven times then hit the road for three months.”
Bumblefoot released solo album Little Brother Is Watching in February. GnR’s Richard Fortus this week said that the band were aiming to release new music in 2016.