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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.


2010.06.14 - TC Electronics - Q&A with Bumblefoot

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2010.06.14 - TC Electronics - Q&A with Bumblefoot Empty 2010.06.14 - TC Electronics - Q&A with Bumblefoot

Post by Blackstar Wed 11 Aug 2021 - 7:42

The interview took place before the show in Denmark. The three parts of it were uploaded on youtube on different later dates.


Bumblefoot: What's up everybody! I'm Ron Thal - Bumblefoot. I play guitar in Guns N' Roses and I am at the TC Electronic Factory here in beautiful Denmark, or we're on tourl this is our last stop, we got our final show tonight and I wanted to come here and say hello to everybody. And I got here and suddenly they hand me these pieces of paper saying that you guys had questions to ask me, so I am going to oblige and answer your questions.

Alright, first one right here is from a guy named Tom Jacob Brablek [?]. It says, "I see that the bottom half of the guitar has frets but I don't see any on the top half, that's weird." It's not really a question now, is it? That's more of a statement. I don't have an answer because, you know, you're right that's weird.

All right, from.... who's next year? From Adib Rockmento [?], "Did he fully maximize his Nova system or did he use another device combined with Nova system? What are his considerations of using Nova system?" I don't think anybody can fully maximize a Nova system, I certainly am NOT. I use it for a lot of the basic stuff, delay, reverb and I use it for like the whammy pedal effects, I have an expression pedal in there and use it for that so I get a whole bunch of things all coming out of that but I don't need a lot of pedals I could just do it from that so it's just a wah pedal and that the Nova. But my response, "No, he does not fully maximize his Nova system."

All right. What else we have? Uh, Albert! Albert Moreno Bis [?]. Question: "What about his relationship with Guthrie Govan?" Purely physical.

Let's see, "What came first, the fretless steel fingerboard guitar or your need for it?" Uh, the egg. No, actually the guitar came first. The company Visigier, they were making this guitar I had discovered it in 1998-99 and I asked them if I could try one out and that's when I started using it. A good question, thank you very much.

Michael Wilson: "Can I come to a gig and help shag the groupies?" Yes, actually you can there's a lot of very hairy burly sweaty male groupies that would be happy to meet you Michael.

Raymond: "What drive pedals do you use along with the Nova?" I don't. I use the Nova for the fancy stuff and all the drive I'm getting right from the amp. I'm using an Angle invader head and it has more than enough drive just out of that. It's a nice sounding drive - it's good.

Let's see, what else? Jose Cassandra Piero: "Hi Ron, what's up? Can you give me your Nova system if you have a spare to give or not?" No. But thanks for asking.

What else we got? Oh here's some good ones from Chris Zalewski: "How much time do you spend on your hair each day?" I guess my question for you Chris is, "How much time do you spend looking at my hair each day and thinking about this?" "How hot are you on a scale from one to ten?" Eleven.

Oh Chris Zalewski again! Another question, "Where do you buy your pants?" Uh, I don't buy them, I steal them out of your mom's closet. That's fucked up, I shouldn't bring the moms into this all right. Cancel that!

That's it for the questions from you guys. Thank you very much for these questions. Very uh.... yes, questions. All right so good. Now what?

So yeah, so it was 2004, summer 2004, and I got an email from Joe Satriani said, err, "Just, uh, recommended you to the GN'R gig so if someone reaches out you know just, you know, they're not yanking you, and you know it's legit." So alright and then a few hours later one of the guys in the band sent me a funny email and so yeah so I wrote him back and and we just started chatting and started talking to the manager, started talking to Caram, the producer that did Chinese and yeah we just started making plans and that went on, the planning stage went on for a while then it was a lull. And then they had a tour going in early 2006 and we picked it up. And I they were in New York City jamming and I just came down and we just jammed to three old songs. Cool, let's do it again tomorrow night and did another three songs and did that for two weeks or so.

A funny thing about it was the newer stuff, the new songs, you know, there was a big concern about leaks and stuff getting out and they didn't really know me and and just to play it safe figured it best not to give me any of the music. So the only way I could learn all the songs would be at rehearsal jamming, then I would take a half hour and I would go into the next room and listen on the road manager's laptop with headphones. I would listen to all the new songs and just maybe jot down some quick notes of the arrangement and everything and then run back in the room and play it. And that's how I did it even on tour, that's how... the only thing I had to go by was just the memory of listening to it on headphones on a laptop and trying to nail everything just from that. So it was a challenge up to the point where, later that year when I started actually laying my own tracks for the stuff. Once we did that and once the album came out and everything was indefinite as far as what was in the song what wasn't what was going to be there.

