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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.


2008.11.21 - Talking Metal Podcast - Countdown to Chinese Democracy Part X: The Final Countdown (Bumblefoot)

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2008.11.21 - Talking Metal Podcast - Countdown to Chinese Democracy Part X: The Final Countdown (Bumblefoot) Empty 2008.11.21 - Talking Metal Podcast - Countdown to Chinese Democracy Part X: The Final Countdown (Bumblefoot)

Post by Blackstar Sun May 23, 2021 6:04 pm

The interview with Bumblefoot (mostly about his solo stuff) is in the second video.

Full episode:

The podcast was released on November 21, but the interview with Bumblefoot was from November 17.



John: Hey, this is John Ostronomy, I am here with Mark Strigl and our very special guest Bumblefoot. Part of the Talking Metal family, we are at the first ever official Chinese Democracy listening party at Webster Hall in New York, New York. Bumblefoot, how are you?

Bumblefoot: Doin' good, man, we are in a backroom behind the place, the room is unfinished and there is all kinds of wires hanging from the ceiling and we're pointing out what kind of wires [?], this one over here, this brown one hanging across, touching your head, is it a phone wire? The one that's from a hole in the ceiling coming down, that's a... that you don't wanna touch.

John/Mark: That one might be very hot. Do you know all this wiring stuff from wiring your studio?

Bumblefoot: Yeaaah, from a... learning from a few mistakes, yeah.

John/Mark: Bumblefoot, the musician and electrician. Cool. We're here at Webster Hall for one reason, and that is to finally hear, after all these years, Chinese Democracy. The album, I'm assuming, is done, because it's going to be played here in a manner of minutes.

Bumblefoot: I don't know. What did Del say about it? Did he post anything? Any formal comment saying it is done?

John/Mark: I haven't read that it is done yet.

Bumblefoot: If it is not an official statement from them, then don't believe anything you read on the Internet or anything, if it is not from the source. So, ah... yeah man, it's done and it's coming out.

John/Mark: And have you heard it? Because I was talking to Frank Ferrer this morning and he informed me that he had heard the second single off the record, Better, and he was psyched because they used a take with him playing and he seemed unaware that that was going to be the case.

Bumblefoot: Yeah, I heard some stuff. It was pretty damn good. It's nice hearing it all together and mastered and ready to be delivered to the people, you know.

John/Mark: Well, we are just blown away by what we've heard so far. If the World sounds great, Chinese Democracy sounds great. Better has been played on the radio today and I have not yet heard it, I have to tell you guys. I've not heard it yet.

Bumblefoot: Yeah man, they're sticking a lot of my fretless guitar, that I laid down in a lot of songs, it's in there, man, I heard it on... ah, I heard it on Better, I heard it in Chinese, I heard it in Shackler's, heard it in Scraped, oh, what else? I got a... The guys, Vigier Guitars out in France that make all my fretless stuff, they're making me a nice double-neck that I can use when we go on tours, so this way it'll we real easy to just switch back and forth between necks and all for those songs.

John/Mark: That fretless that I've seen, that I played that's yours, has a metal-filling fingerboard, what metal is that? Is that aluminum?

Bumblefoot: You know, they won't tell me what it is. It's some secret, melange of French metal that they...their own special mix of metallic ingredients that they put together to get it to be the way it is and... they won't tell me. I guess you got to be French to know and they won't let any Americans find out. Because they figure I'll tell Gibson.

John/Mark: It's a secret melange, which is a great French word, and I have a question: Will there be a place for a thimble in this double-neck?

Bumblefoot: Oh yes, [speaking in French?]. That's French. I could tell you what it means, though.

John/Mark: [Talking in French]. So this album has obviously been in making for many, many years and has a lot of different people playing on it, how involved were you in recording these past few years? We know you did extensive touring with Guns N' Roses - were there a lot of recording sessions you did also?

Bumblefoot: Yeah, in-between legs of the tour we would hit either a... What do you call it? On 8th Street.... Uh, what the fuck.

John/Mark: Electric Lady [Studios in New York City].

