...who? You may well ask! Bumblefoot is a very talented guitarist and producer and is highly regarded by fellow guitarists. A very amusing 10 Q's (check out the answers to question 7!) and thanks once again to Batttttty for passing on the questions. ~ Jason Ritchie
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)
Hello! In the past year, I've been a songwriter for Carlin Publishing, writing punk, metal and hiphop music. I've produced an electro-pop Moby-ish artist called Q*Ball, hardcore bands "Most Precious Blood" and "The Wage Of Sin", and an antifolk artist named "Cathy-Ann" and am opening my own studio in Princeton NJ. Released the "9.11" nonprofit cd followed by "Uncool", did a few guest spots on recordings, did shows as Q*Ball's guitarist throughout 2002 around NYC and the Northeast, did some touring in Europe. I also had my music and the artists I produced licensed to half-a-dozen shows on MTV, including the Osbournes. I'm on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation (www.msrf.org) and we had our first dinner/comedy event this past year, raising money for neuro-research. In France, there was a contest in Guitar&Bass magazine, where people had to submit their own version of the song "Guitars Suck" on the "9.11" cd - the winner has one year to record their own album, I'll be a guest on the album, and it will be distributed by Multicom Distro who distributes the "9.11" cd in France. Goals for 2003 are more producing, more recording/touring (hired guitarist/bassist/bkg-vocalist...), more writing for TV/film, getting the Princeton studio completely up-and-running, releasing another BfoOt cd and licensing the BfoOt cd catalog internationally. And buying a new pair of shoes.
2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoints(s) of your career to date?
The highlights are when someone writes, saying how my music has had a positive effect on their life. (The low points don't deserve any remembrance or recognition...)
3. Which songs give you the most pleasure to perform live?
Hmmmmm... singing the "Uncool" songs like "Delilah" and "Ronald's Comin' Back Now" and throwing in a few 60s/70s pop covers, or playing the fretless songs from "9.11" like "Raygun" or "Fly In the Batter." Just making music in itself is fulfilling, no matter what song...
4. Bumblefoot recently did a tour of France - how did that go? You worked with a band Plug-In. Do you prefer playing with a real band as opposed to session/hired musicians? Where are your biggest fan bases?
Plug-In were fantastic. The beauty of it is that they are a real band, so there's nothing sterile about it - the same when I toured Holland with the musicians from the band Sun Caged. A great experience. Chemistry is so important, and I don't know if it would be there with hired session players. But the French tour had its problems at the beginning. The drummer decided after the first show that "he doesn't want to play music anymore, he can't fight his demons, he's quitting music altogether and the tour" It was a nightmare. After 2 days of rehearsal everything was perfect - but as the shows neared, he suddenly got afraid and he dropped the bomb on us after the first show. He selfishly made a mess of the shows in Bordeaux and especially Toulouse, where we finally just sent him home on a train and were without a drummer. The drummer of our touring partners Kooma stayed up that night and learned all our music, making charts and played the next show with us, flawlessly. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Then Dennis (drummer of Sun Caged) finished his tour in Germany/Denmark and flew down to finish our tour. By the last concerts in Paris we were putting on the best shows of all our lives. Insane fans in Paris - alot of crowd surfing and moshpits - everywhere really. The drummer situation brings up a scary issue that musicians are faced with all the time - everyone has a cut-off point on how far they want to go with a music career, and you never know where a person's cut-off point is, until you reach it and are depending on them. It could be a first show, first demo, first album, first tour - suddenly they back out of the most important moment in your lives. For us, it was this drummer's first tour, and that was his cut-off point. I only wish he could have let us know six months earlier, not the night after the first show of the tour.
5. How would you describe your style of playing? Who has influenced you and do you hear your style influencing any modern artists?
I really can't describe my guitar-playing... an interviewer at guitaristheaven.com described it as "a genetic mutation of Van Halen, a mad drummer and long nails on a blackboard..." I told him I agreed, "except the long nails on a blackboard. My *singing* sounds like long nails on a blackboard. My guitar playing sounds like metal forks scraped down a blackboard..." I can't describe my face either. But if I had to, I'd say it looks like "metal forks scraped down a blackboard."
6. Which of your song(s) are you most proud of and why?
I think "Delilah", on "Uncool." 5 minutes after finishing an album, I never listen to it again. But from what I remember, I like Delilah...
7. What state do you think rock music is in at the moment?
Massachusetts, I think.
Is it easy to get gigs and exposure for your songs?
Sure, if ya live in Massachusetts.
8. Is there anything else you want to achieve in the music business? Who would you have liked to and/or would like to work with?
Yes, there's so much more I want to do. So many artists I'd love to work with, on either side of the glass, whether it be a musician or producer. Really, more than the style of music, what matters most to me is the type of person. Anyone with a good spirit and a good work ethic. I'd love to play with Manowar, for real. But I don't know if I'd look right in the wardrobe...
9. Outside of business, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Eating till I burst, and compulsive body scratching. No, ya know, normal stuff - spending time with family, friends, watchin' movies (Orgazmo - great movie...), and eating till I burst.
10. Message to your fans...
Never neglect your gums. You can brush and brush but if you want those teeth to stay in your mouth, take care of your gums. And don't under-estimate the usefulness of soybeans - they're very versatile. So are potatoes.
10 DEC 2002