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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

2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot

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2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot Empty 2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:23 pm



Transcript:

From 09:50:

A: We are speaking with Ron Thal.

B: Better known as...

A: Bumblefoot.

Bumblefoot: What's up.

Mitch Lafon: How are you today, Ron?

BBF: Good man, how are you?

ML: Good. Always a pleasure to speak to you.

BBF: And likewise, sir, likewise.

ML: Likewise. And of course you've got exciting news that we're to get into great detail about. You've got a Kickstarter project that is to.. as well as to finance a tour, you know, I've seen Kickstarter projects and Pledge Music projects to finance albums and movies and books and... but I've never heard about financing a tour this way. So tell me about the Kickstarter, tell me about the tour, let's get into the nitty-gritty.

BBF: Yeah, so the tour is called Guitar Gods, this is Yngwie Malmsteen's creation.

ML: Yes, definitely a guitar god.

BBF: Yeah, absolutely. So he put together something, it's a US tour and it is John Roth, Gary Hoey, me opening for Yngwie. In fact, as of just recently [?] had to leave the tour.

ML: Right.

BBF: Unfortunately, so it's just me and Gary are gonna prep the crowd for Yngwie. But, you know, the expenses of this tour were... actually, they, once the tour was solidified and everything came together, wasn't exactly what we... how do I say it without making anyone sound bad? Wasn't what we expected, what we were told. And we want to take good care of our band, we want to take care of things and we want to make it good, and we want to be able to do some interesting stuff and give a little back

ML: Sorry to cut you off but let's talk about that, you know, back in the day, you know, in the 80s and 90s, there was a thing called tour support and you had a record company, they threw a whole bunch of money at you and it was easy to go out on the road and that just doesn't happen anymore.

BBF: No, now, you know, bands, openers, you know, you get a flat rate pay for playing a show and with the price of [?] and the vehicle - and originally the vehicle was going to be split amongst three people, and that was two, and... it became very...

ML: Costly?

BBF: Yeah, and this is coming out of our pockets, it's not, you know, nobody is paying for this and we're not millionaires or anything like that and just don't want to be in the red. And we want to make sure that we can do right by by the band and the crew and everything. And so Gary had the idea, he's done one before, he's like, "Let's do a Kickstarter campaign," I was like, "Never did one before though, all right let's give it a shot." And so we were on the phone for about an hour, just cracking up as I was coming up with the stupidest things you could think of, just the dumbest weirdest stuff. And so for example, for two hundred dollars I will tape a picture of your mom or your dog, your pet, on my thigh for the entire show, of choice. And then, you know, they just kept getting, like, weirder and weirder and more extreme, and for five thousand dollars I will wear the same pair of underwear for the entire tour, I'll write your name on the waistband and take a picture before every show so you know that I'm wearing this and at the end of the tour I will mail you the underwear, plus a guitar pick.

ML: Now that's a weird fetish for somebody out there, isn't it?

BBF: I think it's just more for to see who wants to torture me and make me wear... Yeah, that's pretty nasty. But then there's, you know, there's good stuff too. There's... you can come up and be a guitar god for a day [?], you could jam, you know, a song on stage with us, you can for a thousand dollars, you know, we'll do a guitar solo on your album, right? Or this simple stuff, like, just recording, you know, a voice message for you, like, you gotta go to traffic court and explain why you were speeding, well, you could just play a little message from me, and I was, like, yeah, gotta break up with your girlfriend? Well, I'll do it for you.

[laughter]

ML: No, but, you know, jokes aside for a second, it is important to let fans know because fans will say, "Well, why don't you come and play in Hawaii?" "Why don't you play in San Diego?" "Why don't you play in Calgary?" and you're like, "Well, I'm in New Jersey, for me to get to Calgary or for me to drive to San Diego, that costs money," and so it's not always just the promoter doesn't want to bring you. there's a reality of costs. And so this is a good way to offset the cost and it's also a good way to not have that excuse if, you know, those fans in St Louis all gang up on the Kickstarter, you're gonna come because now you're financed.

BBF: Yeah. And I was a little concerned at first because I knew how some people would react because they think that because I'm in Guns N' Roses that I'm getting [laughing] money for Sweet Child O' Mine or something. No. You know, I play in Guns N' Roses but, you know, I think that a lot of GN'R fans, the ones that I guess that hate me already and looking for more ammunition, but it's like, "Oh, it's a millionaire out there begging," it's like, well, first of all, people aren't getting something for... you know, it's not like you get nothing in return, you know, we're giving you gear in return, audio, video, time, you know, for, you know, one of the things is we'll go to your house and cook your dinner and put on an acoustic show for an hour.

