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2014.08.22 - Interview with Bumblefoot in onet.muzyka

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2014.08.22 - Interview with Bumblefoot in onet.muzyka

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:12 am

Bumblefoot: music is an expression of the artist

AUG 22, 2014 | by Kasia Gawęska

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal, a solo artist, and currently also the guitar player for Guns N’ Roses, is a person who destroys the rock star stereotype during conversation. He’s a mature artist, strongly focused on his job. Even though he is a member of one of the most legendary bands in the world, a look of shock still appears on his face whenever he realizes his fans try to meet him and he himself admits that it’s always a nice surprise for him. Modest, friendly and very funny, he feels at home whenever he is on stage and he gives his fans everything. Below we’re presenting a conversation with Bumblefoot, in which he’s giving us the recipe for finding happiness in life and telling us about things such as his upcoming album.

In January, Bumblefoot performed in the Lizard King club in Kraków. Dressed in a grey shirt with short sleeves, a leather jacket and black pants, he would’ve looked pretty average if it hadn’t been for his characteristic hair and a long, braided beard. The musician, delighted with Kraków, played covers of a lot of well-known songs (such as Smells Like Teen Spirit, Carry That Weight or Stairway to Heaven) during his sound check, because he “loves it all” – his favorite among the young bands right now is Thank You Scientist and their song Make Like a Tree (Get Out). Bumblefoot enchanted everyone not just with his guitar playing, but also with his singing, which is “more than one way to express yourself and give yourself,” and near the end of the show, he invited his fans on stage to sing Sweet Child O’ Mine. "I like my shows to include the audience as much as possible. I invite them onto the stage, I come down off the stage, we should all feel connected. I know I was in good company, I wasn't worried" – explains Ron Thal, the musician who comes across as someone very spiritual and sure of his views.

Katarzyna Gawęska: Since lately people have been seeing you as "the guitar player for Guns N' Roses". Does touring as a solo artist help you relax and go back to your roots?

Bumblefoot: I never should have stopped touring as a solo artist. I was putting out a release every year, doing great headlining tours and everything was growing. And then I let the definition of who I am change. There wasn't enough time to do it all, but I should have tried harder to keep doing what I do. I re-started in 2013 and it's been wonderful.

While you're on tour, you always find time to organize guitar workshops. Why do you do that? Has anything crazy every happened during those workshops?

A personal workshop is a different experience than a classroom, it's very interactive and there's always something more to learn, not only about the academics of music. I enjoy doing them, and yes I do push myself to the limit sometimes [laugh], but I don't want to miss another opportunity to connect with people, and the workshops are a great way to do it. I get a lot of happiness doing them. Ahhh, when people start calling out songs and I'll play them, changing to a different song called out every time, that can get pretty funny,

What was the biggest disappointment you experienced after getting into showbiz?

The amount of parasitic people, and manipulation. People lie to isolate others from each other, to turn people against each other, I've seen it happen to others, I've seen it happen to me. But it only happens in environments that allow it, that don't have healthy bonds. Fortunately, most of what I do has been positive, 99% of it has been very normal and healthy.

In one of your interviews you said: "...you love a song because it's a great song and it's perfect the way it is and you could never do it better. And for some reason that's what makes you want to do a cover of it." In a way, you do covers of old Guns N' Roses songs almost every night. Do you love them so much you want to do that or do you prefer playing your own compositions and this is just a part of your job?

It doesn't have to be something I wrote for me to enjoy the moment. I like to play guitar, I like to make music, I like to share a good feeling with people.

I think my favorite album you did is Normal. It shows that even the darkest moments can be turned into something beautiful. Do you always try to deal with your problems by turning them into art?

Thank you! That's what all songwriters do, yes? They share the good, the band, whatever they feel, through a song. Something people feel, relate to, understand.

You’ve been working on a new Bumblefoot album for quite some time now. Can you give me any details about what we can expect from it and when it will be released?

The songs are very melodic, and the lyrics touch some deep places. Posted a vid laying a reference vocal track for Dennis Leeflang (drummer) to play to... [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I want to release it this year, a single at least. Right now I'm finishing lyrics to the 9th song, just a few more to go...

I really like the weird song titles on Hands, and Brooklyn Steakhouse may be my favorite song on it. You say you're a very sarcastic person. Do you think using irony in songs helps you hide your real feeling or is it the other way around - you get to speak about things you wouldn't talk about if it weren't for sarcasm?

No, the sarcasm and irony is real [laugh]. That's how I am. I guess it's putting the silver lining on the dark cloud, mocking adversity, taking bad situations and poking a hole and letting the hot air out. Dammit, I like to laugh, I like to make myself laugh [laugh].

No matter what a certain song is about, every listener can interpret it in many ways and make it their own. But does it sometimes irritate you that people you don't know „steal” a part of your life?

It's a good thing, it's interesting to see people's perspectives and how they interpret things. There's a lot to learn from it.

Do you sometimes get a writer's block and run out of inspiration? What do you do to become even better musician?

Yes. When I tour, I can't write. I need to step away, let the batteries re-charge. As soon as I get off the road, the creative juices start flowing again. And if they don't, you can either wait until you feel inspired, or you need to 'un-block' yourself and figure out what's making you uninspired, and make some changes within yourself, or maybe your life. You have to become a better person. Music is an expression of the artist. So you need to allow more parts of yourself to open up, you need to have experiences, make mistakes, learn, and grow

What projects are you currently working on?

There's the new Bumblefoot album in the works, but I also have a recording project with an interesting combination of people. It's some old friends of mine, I was producing their album, and it grew and developed into something I didn't expect, or plan. No details yet, but that should be announced and released also this year.

Could you please make a list for readers of Onet Muzyka of 10 songs you have been listening to on repeat lately?

I have weird listening habits - I'm either listening to songs I'm writing and demo'ing, or learning to play live, or checking out bands I'm producing, or listening to the scores of old movie. So if it's ok I'll pick 10 songs out of my music collection?

1. Turn Of the Century (Yes)
2. In the Dead Of Night (UK)
3. With These Hands (Tom Jones)
4. As Far As the Eye Can See (TNT)
5. Museum Glass (Skeleton Key)
6. My Companion (The Shaggs)
7. Vital Signs (Rush)
8. Stargazer (Rainbow)
9. Know Your Enemy (RATM)
10. Teenage Lobotomy (Ramones)
11. It's Alright For You (Police)
12. Becoming (Pantera)
13. Turn Out the Lights (New England)
14. A Minha Menina (Mutantes)
15. Blood Of My Enemies (Manowar)
16. Girl (Loudness)
17. My God (Jethro Tull)
18. Invaders (Iron Maiden)
19. Baby Now That I've Found You (Foundations)
20. The Real Thing (Faith No More)
21. Fantasy (Earth Wind & Fire)
22. Ashes To Ashes (David Bowie)
23. Swlabr (Cream)
24. Clean My Wounds (Corrosion Of Conformity)
25. 12 Ounce Epilogue (Clutch)
26. Break Your Neck (Busta Rhymes)
27. Something About You (Boston)
28. A Skeleton In the Closet (Anthrax)
29. Press Darlings (Adam and the Ants)
30. Waiting For the Sun (24/7 Spyz)

Couldn't pick just 10!!!

Thank you very much for the conversation!

Thank you!
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