Bumblefoot: Yeah! Thank you. Electric Lady. We would hit Electric Lady out here or bounce around a couple of places in L.A. in-between the touring and spend a good 10 to 14 hours a day just trying all kinds of stuff. Just anything I could think of that might bring something to the songs. See what leads to Y, you know. Try different rhythm stuff, try sleaze it up a bit, try some riffy stuff, some things that go with the vocals, some things that go with other guitar lines and melodies, some fretless stuff, some soloing stuff, just everything. And then in the end, you know, decisions are made to see what is best for the song and how loud to put it and whether that or just kick it out. So definitely put a little bit of time to it. I didn't put in ten years, but, you know, I put in some. A little something-some.

John/Mark: Cool. And in the meantime you've had your record come out, Abnormal, and you're following that up wit yet another solo record. Tell us about this, acoustic I read... I follow you on Twitter by the way and I received the update yesterday. The acoustic record is almost done.

Bumblefoot: It's just about done. I just got to think of a name. I don't know. [laughing] So, Abnormal, we put it on the web in July. Did pretty well. Better than the rest of the stuff. The reason probably that my mum bought two copies instead of one. So now I got some distro in Europe and got some North American distro, they'll stick it in stores. Doesn't mean you can see it all over the shelves, just means that there is the possibility where a store can get it. Maybe they'll choose to, you know, stock it or they can order it, but, you know, it will be available. And, rather than going on tour, I don't know what my schedule's going to be like, I knew that this moment, this Chinese moment, was coming up, so rather than making any plans and possibly needing to cancel, I figured I'd just better get back into the studio and just put out some more music while I have the chance. So I went back in and started doing acoustic versions of songs from Abnormal, from Normal, from the past records, and it came out really nice. It's such a different approach and it almost felt I was doing covers of my own music and having to rewrite and reinterpret parts of songs that normally would work for, you know, an electric guitar through an driven amp, now I had to find new way of making that part work on just a plain acoustic guitar. So it was almost rewriting parts of songs and coming up with variations and vocally it brought out a whole other side of things. It wasn't about the power, it was about the dynamics, the emotion. So I found myself really singing a lot differently. And I hope people like it. It was very fun... I wouldn't say challenging, it was just a.... something different and it was enjoyable. I hope you all like it. I'm hoping to have it out there and available by the middle of December. So we'll see what happens. If I can come up with a name.

John/Mark: Very good. And as far as the band goes on this acoustic record, is it just Dennis or do you have other players with you?

Bumblefoot: There's not even drums on there, it's just a rhythm acoustic guitar, a lead acoustic guitar, vocals, and a bass in the background, and that's it. It's completely stripped down, naked, bare, so... not even raw, just skeletal, just... yeah. Really stripped, stripped down.

John/Mark: Now, Bumble, when you recorded Abnormal, you did it in, what I would call, an unconventional, yet very cool way. You would, and correct me if I am wrong, you would actually go in, for example, and do lead vocals on every song on the album and you do that multiple times, and I just thought that was an amazing way to record. Very, very difficult in my opinion. Did you approach the acoustic record the same way?

Bumblefoot: Ah, I didn't do it for the acoustic record but yeah, for Abnormal. What I did, like normally what you do is, you pick a song and you work on it till you've got it done, you then work on the next one, you start hearing things from the last one you did and put a few tweaks to that, but you really focus section by section and just keep honing in word by word, everything. With Abnormal, I would go into the studio, I would have the songs ready to go, and I would sing every song one time straight through as if it was a gig, as quickly as possible. As soon as I finished one, save, the next song, sing it and save, next one... I wouldn't listen to anything, I would just go home and do the same thing next day. I did that for a month... and oh! Also, every time I did it, I made sure there were people there so this way I didn't get to think too much. I was in "ham-it-up mode" [?] where it's like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah", slightly in performance-mode, a little more. Cheese it out a little extra. So, yeah.

John/Mark: I was going to say, you mention performance mode, and I didn't know that that happened to all artists, I thought maybe that just happened to me where I have a method of performing or recording where I'm by myself but then when there are people around something comes over me, I get an adrenaline rush, and suddenly my performance is different. And I'm amazed to hear that's the case with you as well.

