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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.

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2011.11.19 - Bravewords - Interview with Bumblefoot

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2011.11.19 - Bravewords - Interview with Bumblefoot  Empty 2011.11.19 - Bravewords - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Blackstar Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:43 pm


Mitch Lafon: So we're here with Bumblefoot from good old GN'R.

Bumblefoot: Yeah.

ML: Now, recently you've been putting together songs that you've been making available for download on your website.

BF: This is true, sir, yes.

ML: Seven so far, what are the plans?

BF: Ah well, I mean, if I wasn't on tour I would be doing one every month, and that was the plan to do every month to put out a song because I just can't take on an album right now. Like, I can't just say, "All right, I'm gonna take nine months and I gotta right now record and put it out and do the whole thing." It's much easier to just put out a steady stream of music, one song at a time and I find that with that I can do a lot of... what do you call, special, the added features that I wouldn't really be able to do if I had to do it for a whole album. It's just too much. So what I've been doing is, I would put out a song, either a cover or an original song, and we put it out in, you know, the usual, you know, mp3 or AAC but then also wave and flag and a higher-end uncompressed types of files and stuff. I do an instrumental version for people that want to sing-

ML: On top of it?

BF: People who can't stand my voice. This way they can just have the music and not hear me-

ML: Singing on top?

BF: Yeah.

ML: So was there a plan to take these songs, like when you get to like 10 or 12, and compile it into an album for sale or oh that's not-

BF: A lot of people did ask me about that and, you know, at first I wasn't thinking about it but give the people what they want,  if the people are saying, "Hey, we'd like to have an album of it," give them an album. So, that's something, that I was thinking about doing, is that maybe adding a few extra songs that warrant put out on that song a month thing and have a whole album of that. With the tour I don't know when I'll be able to do that, though.

ML: The never ending tour, it started off at like six shows and now it keeps going, right? But let me just finish with this, you did a song with Accept's new lead singer, Mark-

BF: Tornillo, yeah.

ML: How was that and how do you find Mark in his role as Accept lead singer?

BF: Well, in Accept, I love him. You know, I think like most people, like everyone is a bit of a purist, and it's like, you know, the one that you started with is the one that you always think of as it the main one. But I gotta say, Mark, you know, the album he did with them is my favorite one I ever heard.

ML: It's heavy and...

[plays on the guitar]

BF: And I'm a big fan of-

ML: [singing] It's a pandemic!

BF: Yeah. But I'm a big fan of his going back to TT Quick [?] in the mid 80s. I mean, I still remember every-

ML: You are both Jersey boys, right?

BF: Yup.

[plays the guitar]

ML: They were more of a Jersey sensation. They had a bit of a splash in the States but they really never got out into Europe and into the other markets, huh? But he's such a great vocalist.

BF: So good.

ML: How do you rate yourself as the vocalist? You're singing on the other track.

BF: Terrible.

ML: Terrible?

BF: Yeah. The song is Asleep At The Wheel. [singing]. So I still remember all that old stuff when I was like 14-15 years old. It was so good. And, uh yeah, when he joined Accept and I heard that, it was... I just loved it. And we got in touch through mutual friends, like, "Hey, I'm putting out these songs, would you want to sing on one?" and it was like, "Sure, I'd love to." And actually... Yeah! Where we met was it was Don Jameson when he was recording
the audio for his album Live in Hilarious and we were there. I went up, I just did like a little Jam thing, I just made a spontaneous intro for the album for him, and Mark was there hanging. We met afterwards and that's when we first met. That was in January this year, yeah.

ML: Now you're also working with another artist, if I get the name right, Poc?

BF: Mhm.

ML: Mexican lady, well lady. A Mexican girl. Lady.

BF: [singing] she's little lady. Yeah, I started in the summer time, she came up to the studio and actually, yeah, she was the next thing that I worked on right after Mark. So the song I did with Mark was called Cat Fight, by the way that one worked was I just did the music and I said, "Do whatever you want with the lyrics, just make the song yours in that way," and listening to what he came up with, the whole concept and everything, all the words, the melodies and all. And he came and just banged it out, like two takes, boom, and that was it.