ML: Yeah, I really don't see why people will complain. You know, growing up in the 70s and being a fan of KISS and Aerosmith and all that, everybody was just sort of mythical, they existed in a world that I had never had access to and same with the 80s. and now with Kickstarter campaigns and Pledge Music you can have a Skype guitar lesson, you can have them come play an acoustic show at your house, I mean, it's the fans dream. I mean, it's a fan's world these days. So folks should definitely get out there and support this.

BBF: And a lot of them do. They definitely do. I think it's doing well so far. It's been a couple of days and it's already a quarter of the way at the goal.

ML: Good.

BBF: That's nice. I mean, hey, look at the, you know, the KISS album that we did.

ML: Yeah, the A World With Heroes, which by the way we're recording on June 10th, it was one year ago today that it went to mastering. [Mitch Lafon was the executive producer of this KISS tribute record.]

B: Isn't that exciting?

BBF: Very nice.

ML: Yeah, and that was a good campaign

BBF: Yeah, a perfect example of, you know, people coming forward and, you know, instead of paying a record label you're just giving it to the artist. I think some people though find that distasteful but they don't realize that, you know, if you really care about the artist, it's better than giving it to the label who's not going to give it to the artist, you know. And...yeah, yeah,   I just hate talking about this crap, it just feels so blah.

ML: Yeah, I know, but there's nothing wrong in being honest and say, "Listen, if you want us to get on the road it takes some support and this is one of the new ways to do it," and that's sort of the magic of the internet and social media, is that you can do stuff the way you want to do it in the way you want to present it, without having a record company come in and say, "Well, you need backup singers," and, "You need choreography," and, "You need recoupment costs on the bus," and it's like, "No, no, I'm gonna go out and play for my fans, period, that's it." So it is refreshing. But let's talk about the actual tour. So Yngwie is going to come out and close the show, of course, and do what Yngwie does, you know, his guitaring and the soloing and all that stuff. What can we expect from you? What is the tour for you?

BBF: Well, I'm gonna be there with my band and I'm gonna be playing my own songs that I've been putting out on my own albums for like 20 years. People know my stuff in Europe but in the US, I have not done a lot of touring. I always did it in Europe. So this is really my first full in a bus for five weeks US tour.

ML: That's great.

BBF: I'm looking forward to it. What am I going to be doing? I'll be doing what I always do, which is going off on tangents, talking nonsense in between songs probably, I'll try to get that to a minimum-

ML: Let me restate that question: Are you doing sort of an instrumental show or are you doing-

BBF: Oh no, it's all vocal stuff.

ML: Okay.

BBF: You know what, I forget that people don't know. Okay, so everyone listening that has no idea and just thinks that I just play, you know, GN'R songs. I'm a lead singer, I sing lead in my band, also playing lead. I have a drummer, a bassist and a rhythm guitarist, they kick ass. And I have a bunch of songs that I guess a lot of people think they sound sort of like a mixture of Sex Pistols and Queen with a lot of wacky guitar stuff going on. I guess... you know, decide for yourself, give it a listen, but it's all, you know, it's hard rock music, it's vocal music, there's a few instrumentals I'm going to put in there, I'll probably do the the ones that have the crazier guitar stuff since it is a, you know, guitar oriented mini festival thing-

ML: And so that's where the question comes from because when you look at the GIII shows back from back in the day that Yngwie was on one year with Satriani and all, that's sort of an all instrumental show, and now we're talking Guitar God so I just wanted to know, is it sort of another sort of GIII or is this... like, is Yngwie bringing out a singer on this one?

BBF: I'm pretty sure that his bandmates sing.

ML: Okay.

BBF: So they're gonna be covering, from what I understand. So they will be doing the vocal stuff. So yeah, it should be, you know, plenty of singing going on throughout the whole thing. And what people can do if they are just curious and want to hear what my music sounds like, I guess a good thing, you know what, reverbnation.com/bumblefoot and there's little snippets little, sort of like album preview things on there and you could hear what a lot of stuff sounds like just to hear what I do.

ML: Yeah, now you've mentioned that, you've been putting stuff out for for 20 years or so, of course you've been doing all that touring with Guns N' Roses, is there anything new in the Bumblefoot catalog? Are you working on anything new? Solo album, anything else?

BBF: Yeah, I'm in the about halfway done, writing, recording, the next solo album. It's coming out kind of different this time. I think of...I don't know, since the last one, because I've grown up a bit, tends to keep on happening, I guess with each new gray hair. I've earned a lot of them at this point, I'm proud of my gray hairs. Like I said, "Going off on random tangents."

