27 FEB 2006
Smother: First things first. How did
you get the moniker Bumblefoot? It sounds like something that has to do with
tripping over your feet or lack of coordination!?!
Bumblefoot: hahaa, the name Bumblefoot came from
studying veterinary medicine a dozen years ago - it's an ailment, also known as
Ulcerative Pododermatitis. I used the name Bumblefoot because Ulcerative
Pododermatitis was too long and didn't fit on CD spines.
Smother: I believe I remember you being on some sort of
MTV television show, am I losing my mind or is that correct?
Bumblefoot: Yeah, the show "Made" - I was a guest
musical coach, helping a young chap get his singing and songwriting up to snuff
for a competition at his school. Talented guitarist and singer named Scott
Alpert, whose heart is in metal, and is doing what he loves. Check him out at
Smother: Speaking of MTV, what do
you think about what they did with MTV2 which used to have incredible video
segments but now is resigned to be a re-run hell storm of their shows?
Bumblefoot: Well, I guess we can hope they'll make an
MTV3 and show more of the videos people are longing for.
Smother: Do you have any videos for your songs? Have
you ever gotten any airplay?
Bumblefoot: I had a video
for the song "T-Jonez" off the Uncool CD - it was in regular rotation at "Quick"
fast food restaurants in France, from what I was told. Serious. Doing a video in
a few days for the song "Real" off the Normal CD - just raw footage of us
playing, no storyline, just playin'. There are plenty of horrific videos
floating around Youtube and Limewire of old clinics and gig bootlegs - put a few
clips on my site too.
Smother: Where and when did you
get your start in music and recording/producing?
Bumblefoot: Near the world's largest landfill, Staten
Island, NY. I was 6 years old, drinking toxic water and breathing polluted air
for about a year, and the mutations caused me to like the band KISS and want to
be a musician. So my brother, a neighbor and I formed a band, wrote songs about
the Solar System and race cars, did gigs at the local elementary school and in
our backyards, and the ball hasn't stopped rolling since. I'd have us play music
into a cassette recorder in the corner of the room, then would play it back and
we'd sing along while recording it all onto a second cassette recorder. That's
where the producing started. Making sure we were the right distance from the
cassette recorder. Ah, the 70s... good times.
I know you've produced and worked with a number of artists that I
adore--Cathy-Ann and Q*Ball come immediately to mind--and some I kind of was
surprised to learn about like Jessica Simpson. Have you ever worked with anyone
that made you blush with nervousness since you were rubbing elbows with fame?
Bumblefoot: Fame doesn't impress me. Integrity,
honesty, being ethical - that's what matters. I've rubbed elbows with some
famous pieces of shit. Also rubbed elbows with the greatest people you could
ever know, but may never cross paths with, or hear their name. Those are the
people that matter. The Jessica Simpson thing - I just laid guitar tracks and
helped mix the dance/club-mix version of Irresistible - I wasn't there for the
vocal recording. More recently, I co-produced the 24-7 Spyz' "Face the Day" CD (
www.24-7spyz.com ) - a soulful metal band from the late-80s into the mid 90s,
took a hiatus for a minute, now they're back up 'n runnin'. Really enjoyed
working with them - they have what matters. :)
When not blessing the world with glorious sounds, what would we find Bumblefoot
Bumblefoot: Drywall and electrical work on the
studio, flying to beautiful places to go hiking on mountains. Last year in
Kauai, two days ago in the Indian Canyons in California. I really love doing
carpentry work. It's fucking therapeutic.
is Bald Freak Music doing these days anyway?
Bumblefoot: Kickin' butt. Happy to be part of the
family, nice to see a start-up label do things right. :)
Smother: Your new record "Normal" is quite ambitious
and is singularly incredible pop album. What inspired this record? When you
write a song how do you lay it out? Is it lyrics then music or the other way
around--or maybe a mixture of both?
songs just flash into my head and everything is there, all the parts, the
arrangement. If I like what's in my head, I take it out of my head and record
it. If it still has the effect listening to it outside my head as it did
listening to it inside my head, I tweak it and it lives. If not, back into my
head. The Normal CD was inspired by an experiment with anti-depression meds, an
experiment that worked, except it halted the whole thing of songs flashing into
my head. So there was a bit of a dilemma - do I live happily ever after, or do I
go back to being a nut and making music? I chose the nut route and made an album
Smother: Do you think the world will make it
to the end of the Bush administration's tenure or will global
warming/terrorism/war/economic hardship/etc. get us down? Yes this is a loaded
Bumblefoot: Oh Jeezus, why'd ya have to go
and piss on a nice conversation with all this world's-gonna-end stuff?! lol The
world has been through much worse. This too shall pass.
Smother: We always ask this of everyone we interview to
see who can give us the most creative or funny response. What would you do or
say if you met a guy named Carbomb?
Bumblefoot: Well, I
certainly wouldn't offer him a ride, that's what I *wouldn't* do or say. What
would I do or say? I'd tell him how we almost met in Birmingham England in
November 2001 and the only reason we didn't was because a couple joining a bunch
of us for dinner got in an argument and delayed our going to the restaurant
right near him. Yeah, I'm not being very creative or funny, but neither is that
guy named Carbomb.
Smother: Thanks for obliging a
little old 'zine like Smother Magazine, anything else you'd like to add?!?
Bumblefoot: Always a pleasure brutha, thanks for all :)
I hope you stay one of the lucky ones that doesn't meet up with that guy.
© Smother Magazine 1996-2006