ML: He's incredible. For me, I'm a little bit about his earlier band. but for me he was really an unknown until he hit Accept and then you hear that album and it's like, "Wow! Where was this band hiding?" I mean, Accept, I had almost forgotten about them. Now what's going on with Poc and what kind of music is that? Is it dance? Is it rock?

BF: No, it's rock. I'd say it's like about as heavy as maybe, what would you say, like Nickelback and those kind of bands.

ML: Is she a Joan Jett type singer or Lita Ford or is she Lady Gaga? What is she?

BF: I would say more of a metall-y Lady Gaga.

ML: Oh, metal lady.

BF: She's, you know, it's funny, some people I heard say that it reminded them of Doro Pesch of all things. I mean, she's from Mexico and she sings in Spanish, so just picture, like, you know, that kind of heavy, like the riffs are very.... [tunes the guitar]

ML: Like I ruled the ruins and whenever?

BF: And Frank from Guns played all the drums on the album [plays a riff]. Like those kind of [mimics drums] Yeah, so it was like that kind of stuff. So it's a hard rock with really good Spanish female fronted vocals going on with it. And I did all the music, Frank Ferrer, Guns N' Roses, he did all the drums.

ML: Right. You produced it?

BF: Yeah, yeah. I did all the, you know, the engineering, the co-writing, the rewriting, the music parsing [?], you know, help with the arrangements of everything and the mixing and the mastering and now I'm also, you know, taking on the whole thing from a management standpoint as well. You know, working on merch and, you know, the album art and getting everything ready to have it available by early next year.

ML: Now, would you only produce rock acts or if we did have sort of a Lady Gaga, you know, a pop artist would you take on that too?

BF: I've done a ton of hip hop. Like 15 years ago I used to do a lot of hip hop producing. I've done that, I've done jazz, classical, opera, I've done all kinds. I mean music is music and it's not just about the style of music it's also about personality of the person making the music and tapping into that and bringing that out. And that's really when you produce is what you want to do is bring the most of them out of them. And, you know, the style is just, you know, whatever clothes they're wearing. It's the same thing musically, just waves and just whatever how you dress them up. And just getting into that vibe and bringing it out. So, yeah, I've done a lot of different types of music, all kinds of stuff. I mean, mostly I do rock because my music is rock when I express myself. It's, you know, hard rock stuff-

ML: Did you grow up on all Kiss and all Aerosmith and all that or is there, because you're from New York, was there sort of a run DMC and a rap influence and a hip-hop thing or are you just a musician so you can handle any music?

BF: Well in the, you know, mid 70s I had heard Kiss Alive album and 75 and that is what made me... that was my first love, that was the first thing that really got me inspired and excited and-

ML: Because it's awesome.

BF: Yeah. It was the greatest... It was the album that launched, like you know, a thousand of the bands and yes, it was that. Also the Beatles, I was a big lover of the Beatles. As I grew up - trying to think of some of the first albums I got, was Boston's first album [plays and tunes the guitar].

ML: You might have to cover More Than A Feeling at some point, right?

BF: Yeah, so, yeah it was that. There was Parallel Lines from Blondie. Love that album. Billy Joel, The Stranger, that one that was one of my first albums.

ML: It's interesting because-

BF: Yes! Going For The One.

ML: But you're not... you're going more in sort of the new way stuff. You're not sticking to Kiss, to Alice Cooper Welcome To My Nightmare, over to, like, you're going more Blondie and.. So you went more progressive and new wave.

BF: There was a lot of that. I mean, that was just like all the neighbors and everything I guess. Just what everyone in the neighborhood was listening to back then. We didn't have Internet, it wasn't so easy to explore and find music. Either you went to a record store, you know, you go with your parents while they go shopping and say, "Oh, could we go to the music store?" you know, you go there and they leave you alone in there while you just browse through album covers and if you see one that looks cool it's like, "Oh, what's this one, 'Killers', Iron Maiden? That looks cool, I'm gonna try this out," and you go and buy it based on that-

ML: That's what I used to do.