ML: Yeah, it's funny because I just saw a picture of Jon Bon Jovi in the newspaper, he was at some hospice or something the other day and he had gray hair and I was like, "Oh yeah, we're all getting those, right."

BBF: Yeah, even him. So yeah, I'm doing that, it's actually coming up pretty melodic and I feel like achieving something that I always wanted to and never quite really did, which is, going back to Ace Freely, it all goes back to KISS because that's how my love for-

ML: Yeah, it really does-

BBF: -making music started, which is to me, I always said that Ace Freely made the parts of the KISS songs that you sang. It wasn't even Paul Stanley's vocals, it was Ace's solos that you would sing, and that's something that I just never really felt like I truly nailed in my music. I felt like I had all the noodly noodly down but just... and there were melodies in there but there are certain guitar melodies that are just singable and I feel like on this album they're coming out.

ML: I've learned that everything circles back to KISS in the in the music world. Speaking of sort of classic bands, you obviously play guitar with Guns N' Roses, recently you've done a bunch of shows with Duff Mckagan coming back, the original bass player. Tell me a little bit about those shows and what it was like for you personally to look across the stage and go, "Wow! Duff's there!"

BBF: That was not my first time playing with Duff. When Loaded came to New York in 2009, when they were touring, I jammed with them.

ML: But I'm talking about in the context of with Axl there and watching Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City and you, "That's Duff!".

BBF: He has joined us on stage-

ML: -many times.

BBF: -a couple of times in the past few years but we've never done an entire show together and we did half a dozen, we did in South America and we did Golden Gods. It's nice. It's nice to play with him, he's, you know, he's rock solid and he's just a sweetheart of a guy and it's just a good person to play with. That's how it is like, when... I don't know, musicians... you're just musicians and other musicians, it's like, you just enjoy playing with different people and you just love the experience, but you don't think of it from the context of, like, as a fan saying, "Wow! I can't believe I'm playing with this person!" You almost think of it at this musical level where you're both musicians and you're just kind of vibing out as musicians and you don't think about that stuff. So like, even, you know.. what was it? Like half a year ago, I played with Ace and Peter and do, like, Hooligan with Peter, he hadn't played that song in like 30 years. And as a KISS fan I would be peeing in my pants, I'd be like, "Oh my god, I'm gonna play with these guys," but when you're on the stage it's more like you're just really focused on the song and connecting musically and just getting a real kick out of that and having fun with it and you don't think about the rest.

ML: Yeah, you know, as a KISS fan myself I'm almost ashamed to say that I forgot about that but that was for the Eddie Trunk 30th Anniversary-

BBF: Yeah.

ML: -and what a great moment that was to see Ace and Peter together on the stage and then knowing that you're a fan and also that Scott Ian's a fan. I was watching that mostly looking at Youtube going, "Oh, they've got to be crapping each other," I mean, that's just too-

BBF: I think after the fact me and Frankie Bello were just [laughing] sort of...

ML: Like, "What was that?"

BBF: "Wow, man! We just played with our childhood heroes!" And then I'm looking at Frankie's, like, "Wait a minute, I grew up listening to Anthrax," like, it's like, "I'm in some damn good company here! What the hell am I doing here?" like, "How did I end up here?"

ML: You know, and Peter could still play, it sounded good, Hooligan sounded-

BBF: He was fantastic! Yeah, he was solid and his voice was great and yeah, he's got it, he's totally got it.

ML: He's, you know, he's, as they say in the old days, a cool cat.

BBF: Yeah.

ML: Last year you also did that tour with that band Alive with Rex Brown, Mark Zavon and Tishi playing the KISS songs. Tell me a little bit about that experience of actually getting out there and doing an hour and a half show with you singing all the Paul songs and stuff, how was that?

BBF: That was fun. Oh man, that was a good time, we had a lot of fun doing that stuff. Great guys to play with, I mean, they all kick ass and they all come from like amazing musical backgrounds, the thing gets done. My god. And to get together, almost like a bunch of kids just playing all the kids songs we grew up on, you know. From the first time we played together, the stuff was completely rock solid because we all grew up with this music so deeply etched in who we are that it's like we didn't even need to rehearse, like, we just on the first time we played it was gig ready and we were all just, like, right there. So it was fun, we were just having a blast, just....

