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
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

2008.08.07 - Classic Rock - Bumblefoot Speaks!

Go down

2008.08.07 - Classic Rock - Bumblefoot Speaks! Empty 2008.08.07 - Classic Rock - Bumblefoot Speaks!

Post by Blackstar Sat May 15, 2021 11:54 am

Bumblefoot speaks!

INTERVIEW: DAVE LING

A discovery of guitar guru Mike Varney, Ron Thal had an underground reputation when Guns N’ Roses invited him to join them, as a replacement for Buckethead, in 2006. Fortunately, the New Yorker already had a silly nickname – Bumblefoot – and a string of neuroses of his own. Bumblefoot has just released his seventh solo CD, Abnormal. But although it features his playing, even he has no clue when GN’R’s Chinese Democracy might achieve the same feat.

Bumblefoot is a disease that affects birds and rodents.

Ulcerative pododermatitis is its full, fancy name. 15 years ago I was helping my wife study for veterinary school when we discovered it. It was the stupidest thing I ever heard, so I used it for a song title. Then an album called The Adventures Of Bumblefoot [1995]. It’s well-suited to my solo work, which is quirky and Mr Bungle-ish, but personally-speaking I might’ve outgrown it. I don’t feel like Bumblefoot when I’m onstage with Guns. In that environment I feel like Ron. Does that make sense?

Not really.

Well, I have this multi-personality disorder [laughs]. I put on my funny foot-shaped guitar and I’m being Bumblefoot. But I’ve got a Flying V and I’m playing with Axl and my name is Ron. It’s hard to explain.

Abnormal is a sequel to 2005’s Normal, which told the tale of a musician whose creativity is destroyed by anti-depressant medication?

Yeah, but it’s like the evil Spock versus the good Spock in Star Trek – they’re Ying and Yang.

Their stories are autobiographical, though?

Yeah. The music business was kicking my ass, so I took some stuff to help me out. And it felt as though someone pressed a ‘pause’ button in my brain – literally. And it lasted for a year and a half.

Then you ditched the pills to self-medicate?

I had to learn to be normal again, yeah. I’m still the same person, just a little smarter. I’ve learned how to get along.

Your musical direction has been called 'the Sex Pistols meets Queen with a twist of Zappa'. Are those ingredients accurate?

Very much so. I listened to a lot of AC/DC and Kiss, The Ramones and Dead Kennedys, some Yes and Jethro Tull albums. The 70s were a great time for music. I still remember picking up Iron Maiden’s Killers randomly at a music store, it was the greatest thing I ever heard.

Were you a fan of Guns before joining them?

Right from seeing Welcome To The Jungle on MTV for the first time at three o’clock one morning, I knew they were special, that they would go on and do something magical. I felt the exact same way after seeing Vision Of Love by Mariah Carey, and Britney’s Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Talking of female popstars, you’ve apparently played on a Jessica Simpson record?

She did a long, club mix [of the song Irresistible]. I knew the guy that was working on it and he asked if I’d play on it. I used a nylon-stringed guitar to add all these Latin riffs to its vocal melody. But I didn’t get to meet her.

How did Axl make contact with you?

Joe Satriani sent an email, letting me know he’d recommended me for the gig – just so I’d know it wasn’t a joke. Two hours later, Chris Pitman [GN’R keyboards player], sent me a joke email, which was totally unconnected. I started talking to their manager. It took about two months and then some internet rumours got out, which derailed things. But we picked things up again, jammed, went out on tour and here we are, with Shackler’s Revenge about to be heard [on the video game Rock Band 2].

With your own career to consider, how do things work? Do you have to be available when the call comes?

Everyone’s in touch with each other. There’s a lot of texting about friendship-type stuff… whatever. And when the time comes to work I’m always updated. But if I’m not making music, I feel like I’ll suffocate. Everyone in the band is the same way; it’s real musicians.

Has your life changed a lot since becoming a Gunner?

Oh yeah. For a start, I dropped about 90lbs [around six stones]. I was a fat, sweaty, filthy bastard. You could’ve rolled me across the stage. But I’m healthy now. I also get the occasional death threat. None of that stalker-style stuff happened before, and it took some getting used to. It’s weird to be hated by someone you’ve never met before, for reasons that don’t make sense.

For all your new-sound fame, you’re very approachable by your website?

Why wouldn’t I be? Shit, I’m just a human being. No better or worse than the next person. I like brightening someone’s day by shooting them a message if they’re written.

You seem like a grounded person. So how does entering the GN’R protective bubble – where just about anything goes – affect you?

If anything, I’ve been a pain their ass – not the other way around. I’m used to being a solo artist. I tend to be quite open about things, say things I shouldn’t say and go places I shouldn’t go. Now, of course, I’m working with people who might not want their business spoken about. I try to be respectful of that, but also talk to other people like a real person.

Have you seen things where you’ve thought, "Fucking hell, I can’t believe something like that would happen?"

I was on the road for ten years before Guns, lugging my own gear around in vans for weeks at a time; I can honestly say that I saw more fucked-up things in those days than I do with Guns. It’s a very well-run band. If people don’t believe that; they wanna be entertained with made-up dirt, that’s their prerogative. But it’s true.

The perception, of course, is that W Axl Rose is the Howard Hughes of rock. You must see the other side of that…?

It’s funny you would say that about Axl. The Axl I know is a thoughtful, caring, fun person. He really is.

Do you read some of the things that are printed about him and think, "What a load of shit"?

All the time. It makes me laugh. But people don’t want the truth. They want to be entertained. They invent things, or they embellish. Anything to feed the fire. Some of them are definitely trying live vicariously.

How much have you contributed to the Chinese Democracy album?

I don’t want to say too much for fear of shaking the gift under the Christmas tree. I’ve played rhythm [guitar] tracks on every song and lots of [lead] solos, added parts to future songs. Over the 2006/7 tours, in between legs, we would hit a studio in New York or LA, just spend ten hours a day laying down guitar parts. Hopefully what I did will add something worthwhile, that will help the song.

Two of the latest tracks to be leaked – If The World and another known simply as New Song – sounded unexpectedly funky…?

Those were demos and not final mixes, I’m happy to say. By that I mean, I want people to be surprised and thrilled when they hear the album – as opposed to something they heard on the internet. I don’t blame the fans for wanting to hear it – they want music, and they want it now. The problem is that the guy who leaks it is getting in way of Guns N’ Roses getting the album out the right way.

Is the record even finished yet?

[After a pause]: The official word is that it’s ‘in negotiation’. Thing are going well, and I won’t make further comment as it can – and will be – used against me on the internet.

Have even you given up asking when it will be released?

I hear that question in my sleep, all the time, asked by a thousand voices. How can I respond the right way? The album will come out when all the pieces are in place, when it’s best for the fans, the band… everybody. I have complete faith in our new management [Irving Azoff and Andy Gould] making all those pieces fit.

What about some solo dates here in the UK?

I’ve thought about it, but for the past few years I’ve been planning to do an instructional DVD. If I do book a tour, two things will happen. Either I will never get my DVD done, or Guns N’ Roses’ll hit the road again and I’ll have to cancel it, like I did with my tour in 2006.

https://web.archive.org/web/20080811000313/http://www.classicrockmagazine.com/page/classicrock?entry=bumblefoot_speaks
Blackstar
Blackstar
ADMIN

Posts : 6603
Plectra : 45181
Reputation : 93
Join date : 2018-03-17

Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum