with Bumblefoot about his new projects, his music and video games... Thank you
Merlin'in Kazanı (MK):
You said "I
would like to see my Bumblefoot albums on Rock Band" on previous interview. Now
you're adding your songs on Rock Band Network. How did you decide? When will it
be on Rock Band Network?
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (RT): It was
something I needed to prepare for first. I needed to go back to my old albums,
open up the multi-track
mix files, and make 'mix
stems' of each instrument. That's when you take one track (or a group of tracks)
and mute everything else in the song, and make a mix of just those unmuted parts, as they exactly appear in the song, with whatever
level and EQ and FX they have in the song. I had to convert my computer to the
system I had 10 years ago, with the same software and plugins, and go through
every song of every album and have stems ready for when it was time to submit
songs to Rock Band.
As I was working on that (and tweeting about it,
www.twitter.com/bumblefoot ) an
independent Rock Band game author contacted me about having his company 'Freen
In Green' prepare my songs for Rock Band Network. He did really good work, and
we started with the most requested song,
'Guitars SUCK'. It's in
the final stages of testing now, and will hopefully be available soon. I'll post
an announcement on my site ( www.bumblefoot.com ) when it is. After that I'll
continue to submit songs Normal, Real, Turn Around, Guitars Still Suck,
Abnormal, as many songs as possible.
Can you tell us about new project? I guess you will re-release your album. What
will it have inside? When will it be released?
RT: My first album 'The Adventures Of
Bumblefoot' came out in 1995, on Shrapnel Records in the US, Roadrunner Records
in Europe & Japan. It's an instrumental guitar album, and every song is named
after an animal disease, a concept that began with the first song 'Bumblefoot' (aka
Ulcerative Pododermatitis) That's where my nickname 'Bumblefoot' began. The
album got a good response from critics and press, reader's polls, it was a nice
beginning. Two years later, I finished the record deal and the label stopped
manufacturing the album. It was out-of-print, and there was no way to get the
Sometimes I'd see them on eBay, selling for up to $150. I even saw one going for
$600... last year Shrapnel contacted me and said they wanted to re-release the
album. I was so glad we worked together on it, I prepared the artwork for the
digipak design (original was a jewel case) and added 5 bonus tracks from a video
game soundtrack I had made for a Sega game also in 1995. The album will be
available online at my webstore ( http://www.bumblefoot.com/store/ ) in August
the CDs will be autographed and $5 from every album will be donated to Multiple
I also made a transcription book for the 'Adventures' album. I
listened to each recorded track and re-learned the parts, I wrote
out every detail of everything I played on the album, did the
typesetting for all the music notation, TAB, fingers, picking,
everything. It took six months to write out, and is so accurate and
detailed, definitely something 'guitar geeks' like me will enjoy,
haha. That will also be available in August at the webstore.
Are you thinking about new
videos or concerts after album release?
RT: I'd like to do more
videos, as long as I can find the time to make them happen. I've
been touring so much and the time in-between is all about catching
up on everything else. But videos have been on my mind for a while.
Music videos, instructional videos, live videos, whatever I can make
What can you tell about your
career from first album to now?
RT: That's 15 years to
summarize, hmmm... after 'Adventures' I did the music for the Sega
'Wild Woody' video game, then my 2nd album 'Hermit'. My Shrapnel
deal was finished and I started releasing my own albums 'Hands'
(1998), 9.11 (2001), Uncool (2002), Forgotten Anthology (2003), Live
At the 'RMA' DVD (2004), 'Normal' (2005), 'Abnormal' (2008) and
'Barefoot' (2008). I toured Europe staring in '97, was doing US
gigs, clinics internationally, started teaching music at SUNY
Purchase College in '03, produced a lot of bands, built my own
studio, started making music for TV shows, joined Guns N' Roses and
started touring with them in 2006, we released 'Chinese Democracy'
in 2008. Also toured US & Europe with Lita Ford in 2009.
You said that you fail at
playing Rock Band as a band in the previous interview. How is your
situation at Rock Band now? Any improvements? Will you be able to
play your own songs :)
RT: Ahhh, no, I'm even
*worse* at my own songs, haha!! I'm still trying to keep up with
them on a regular guitar, haha...
You're on tour as GN'R. How is
concerts going? Which concert is your favourite until now?
RT: Been touring since last
December - played Taiwan, S. Korea & Japan, then Canada in Jan &
Feb, some acoustic shows in NYC, then South & Central America in
March & April, Scandinavia & Russia in May & June... it's been a
wild one!! I think our best performance might have been the very
last one in Aalborg Denmark. My perspective is different than the
audience's, or other bandmember's, but for me something felt really
good in every way at that show. The Russian shows too, Japan, Sweden
Rock... and the Latin American shows were intense... I don't have a
favorite, I can't choose they each had their own special moments,
Is there a Turkey concert in plans? As
Bumblefoot or Guns N' Roses?
RT: Right now all Bumblefoot shows
are on hold. I have to give my time to GNR. It's not so easy to book a show
as big as GNR's management and the booking agency working out a deal with
the promoter, finding the venue, the right date, transporting 30 tons of
stage, lights, video, instruments and all that, there's the band and crew
and everyone, about 60 people, that need their transportation organized with
Visas and hotels and flights and local drivers, all different itineraries
for different people... Then there's any promotion to work out, and
coordinating all this to happen smoothly with any other shows and travel and
business agreements happening right before and after it... this is all for
And one change can throw off everything. Knowing how much work goes into it
on our end, and knowing how many people in the audience have re-arranged
their schedule to be there, and all they've spent on tickets, travel, and
time, GNR shows are my ultimate priority. Looking at the upcoming European
GNR tour schedule, I'm guessing that a show in Turkey will happen another
time. Too bad, we had such a great time in Istanbul in '06... July 12th
2006, almost exactly 4 years ago! Time goes too fast...
What advices can you give to someone
has a little knowledge about guitar to practice? What should be their
RT: Use a 'metronome'...! Ya know,
that little clicking thing that keeps steady time? Use it. Don't rush ahead
of it - stay behind, let the beat happen, then follow it. The rhythm, the
beat, the drums that's your leader. Let the leader lead.
We would like to invite you to our
office if you come to Turkey :) Maybe we can play soccer video games. How is
it going with video games now?
Would love to come hang at the office, but I have to tell you, I SUCK at
most video games, haha! I just don't have time to play, and to get good...!
When I was 12 I kicked ass at Atari 2600 Laser Blast, Yar's Revenge, a bunch
of others... and 10 years ago I got into 'Doom' and 'Wolfenstein 3D' a bit
now, other then playing 'Rock Band', I'm starting from scratch. Once in a
while I think to myself, 'someday I'll be locked up in jail or a nut house,
and I'll finally have time to read, write, work out, and play video