Bumblefoot Interview at gunsnroses.gr
1 JUNE, 2008
While listening to "Normal" I kinda of pictured an entire movie script in my head based on the songs. Was it supposed to be a concept album (or anything like that) or was it just random songs selected and put together after the recording was done?
Hi Christos, hope all's well with you! Hello everyone at gunsnroses.gr ! !
Yes, Normal was a concept album, it was autobiographical. I knew what I wanted to say in the beginning middle and end. It was more of a challenge to match music and lyrics and figure out how to make the story work. I'd break it up with songs that stood on their own, but there was a definite concept. A suicidal musician whose spirit was broken, went on meds, it solved the problem, but the side-effect was that he couldn't make music anymore. Eventually he has to choose if he wants to have inner-peace but be stuck with inner-silence, or if he wanted the war inside to continue and still have music flowing through him. In the end, he chose the war. As fate would have it, the war led to W.A.R. And here we are.
Is Abnormal a "sequel" to "Normal"? Cause the lyrics of the song you gave for free to your fans (and thanks for that!!) seem to have jumped right out of "Normal"...
My pleasure, I hope a few people out there enjoyed it. It's a romantic song. "Abnormal" is definitely the sequel, the counterpart, the upside-down mirror image to "Normal". It's life off the meds, and things are a bit more "on edge" than in the Normal days. A lot of the songs were written in October, they just started pouring out. There's one song called "Simple Days" that I had written while on tour with GnR. I was tempted to give the song to GnR, I think the song would have fit Axl's voice well.
I remember that when we talked in Athens back in 2006, you mentioned that you studied Greek music. Can you elaborate on that? Any specific kind of Greek music? Probably not the songs you heard while you were here (crappy Greek pop songs). Any specific Greek musical instrument you like?
Yes, Greek pop songs, that's what I meant! I was into studying ancient Pythagorean music theory stuff, the old composers like Mantzaros, and more current stuff like Theodorakis. Across the water, I worked with a Turkish composer named Fahir Atakoglu, some recording and live stuff. I like the bounce of Baltic and Mediterranean music - the song "Real" on the Normal CD was inspired by that. I've played the bouzouki - hey, maybe the next time GnR plays Greece I'll do a bouzouki solo instead of guitar, haha!
On the cd cover of "Normal" we find the word "Normal" translated in Greek. How did that happen?
I predicted that years later we'd meet and you'd ask me about it. Did I spell it right?
Any plans for a solo European tour?
Man, I would love to! Once the album comes out, we'll see if anybody wants to see me out there. If so, it'll probably just be headlining small clubs, which is cool - I like the personal connection, and everything is so fucking real, ya know?
What happened to your guitar in 2006 during the GN'R tour? When will we see the new guitar?
haha, I was playing and hit the bar, and suddenly little strips of yellow and black wood hit my feet. That guitar had been through 8 years of tours, it was a matter of time before it gave out. It was time to put it to rest. The whole time I'd be soloing, a certain singer would be breaking my balls, saying stuff in my in-ear monitors like "Get a real guitar, that thing's a toy...", HAHA! Man, he fucked me up good sometimes, haha!
Your plane crashes on the island of tv series "Lost". 5 things you'd take with you?
Man, that's easy...
What's your opinion on the music industry today?
It's better than it was. The music industry today
is more about direct relationships between the band and the fans. That's how it
Any young guitar players that you like?
No, just old ones. Gotta plug my two good friends, Mattias Eklundh and Guthrie Govan. They're amazing.
I know the answer to this question but this is a good chance for the Greek fans to know you better, and since you probably have the answer written down somewhere, please copy-paste the answer to "Where does the name Bumblefoot come from?"
OK, I copied/pasted this... << It was the early 90s, my girlfriend was in veterinary school, was helping her study for a test, one of the diseases was called “Bumblefoot”. I wrote a song called Bumblefoot, she did well on the test, the song became the theme to my first album, she became a veterinarian, Bumblefoot became my band’s name, and eventually my nickname. Then she married me. >> But really, you can call me "Ron".
You have been great to GN'R fans. I remember you giving bottles of water to people in the front row at the Athens gig in 2006 a long time before the band went on stage. Not to mention the millions of pictures with the fans one can find online... How have GN'R fans treated you? Any special memory?
GNR fans have been great. So many memories - some crazy stuff, but what I enjoy most is just hangin' and getting to know people. One time after a show in England I went back to some people's house and we just hung out and drank tea. It was so nice to be normal for a change...
And my last question: Don't Cry Japan 2007. Pure magic. How did that happen?
It just happened :) Ya never know what's gonna happen. And that's one of the things we all love about it.
Thanks in advance for everything!!!
Thank you my friend! And everyone on the forum! Take care :)
In Greek, taken from http://www.gunsnroses.gr/interviews/bumble.htm
Ο Bumblefoot, η Vandi και το κακό συναπάντημα...
Εδώ και πολύ καιρό ήθελα να πάρω μια συνέντευξη από τον Bumblefoot (κατά κόσμον Ron Thal), αλλά ήθελα να γίνει σε κάποια στιγμή που θα έχει νόημα και για τον ίδιο και όχι απλά για να απαντήσει σε κάποιες άσχετες ερωτήσεις (όχι πως δεν του έκανα και τέτοιες...).
Ο Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal κυκλοφορεί το νέο άλμπουμ του με τίτλο "Abnormal" την 1η Ιουλίου 2008. Ήταν λοιπόν μια καλή ευκαιρία για να γίνει η συνέντευξη...
Μια απολαυστική συνέντευξη με πολύ χιούμορ, που αποκαλύπτει (μεταξύ άλλων) και τις γνώσεις του "Bumblefoot" για την Ελληνική μουσική...
Χρήστος: Γεια σου Ron, κατ' αρχάς να σ' ευχαριστήσω που δέχθηκες να απαντήσεις στις ερωτήσεις μας.
Ron: Γεια σου Χρήστο! Γεια σε όλους στο gunsnroses.gr !!