BF: And you find a gem. But, there was that and then there would be, "Hey, my older sister just got Yes, Going For The One, let's listen to it!" And listen to it and, you know you, just hear something that freaks your little child mine out. And so yeah, that was actually that album, Yes, Going For The One was one of the first albums I got. So I had a sort of eclectic diverse rock collection going on as a kid and from there I got into, you know, a lot of Ramones and Sex Pistols, some Dead Kennedys we listened to. You know, and then of course all the classic rock stuff that at the time was just rock and I was, like, we were 10 years old and, you know-

ML: And The Knack's My Sharona?

BF: Oh sure, there was that. There was a...but more so than that, it was, like, you know, I still remember everything, like, you know, I remember hearing on the radio while I was going to school that morning and getting ready that, you know, John Bonham was found dead and, you know, Led Zeppelin was a big part of growing up. And of course The Stones. Everyone had the Hot Rocks album out of course. There was AC/DC, the new album with the new singer, you know [playing Back in Black]. It was like, "Wow! He's good!" I remember like the fear and concern I had when I found out Paul Di'Anno was out of the band and they got this new guy. I didn't know what to expect and then, you know, hearing [playing Iron Maiden] and when he does that [singing Iron Maiden] and like, "Oh shit, he's got pipes! Yeah, you can do this!" And then the first thing comes out [plays the guitar] I was like, "Yeah!!" So yeah, yeah, I remember all that stuff so vividly. I'm just growing up with, you know, classic rock and then, you know, old school metal, which was just metal, and I would always go every Sunday to Rock And Roll Heaven, this little record shop in a flea market run by this nice married couple, John and Marcia, John Sesulu [?], and-

ML: And Anthrax and [?]

BF: Exactly. And he would always say, "Hey, check this one out, you might like this one," and, like, "It's called Angel Witch," and it was just turning out to be the craziest stuff [plays the guitar]

ML: I've actually forgotten about them. I got to get back to that them.

BF: They were great. And then he's like, "Hey, check out this one!" [play the guitar and sings]. And, you know, you just get me all, like, he would point me in the right direction that guy. He's like, "Check out this band," "Check out this one," and I would go there and get all my weird Australian imports of AC/DC stuff and all the, you know, picture discs of Maiden and whatever else and I would just try and find every weird cover of the album 'Hero, Hero' from Judas Priest and stuff like that.

ML: So as a young kid you sought out music, it wasn't just like your brother's music or your sister's music or whatever, like you actively got out you... You didn't just buy one album, you'd get the imports and you get the whole thing. You were like.. the collection.

BF: Oh yeah.

ML: Completist, or whatever they want to call it.

BF: Definitely. Especially with the Beatles. I was really into finding cool imports and bootlegs of Beatles albums and find the 45s is in the sleeves and all.

ML: Are you still an avid collector? Are there any bands that gets you excited these days?

BF: You know, now it's so different because just not having the tangible objects and the art in your hands. Back then you felt like you were collecting art in a way and now, you know, it just became more about collecting files and just... it was such an easy abundance and just an easy collection to build. It just it changed. Yes, it's not the same. Also my life got busier-

ML: But is there any bands-

BF: You know, it's very easy when you're 10 to have music collecting hobby but, you know, when you are making music 24/7 and you have just a pile of things waiting to get done-

ML: Does that make you lose the appreciation for new music, when you're doing it 24/7? When, I mean, when it becomes your job?

BF: It doesn't. I still haven't lost the appreciation. If anything-

ML: But let's say-

BF: I just miss the simplicity of life. But that's like anybody's life, I mean, just as life goes on it gets more complicated.

ML: Let's just say a AC/DC has a new album or Judas Priest or Kiss, do you run out and buy it or you go, "Man, I'll just wait till I get a copy sent to me," or is there like an anticipation still or like, "No, I'll check it out if it comes my way."

BF: There's anticipation but at the same time I don't drop what I'm doing and run to get it the way I would have when I was younger, and that's just because I have too many other things that I just have to do. That's really why. I mean, if I had a lot more free time I would definitely be able to channel it towards towards that kind of stuff but now it's just a race against the clock for the last 20 years or so.

ML: [?] gets different after a while. There's another thing that people might not know you do, you're involved with a charity on...