ML: It certainly would be fun to see a few more shows. I mean, I know it's difficult with everybody going off and doing their own thing but that's got to be one of those, like, every Christmas at, you know, The Roxy or at, you know, whatever place you have to-

BBF: - definitely do that

ML: Yeah, you know, a once a year New Year's Eve show in Vegas or something because that would actually be worth checking out because it was rock solid. So this tour that you're doing with the Guitar Gods, it runs for five weeks as you mentioned, any plans to do a second leg or a European leg or a Japanese leg? And if not, what are the plans for Bumblefoot heading out, you know [?] 2014?

BBF: So I'm still halfway done with my album so I'm going to do these shows, on the tour bus hopefully there's times that I can lay some tracks on a little interface into the laptop and keep working on the album and get stuff done, when I get back I'm just going to lock myself in the studio, turn down all, every, tour offer and just don't want to do anything until the album is done. And then I want to get out and I just want to.... face to face, play it for the world over and over. So as soon as the album is done, I just want to get out and tour everywhere, definitely.

ML: That's definitely a good plan. You've done, in the last year, you had done some some sort of guitar clinics and stuff where you were out in Turkey and other countries, anymore-

BBF: Yeah, I definitely want to do more of that. I love doing that stuff because it's very... it's about as personal as you can get as far as anything that's like a performance. It's completely... you're just sitting down with everybody and just a whole lot of back and forth. And that's what I love about gigs, my favorite part of playing live is the personal stuff. You know, every gig like with GN'R, I'm reaching my guitar out into the crowd so that they can strum the chords, if there's anyone on stage and just run over to them, it's like, "Yeah, play the guitar!" Oh god, even, you know, the Vegas show, for the last two shows, one of the the dancers on stage -- because we had pole dancers-

ML: Nice.

BBF: -and so I gave her the guitar, I was like, "Here, play!" and I jumped up on the pole and turned upside down [laughing].

ML: Which is amazing considering that you had some physical challenges last year. How are we doing health-wise?

BBF: Doing good, yeah, the car thing, I think it that was three years ago already now.

ML: Was it already three years ago?

BBF: Three years. As long as I eat right and watch how I move, I'm okay.

ML: Okay, because I know there was a while there with the double neck guitar on your back for like a three-hour show, even the strongest of us without an accident can't do that, so I can just imagine what it must have been like, you know, with-

BBF: [?]

ML: -sore back.

BBF: I'll tell you, that guitar is a workout, it is, that thing is a damn workout.

ML: Time to throw it out and just go with a-

BBF: I like the workout, I like it.

ML: Okay, keeps-

BBF: Yeah, keeps you strong, keeps you healthy.

ML: The other thing that's coming out at the end of the month here, or beginning of July, is the Guns N' Roses live, and I think, Vegas, or whatever it was, DVD. Excited to see that out finally?

BBF: I'm curious. I'm very curious to see it cuz, well, actually I'm not because I know how it's gonna be. I never watch my own live stuff because when I do, I just hear all the mistakes and all the screw-ups like, "Gah! Man, I could have played that so much better!" "Oh god, that sounds terrible!" "Oh, look at me!" You know, so I'm gonna be doing that and just like [?] it apart and feel miserable. But I hope people like it! [laughter]

ML: You know though, I certainly appreciate that because for most of the interviews that I do, I don't listen back and I guess you sort of should, right? You need to listen back and and just go, "Okay, this is what it was".

BBF: And I guess sometimes you have to face yourself and-

ML: I guess it's a shyness or something that we both have but it's okay.

BBF: Oh, also it's like, why torture yourself? You can't undo it, you can't go back in time and fix it or change it or anything. I mean, if, you know, if you really make some bad mistakes they'll probably stay in your memory and you'll learn from them and do better the next time, but you need to relive it [laughter], you can do it again.

ML: For me it's not always just about the mistakes or what I said, a lot of it has to do with, well, I was at that interview, I know what was said [laughter].

BBF: Yeah.

ML: You know?

BBF: Exactly, you don't want to live twice.

ML: You know, it's like, "Well, I already spent 40 minutes doing it, now that makes it 80 minutes if I have to listen to it again"-

BBF: [?] just moving forward, just keep plugging forward.

ML: Keep moving forward. Well, speaking of moving forward, so let's send people out to all these different sites. There's obviously the Kickstarter campaign, so you're looking for the Gary Huey and Bumblefoot Guitar Gods tour link. What else do we have to plug?

BBF: There's that, there's all the VIP Meet and Greet stuff, we can hang out and you get all laminars and pics and posters and photos and blah blah blah and all that stuff. So I have links to all that if you go to bumblefoot.com.

