Interview #2 with Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal
Written by Steve Angell
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal is a member of Guns N' Roses and will be featured on their new album Chinese Democracy, to be released on November 23. Along with rocking with one of the greatest rock bands of all time, he's also released his own music with his latest CD, Abnormal, soon available at a store near you. Ron has also lent his guitar skills to TV shows, video games, and many charitable causes.Wicked Info
You can learn more about this truly great guitarist at his website Bumblefoot.com, and can also order his CDs at Best Buy or Amazon.com.
Q: The last time we talked with you, you were planning to start work on your solo album, Abnormal. For fans that haven't heard it yet, what can they expect from the album?
BBF: Happy to say, I finished the album and released it digitally in July, hitting retail stores this month. I'm happy with how it came out, diggin' the tone of everything - better guitar sound, vocal sound, everything. Made some videos of recording the album, they're at Bumblefoot.com/videos.php.
Q: We hear that you're working on a line of hot sauces; do you already have a name for it, and should Joe Perry of Aerosmith be concerned that you might be competing with his hot sauce line?
BBF: Yeah, got the names and recipes ready to go, just gotta get it done. I'm lookin' to make some stuff that's gonna cause some serious pain. There's a bunch of guys with sauce out there, Joe Perry, Michael Anthony, Dizzy Reed; some real good stuff.
Q: You've had an opportunity to tour around the world both with Guns N' Roses, as well as with your own band; is there one venue or concert that jumps out to you as a particularly great performance, where all the stars seemed to be aligned?
BBF: One of my favorites will always be Madison Square Garden. Growing up in New York City and seeing my first concert there, it's a personal thing, ya know? We played there in November 2006; it just felt like a big party on that stage. Definitely a great time.
Q: What is your favorite classic and your favorite new GN'R song to play live?
BBF: "Down On the Farm," "Nice Boys," "Don't Cry." There are a lot of new songs I'm looking forward to playing. Of the ones we've done so far, I'd say "There Was A Time," "Better," and "Chinese Democracy."
Q: You've had the opportunity to perform with many great musicians throughout your career, but are there any you've yet to perform with that you'd like to?
BBF: Would love to jam with Les Paul one of these days.
Q: Of all the songs that you've written, which one holds the most meaning to you, and why?
BBF: "Shadow," off the Normal CD. Little things about it; the line "I can feel my face changing..." Weeks after getting off the meds, I didn't think anything was happening, and then people I knew started asking me "what's wrong?" Nothing felt like it was wrong, but people could see something happening. Some songs just hit the nail on the head; they say it just right, that song was one of them.
Q: When performing a guitar solo at a concert, do you usually have an idea of what you're going to play beforehand, or is it more of a spur of the moment type of thing?
BBF: They start as a spontaneous thing, and often develop into something structured. Long solos and jams are pretty spontaneous throughout.
Q: Have you played Guitar Hero or Rock Band, and if so, do you have a favorite between the two?
BBF: I suck equally at both.
Q: We hear that you recorded the theme music for VH1 Classic's new TV show That Metal Show, and that you're also going to be a guest on an upcoming episode. What day is your show scheduled to air, and do you have any other upcoming appearances on TV or radio?
BBF: Yeah, did the theme to That Metal Show, just did the music for the New York Islanders hockey team, been doing a bunch of radio shows; having a good time with that. Pretty sure That Metal Show will be premiering on November 15.
Q: We end all interviews with word association, so I say "wombat" and you say...
BBF: Drink Dr.Pepper.