BF: Yeah, there's a Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation,, and it's started by a friend of mine, a good friend, Ralph Rosa, he's a guitar player and in 1997 he got diagnosed with MS and he started this foundation, a non-profit were all friends and his family we would volunteer our time and put together these different events, dinner, comedy things, like, you know, big dinner and have all these comedians and a raffle. And we just raise money that would all get donated directly toward the labs that would do in the research, where we would go to the labs, we would talk with the researchers. We developed relationships with them and we get reports and everything on what they're doing and how it's coming along, and the direction they want to take in pursuing things that just help sustain somebody's life that has the disease and also working toward trying to find a cure. Yeah, so we've been doing that for about, say, just about a dozen years, yeah. So what I do is anything that is... autographed merch, like, if I have a signed CD, a signed photo, anything like that, I donate five dollars of each thing from those-

ML: If someone wants one of those signed things, merch, where do they come to get it?

BF: and just click on store and it'll take you to the store where you can get that, which I'm probably going to be revamping and changing for the new year.

ML: That's the way to get it. And how is the current GN'R tour going? From a fan's perspective, you know, you have... there's been other tours where things have been cancelled or it hasn't... you know, the media reports, but this one seems to be getting glowing reviews everywhere, so-

BF: Pretty much. I mean, you know, the funny thing about reviews is, like, you'll do a show that, you know, it was a pretty good show and then the next day someone [?] put out this fucking review where they're talking about how somebody looks 25 years after the fact or what time we went on and they just find the things to nitpick at and to just tear it down as if it's just become, you know, the thing to do. But, I mean, really, as long as 10,000 people or more, or whatever it is, as long as they go home happy, feeling like they got a good night and a good memory and something they really enjoyed, got their money's worth, got their ears' worth, everything, then a s[?], and one reviewer can say whatever he wants as long as everywhere we go there's 10,000 people that will say, "No, it was a great show," because it's about them. It's not about that one reviewer. It's about them.

ML: I think people focus a lot on the late starts but they seem to forget that a concert is usually 17 songs, you're going as far as 38-39, I mean-

BF: We're doing a good three hours set.

ML: -you're getting bang for your buck.

BF: We've been doing a lot, yeah.

ML: That seems to be missed and that's a shame, you know.

BF: Yeah, I mean, and then at the same time it's hard to know... I mean there's people that would love for us to play for 20 hours, then there's a people that's like, "All right, this movie is getting too long, I got things to do and I got work tomorrow, and I also want to stand." When people go to a concert or whatever their entertainment choice is for the evening, if it reaches a time for them where they have to choose between it becoming a distraction or an intrusion on the next day of work and, look, nobody could afford to lose a day of work, doesn't matter who you are-

ML: I don't know, it's for rock and roll. [?]. Is there anything else that we, that we should talk about? I mean, we got, the multiple sclerosis one was-

BF: You want to talk about those songs again?

ML: Yeah.

BF: We're just gonna jump back to the first topic.

ML: Yeah, well, we got that... we meandered away.

BF: We're making a circle, we're returning to the start, is what we're doing.

ML: That's life, it's the circle of life.

BF: The circle of life.

ML: We were talking about, you had seven songs, when you get to 10 will it be an album?

BF: I can have a few extras that I could put on there to make the album something special rather than just a disc of everything that people might already have. But the one cool thing about what I've been doing with those individual songs, is I've been putting out a tablature that people can get where for every song-

ML: That you write yourself.

BF: Yeah, I go through and make sure that it's, yeah, it's exact. So it has the picking, it has the fingers, it has the tablature, it has a musical notation and any other instructions that are needed. And then it comes with a backing track that has that guitar part missing. And then it has a booster track where it's pushed up so you could really hear, it's is like a sort of audio guide to everything. So that's for all the the guitar players that want to hear and want to figure out what I'm doing, that's all.

ML: For those who haven't checked out the songs yet, what would they listen.... what would they hear if they go, is it just rock songs? Are you doing all kinds of eclectic stuff? Are you doing Beatles tunes? Are you doing acoustic? What are they come... what are they gonna get?

BF: Ah, it's mostly rock stuff. The first song was the song Bernadette from the Four Tops.

ML: Right.

BF: [plays the guitar and sings] [...] a big long solo at the end. And it was all, you know, so yeah it is that. And there's a version of Strawberry Fields.

