Bumblefoot Interview
27 FEB 2006

By: J-Sin


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 www.scottalpert.com

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.

Smother: 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. :)

Smother: When not blessing the world with glorious sounds, what would we find Bumblefoot doing?

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.

Smother: How 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?

Bumblefoot: Usually 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 about it.

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 question!

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.

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