Interview with

Meeting Bumblefoot

1- Hi Ron, before getting down to business, how would you describe Bumblefoot’s music to those who don’t already know it?

Greetings!  How would I describe the music?  Quirky and experimental hard rock with some fancy guitar noodling.

2- Your new album, « Normal », has just come out and you’ve just come back from a European tour, how did it go?

Had a great time.  Played cool shows for cool people at cool places with cool bands and a cool crew.  Russia, England, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy. 

3- Could you tell us about the concept of « Normal »? What inspired this concept?

Normal brings you into the world of an insane musician who takes medication and experiences what it's like to be 'normal' for the first time.  The only problem is that the medicine silences his ability to make music.  Eventually he must choose which life he wants.  The songs on Normal follow his journey, leaving you to ponder, "What's 'normal,' anyway?"   It was inspired by real life.  Do you like the design of my room?

Starved myself for three days and made the designs, depicting the lyrics to the album.  The designs became the album art.

4- I find that « Normal » is different to your previous albums, more direct and maybe easier to appreciate. Is that done on purpose to extend your fan base or is it simply to once again do something different?

I guess I was feeling a bit more 'normal.'   I just write what I feel.  I never write for any other purpose than to express myself - anything else would be corrupting the spirit of the music.  And without integrity, there's nothing.

5- From recording your first album to « Normal » what would you say has really changed?

The technology, mostly.  In the beginning, I had a reel-to-reel with a foot-controller to punch in and out, a mixing board and racks of gear. Now, it's all computers and software and more plugins.  I like plugins.  Plugins are our friends.

Meeting Ron Thal

6- Now Ron, we would like to get to know you a bit better if you don’t mind. What are your main influences except for Swiss Cheese J?

Most of the things that influence and inspire me come from non-musical places.  The people and the things we experience in life.  Makes me feel like there's a song to write.

7- Can you tell us a bit about your musical career, from your discovery of music to playing the guitar?

Well, I discovered music when I was 5 and my older brother's friends brought over the Kiss Alive album.  From the minute I heard it, I knew I wanted to be a musician.  So I took guitar lessons, had a band, wrote songs, played gigs, got into recording, teaching, blinked my eyes and suddenly I was here typing this.  It's amazing what can happen in the blink of an eye.

8- Nowadays, as producer of Bumblefoot and the masterclass, have you still got time to play the guitar?

I still get a chance to play - while sitting by the computer in the studio, I keep a guitar in my hand and noodle around.  Or while watching TV or somethin'.  There's always time to keep the fingers moving, if you really want to.

9-I believe like many of your fans, that you are amongst the first people to bring in a new way and vision of playing the guitar. Would you say that there are still things you would like to experiment with or simply improve?

The road ahead is endless.  Yeah. 

10- You are especially known as a great guitar player, but I don’t think that people pay enough attention to your talents as a singer. Have you taken singing lessons? Do you exercise your voice daily or regularly?

Much appreciated  :)   I always sang, I took lessons for a year-and-a-half when I was 19 - definitely helped.  I don't exercise the voice daily.  I should.  But I don't.  But I should.

11- What are your long and short term plans?

Well, all my short-term plans end up being long-term, so it's hard to say.   Been meaning to do an instructional video for a few years, during which time it became the possibility of an instructional DVD, soon to be an instructional something-that-hasn't-been-invented-yet.  There just isn't enough time to do everything, and if I must choose, I'll release another album before making an instructional HXD...

12- At the moment, what is your best memory as a musician?

This interview.  I can't thank you enough for it.   Thank you.

13- And your worst?

A few bad gigs, dealings with dishonest industry scum, the usual.  Nothing worthy of details.

14- How do you see yourself in ten years?

Taller, with thicker hair.

15- A question that I think will interest plenty of people, are you more of a boxers or pants kind of guy?


16- Is there a question that we haven’t asked that you would like to answer?

Yes - the answer is 8.

Now’s the time!

17- Thank you very much Ron, is there anything you would like to add?

Use dental floss.

Last questions : if you were… what would you be?

18- A feeling - the final moment of gestation

19- A pleasure - urination

20- A sound or a noise - a tree falling in an empty forest

21- A feeling (as in to touch) - evaporation

22- A food - loganberries

23- An object - an Isosceles Tetrahedron

24- An animal - cerripede

25- A bit of vegetation - broccoflower

26- A colour - clear

27- A smell -  oranges

28- A season - Summer

29- A legend - the Abominable Snowman

30- An illness - ulcerative pododermatitis

31- A swear word - douchebag

32- A habit - plucking nose hairs with fingers

33- Someone famous - Elizabeth Cotten

34- Someone not famous but who deserves to be - Fred.  You don't know him...

35- A message to give to future generations - don't drive so close to the car in front of you.

Thanks for all!

10 DEC 2005

Posted Jan 2006 at