Bumblefoot: Did it the same way, so instead of going after a whole song I would sing the whole album all the way through, shut it off, go home. The next day I would do the same thing, did that for a month. By the end of that month all these things that might have spontaneously happened during that month became parts of the song, I started getting the feel for just the tone I should give a song and everything, and it worked out well and I would just pick the best take. And so, I did that. What else did I do that was different? Ah, I re-amped the guitars, which normally, which you do, is you're plugged into the amps, you got mikes on the amp, and you record what's coming through those mikes. Therefore, your performance, the way you played, what you played, is bound to the sound of your guitar coming through that amp, and you can't really change it very much. You can EQ it but you can't make any big changes. When you re-amp a guitar what you do is, you have the recording device in-between the guitar and the amps, so it's capturing just your raw guitar, it's capturing what you send to the amplifier. So this way, once you've played it right, you have that and you send that, you send the track of your performance to the amp and you can spend time tweaking the sound of the amp, picking different microphones, different distances, different rooms, different dampening, different everything, and you end up getting a much better guitar-sound because you have the option to get a better guitar sound. So I was able to spend a lot of time picking different amps and different settings for them that would be best, and I think I got a much better guitar sound as the result. It's a good way, I don't think I will ever go back.

John/Mark: You are no longer at liberty to that initial sound during the first time you played it.

John/Mark: There's a ton of people out here tonight to hear the album, are you going to go out and say a few words before the actual playing of the record starts?

Bumblefoot: I most definitely am. I'm going to greet these "downloading motherfuckers" and thank them for being here and for celebrating this occasion, and, yeah, we're going to have a damn good time.

John/Mark: Cool. And there was a little uproar on a lot of the Guns N' Roses message boards yesterday among the hardcore community of GN'R fans - a few names disappeared off of the official MySpace Guns N' Roses page, not your name, so don't worry about it, but any comment on that?

Bumblefoot: Well, the way I look at it is if anybody is making their final statement about it, they will do so, not me, you know, I'm not going to speak on behalf of anybody for Robin, for Brain, or anybody. Whatever they want to say about it, and whatever their stand is with things, their standings with things, you know, that's up to them. I'm respecting their wishes and how they want to proceed with their life and their relationship with this. So basically I'm saying in a lot of words absolutely nothing.

John/Mark: But you said it in a nice way. And I wanted to ask about all the great charitable work you've been doing in the last year.

Bumblefoot: You do what you can, that's all. It's no biggie. It takes very little effort to do something nice and to help somebody, so just fucking do it, man. If I can donate something and it's going to help somebody, raise money to something good, I'll do it. If I can do a gig and people come to the gig to support a certain cause, I'll do it. I did a few things, I did something for the diabetes situation we have going on. I've continually been doing something about MS, multiple sclerosis. With Abnormal I had a thing going on where if you get a signed CD I donate $5 of it to research and I'm gong to continue doing that, I might step up, make it "anything signed", I'm going to do that for... yeah, you just do whatever you can, that's all, when you can, when it's possible.

John/Mark: Cool. And how is Jen doing? She's here tonight, looks great.

Bumblefoot: She's doing great, doing great. Kicking ass. I should probably being her on stage with me when I speak because she makes a very good shock collar where if I start saying the wrong things she can kind of give me a little choke and I'll shut the hell up before I say anything that causes too much damage.

John/Mark: And is that free download still available on

Bumblefoot: Of that one song? Yeah, yeah, it's on there. Go get it, steal it. [?] Take it.

John/Mark: Bumblefoot, we've had such an amazing history with you, dating way back to the very first Eating with Bumblefoot Podcast and then we've had Eating with Frank and Bumblefoot, we've had Eating with Mr. and Mrs. Bumblefoot, we've worked with you on Talking Metal and Fuse [?] and you've just become one of our absolute, just personal best friends and we can't thank you enough for everything you've done for Talking Metal and congratulations on your release of not only Chinese Democracy but Abnormal and all of your other solo records.

John/Mark: Absolutely, thank you.

Bumblefoot: Guys, thank you so much, we go back a long way and it's been a hell of a journey and I'm glad we can do it together, so thank you so much.

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