ML: Yes.

BF: There was a an original song, Invisible [plays the guitar] Kind of AC/DC-Pantera-Zeppelin-ish grungy, I guess. Then, what was there? There was-

ML: Catfight.

BF: Catfight, yeah, which is just like a fun sort of... almost had like a 80s-ish sort of thing to it. It's just a fun song. Yeah, there was a song, Father. Had a metal... a medal-ish [plays the guitar]

ML: Are you... would you put more songs out? Like you did with... what was the album called, Abnormal, was that the one? More the sort of instrumental-

BF: I have a couple instrumentals [?] and, you know, for a long time I've wanted to just do it instrumental guitar album where I get together all my little guitar friends and see who wants to be on it. And I spoke to John 5 not too long ago, we were talking about it because I know he just came out with something really cool and we've been talking for a while about maybe doing a little song together so if I can ever get that out and done I would love to have him on it. Uh, who else? What other names can I drop and throw that I can...

ML: Rob from Anthrax, maybe?

BF: Yeah.

ML: He's in your-

BF: Oh, he's great.

ML: -your area code, right?

BF: He's a definitely a possibility. There's... I could ask John Petrucci, he might be busy but may not want to do it, may not be able to afford him, I don't know. But, you know, there's just people I would love to have on it. Of course, you know, my friend Guthrie Govan from the UK, you got Mattias Eklund from Sweden, got Crisco Dan [?] from France-

ML: Next month you're doing shows with a Zakk Wylde opening up, you could maybe corner him somewhere in catering and say, "Hey, Zach, come on." Of course Zakk's got to be very big, I don't know if you can't really corner him at this point [laughs].

BF: He'll corner me. "Come on man, we got beards, we're from Jersey, let's do this!"

ML: That's right, he is from Jersey. Uh, earlier this year you got into a car wreck. How are you doing physically?

BF: Oh, pretty fucking horrible.

ML: Yeah?

BF: Yeah.

ML: Lots of physiotherapy and-

BF: I had it but now I'm on tour and instead of getting better I'm just making myself worse every night, so yeah. And it's just a struggle to get it through every fucking show and to, you know, sometimes it's a little easier, sometimes I can't even lift the guitar off my head.

ML: It doesn't sound like fun, does it?

BF: Um.

ML: No? So-

BF: It can be.

ML: It can be?

BF: Drugs.

ML: You mean, meet enough fans, right? Because they give you the energy?

BF: Riiiiight. Ingestible fans.

ML: Ingestible fans. So the the instrumental guitar album and the singles will continue into 2012?

BF: Well, I guess it depends on how far the tour goes because as soon as I can get back to the studio I could start getting creative again so...

ML: You don't have a rig with you on on tour? Like a little ProTools set up somewhere or?

BF: Never. I used to bring stuff and I find that every time I'm on tour it's just play, travel, sleep, repeat. And, you know, do something to get away from music so you don't go crazy, go out and.... something. Little haunted house, get the crap scared out of you, have someone chase you with a chainsaw and then play, sleep, and sometimes you don't sleep, and travel and repeat.

ML: And the long bus rides. So, any last words?

BF: Oh....

ML: is a good last word, right?

BF: Um, what else?

ML:'s the best?

BF: rules, man! Yeah, thank you for watching this and hopefully we will see each other at some point again.

ML: And come out to a show, right?

BF: Yes.

ML: Any show. Just support rock, show up to your local bar band and then support rock, right?

BF: So yeah, so, all right. So recap:, that's where everybody's gonna see this, and see us, and and if you want to hear some of the little songs I was putting out, go to, when you want to check out Poc's music that I produced, go, and you can hear little snippets of stuff. What else? Yeah, so-

ML: Your friends charity?

BF: Oh, thank you. Yeah, you gotta, so thank you for watching and-

ML: And thank you for taking the time.

BF: No, always man.

ML: Thank you, thank you.

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2011.11.19 - Bravewords - Interview with Bumblefoot  Empty Re: 2011.11.19 - Bravewords - Interview with Bumblefoot

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jan 01, 2022 6:25 pm

Just finished transcribing this.
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