By the time we started touring again it gave me a chance to really prepare the proper way to pull off these songs and that's when I had the Vigier guys make the double neck so I could do all the fretless and the fretted back and forth in one song, I'll sing it back and vocals and you know, have a snare drum on my ass and, you know, cymbals between the legs and tap dancing. And then I got the the Nova system to take care of all the whammy effects or the, you know, the wetter [?] things with delays and reverbs.

Um the one thing that made me choose the Nova system above everything else of all things was really the compressor. It was the fact that the compressor has such a quick response and a fast release to it, if you want it. Um, it's great for guitar because you don't want to hit a note with hard dynamics and then have everything after it sort of disappear and then slowly come back because it's a very slow release. You want something that's immediately going to snap back and grab the next note however you want it to be grand. So it has that and it keeps everything close and you don't lose anything. So the compressor in the Nova system is really good for guitar. You can play dynamically and when you're playing in such a, you know, a bandwidth, we got drums, we got loops, we got vocals, backing vocals, two other guitar players, two keyboard players, all going on at once, there's not a lot of room for dynamics cuz it's not a lot of air in between everything, you know, you're just getting bombarded so you need something where you can play dynamically but it'll keep everything up close where you won't lose anything in the mix of everything going on. And it's perfect for that.  So with GN'R when I'm playing live I have in the Angle [?] Invader head, I have a Nova through the back end along with a little wah pedal, um.... going to a bunch of Celestions [?] miked up go in to front of house and that's it simple as that.

I was... I had an overactive brain like wow. I would be outside in my yard, I'd be five years old, and have a stack of encyclopedias and I would be reading the encyclopedias just memorizing information about everything I could while everyone would be in the front, you know, just playing football and stuff and they'll like, "Come play with us!" "Yeah, one minute" and I'm... stuff like that. And I was a real just, I don't know, I just had this like incredible hunger for like everything there was to sponge up about everything. Oh yeah, I got dumber with age. Now I'm just a stupid rock star. Oh, but yeah, I was a smart kid. And I think part of the... what I loved about music besides just, you know, loving music, was just trying to understand the math behind it and I was as a kid I was definitely into all the theory and everything and trying to just find on my own, you know, just come across all the different links between things in life and the math that makes music work and yeah.

Interviewer: So did you find it hard to kind of once you have the grasp of the math part of it, I mean, some people would say that then it's hard to kind of forget it again. You get locked into this sort of, you know, like a schematic or something then...

Bumblefoot: Right, right, you start thinking logically instead of emotionally?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Bumblefoot: Um well, I mean, everything just comes with, you know, trying to balance, you know, trying to find the balance between the two which in the end you realize that the mathematics are in the background and not something you should be thinking about. Just use your ears and use your heart and just everything will fall into place. The math is to maybe decipher and define and explain, you know, in some sort of, you know, definite terms why the heart is going where it's going, you know. You know, it's good to know that stuff if you want to look after the fact and say, "Well this is why it sounded so nice when it landed on this note against that chord," you know. But, yeah, I just, fuck all shit, don't worry about that stuff. Just, you know, use your ears, you know, it's like if it sounds good to the ears everything is fine and it doesn't have to be accurate or correct, in fact the more imperfect it is the more human it is and the more real it is. I mean we are imperfect creatures, we are fucking... you know I would say we're just, we're all just a work in progress, just trying to, you know...yeah.

Interviewer: So why did you pick up the guitar to begin with?

Bumblefoot: Well because I was a really shitty drummer. Yeah. And I wanted to, you know, I heard KISS, I was five years old, I heard the KISS Alive album and I was like, "That's what I want to do that right there." "I want to put on makeup and dress funny." Uh so yeah, so I wanted to be a drummer and it didn't quite work out and I was like, "Well I want to be a bassist cuz Gene Simmons is the shit, he scares me I'm five," and you know, "I want to spit blood and fly and I want to breathe fire and fuck chicks and..." Actually no I didn't want to fuck chicks when I was five. So I remember I was six years old, I was having a birthday party and invited two girls from my class thinking that, like, if I invite them both that I'd be able to get with both of them at the same time. Yeah didn't work out. It did not work out in any way but that's another story. So yeah once wanted to be a bassist but you know I was too young, you know, bass strings like fucking cables, you know, for a five-year-old, you know, thickening my fingers so I started on guitar and I stuck with it.

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2010.06.14 - TC Electronics - Q&A with Bumblefoot Empty Re: 2010.06.14 - TC Electronics - Q&A with Bumblefoot

Post by Soulmonster Thu 19 Aug 2021 - 8:51

Just finished transcribing this.
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