ML: Okay, that-

BBF: You will find links to the Kickstarter, to the VIP stuff, you will find the list of shows, we're hitting a lot of places, starting in the northeast walking our way to the northwest, up to Vancouver, heading down to Santa Ana, California, then work on our way east to Houston.

ML: Perfect. So there you go. So let's just go with that then, let's send everybody over to to bumblefoot.com and then from there you can find the links to Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter, Reverb Nation, and everything else you need to know.

BBF: Beautiful.

ML: That sounds good. Bumblefoot, always a pleasure, you know, I was gonna ask one last question, sorry about that, you're doing your own album, are you - and you said that you're not touring, you're not doing anything else - are you playing on any of anybody else's album? Are you for hire for, like, you know, if KISS wanted you to the guitar spot on a song, would you do it? Are you doing any projects these days?

BBF: I've been really trying to stay focused on my own thing just so I keep the momentum but yeah, I do that stuff.

ML: Okay.

BBF: You know, I go and do one [?] guest, you know, either at a gig or a guest in the studio, just laying down solos. I've always done that kind of thing, yeah. I've done a ton of that.

ML: Good. So there you go. There you go. Thank you, Bumblefoot. Remember again, bumblefoot.com is your landing page for everything that we've talked about and hey, let's do this again someday.

BBF: Absolutely.

ML: Thank you, thank you.

BBF: Thanks so much, man, and I'll talk to you soon.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:04 am; edited 18 times in total
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2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot Empty Re: 2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:28 pm

Summary from highvoltage at mygnrforum:

- Ron comes in at 9.50

- Speaks about the Kickstarter for the tour for the first 10 mins

- Starts talking about what to expect from the tour at 18 mins

- He explains that he's singing and playing lead, his original stuff, some instrumentals. A lot of the "crazy guitar stuff" because that's what the tour is about

- He's halfway through his next solo album at 21.30:

"It's coming out pretty melodic. I feel like I'm achieving something that I always wanted to and never quite really did... which is going back to Ace Frehley. It all goes back to Kiss. Because that's how my love for making music started.... Ace Frehley made the parts of the Kiss songs that you sang. It wasn't Paul Stanley's vocals, it was Ace's solos that you would sing. That's something that I never really felt like I nailed in my music (...) but there are certain guitar melodies that are just singable... and I feel like on this album, they're coming out.

- First GN'R bit at 23.20. Talks about the Duff shows briefly, what it was like to play with him.

- Starts talking about Kiss again at the 25 min mark

- Talks about doing more guitar clinics

- Gets asked about his back at the 30 mins mark

- Second GN'R bit at 31 mins. Talks about A4D:
"I'm curious. I'm very curious to see it. Actually I'm not. I never watch my own live stuff because I hear all the mistakes and all the screw ups and think it sounds terrible (....) but I hope people like it!"

Not much to take away, but interested to hear what he said about the new album. More melodic sounds good to me. He hit it at points on Normal, but it's something his solo music has definitely lacked in the past.
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2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot Empty Re: 2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Blackstar Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:05 pm

Excerpts from Blabbermouth:
------------------------------------

Episode 22 of "One On One With Mitch Lafon" features an interview with Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.

Asked what it was like sharing the stage with original Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan at five Guns N' Roses concerts in South America and the Revolver Golden Gods awards show in Los Angeles in April, Thal said: "It was not my first time playing with Duff. When Loaded came to New York in 2009 when they were touring, I jammed with them. He has joined us on stage a couple of times in the past few years, but we'd never done an entire show together, and we did half a dozen in South America, we did Golden Gods. It's nice. It's cool playing with him. He's rock solid and he's just a sweetheart of a guy and just a good person to play with."

He continued: "Musicians and other musicians… it's, like, you just enjoy playing with different people and you just love the experience, but you don't think of it in the context of, like, as a a fan, saying, 'Wow! I can't believe I'm playing with this person.' You almost think of it at this musical level where you're both musicians and you're just kind of vibing out as musicians and you don't think about that stuff. So, even, what was it, like, half a year ago, I played with Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss], and doing 'Hooligan' with Peter, he hadn't played that song in, like, 30 years, and as a KISS fan, I would be peeing in my pants, I'd be, like, 'Oh my God! I can't believe I'm playing with this guy.' But when you're on the stage, it's more like you're just focused on the song and connecting musically and just getting a real kick out of that and having fun with it, and you don't think about the rest."

https://blabbermouth.net/news/guns-n-roses-guitarist-ron-bumblefoot-thal-says-playing-with-duff-mckagan-was-cool
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2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot Empty Re: 2014.06.21 - One On One With Mitch Lafon - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Soulmonster Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:05 am

Finished transcribing this.
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