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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

2007.06.29 - The Brag Magazine - Welcome to the Bumble (Bumblefoot)

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2007.06.29 - The Brag Magazine - Welcome to the Bumble (Bumblefoot) Empty 2007.06.29 - The Brag Magazine - Welcome to the Bumble (Bumblefoot)

Post by Blackstar Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:30 pm

WELCOME TO THE BUMBLE

By Peter Hodgson

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron Thal, more famously known as the virtuoso Bumblefoot, is in the country for the band's first Aussie shows since the early 90s. Bumblefoot himself is mostly known in guitar circles for his dizzyingly original compositions sense and his near impossible command of the axe, and in the new incarnation of the mighty Gunners he gets to flex his musical muscles over classic material as well as soon-to-be-classics from the forthcoming album, Chinese Democracy.

"This is my first time in Australia, and I'm expecting all good things, despite being in the vicinity of the world's most poisonous creatures. Call me an optimist," Bumblefoot said. "Seriously, everyone I know who's come to Australia says it was the best - beautiful scenery, great people. I won't be disappointed."

A succession of legendary axemen have occupied the guitar chair in Guns N' Roses over the years, including not only Slash but, briefly and unofficially, Ozzy and Black Label Society shredder Zakk Wylde too. Freak-in-residence Buckethead held the coveted role for a few years before Bumblefoot picked up the baton. "It was through a recommendation - we started chatting in 2004, and it all came together by 2006," he said. "It's been a good year…"

When questioned on his favourite Gunners songs to play live, Bumblefoot can't be drawn on a single track, instead settling on "Every fucking one of them. I can never pick a favorite - each song has something about it, a cool riff, melody, groove, the energy and attitude, they all have something special about them, ya know? The new songs get pretty deep, really dig 'em. So yeah, all of them."

Guitar-wise, Bumblefoot keeps his Gunners gear minimal. "I keep it as simple as I can - Gibson Flying V for most of the show, a Parkwood acoustic and Vigier fretless guitar. Plug into a Line6 Vetta2 head and 4x12 cabs, and that's it. Plug 'n play, real simple."

And how did he feel playing on stage with G n' R for the first time? "A little hungry."

Amongst many other feats of technical and musical daring, Bumblefoot is known for playing fretless guitar. How did he discover fretless guitar? "Vigier Guitars has been making a fretless for 25 years, but none of their artists really jumped on it. I figured I'd give it a shot, and see what comes of it. Definitely a different approach - no bending strings, vibrato more like a cello - takes a minute to adjust, but after that it feels natural.

One of Bumblefoot's more iconic axes is his Bumblefoot guitar, an impressively cartoonish melding of human foot cross-polinated with bee stripes and wings. Unfortunately this guitar came to blows during a recent Guns N' Roses tour, so he put the word out on his website for fans to design the next generation of Bumblefoot guitar. How's the design process going? "Still collecting submissions. A few good ones, but nothing that made me and Vigier say 'This is the one...' We'll see...

I once saw a DVD of Bumblefoot demonstrating some freakishly original two-handed tapping, a style often associated with dodgy 80s Van Halen ripoffs, but devastatingly awesome in the right hands. "I don't think I'm doing anything physically different from other players, maybe just the choice of notes and phrasing. Maybe the only difference is the metal cap or thimble on one of the fingertips so I can tap above the fretboard and still get sustained notes off the string. You can hear that in the song "Guitars SUCK", the real high notes, that's all tapping with the thimble.

Is there a new solo album in the works? "There are a few ideas brewing in the back of my head, but nothing laid down yet. Always intend to write while touring, but it never happens. It'll happen when it's meant to..."

Bumblefoot has advice for other guitarists who wish to inject more personality and uniqueness into their playing. "Just be yourself, don't be concerned with popularity or trends or what other people think. Express yourself the way that feels right to you. Live life to the fullest so you have a lot of experiences to draw from, when you play. Enjoy yourself."
Blackstar
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