Interviews :: Interview met Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal

Geschreven door Jessica Santiago Lopez op 2012-05-06

Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal is sinds 2006 al actief bij Guns N' Roses als gitarist, maar als hij niet met GNR on tour is, heeft hij genoeg andere projecten waar hij ook mee bezig is. Zo brengt hij zelf materiaal uit en produceert hij ook nog eens voor andere artiesten, zoals Alexa Vetere, die onlangs haar debuut album uitbracht. Ik kreeg de kans om deze gitaar virtuoos te interviewen en zo een kans sla je natuurlijk niet af! Ik sprak met Bumblefoot over de aankomende GNR tour, zijn solo werk, andere projecten en meer!

Q: Hey Bumble, first of all I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. How are you?

Thank YOU, appreciate it! About to leave in a few days for Russia, next GNR tour....

Q: You’re always so busy. Can you tell us what projects you’re working on now?

I've been doing so much producing, I was approached with a deal to start my own label. I'm not sure if that's what I want to do, it's a lot to take on. My heart is in creating, producing, I don't want to spread myself too thin by taking on more than I can devote myself to.

Q: As I said, you’re always so busy touring, recording, producing etc. How do you combine this busy schedule with writing for your solo stuff? And how does this affect it?

I have a hard time writing while on tour, I think the intensity of performing and then all the traveling, I get “music'd out”. But when I'm not on tour, all I want to do is get to my studio - that's where I can record my music, other people's music, it's where the creative juices flow.

Q: A bit more about your solo work. You’ve released two videos simultaneously for ‘Invisible’. Why did you choose to release two?

The whole idea of feeling Invisible, like you're in one reality and the person you're trying to reach is in another – the videos hit on that, two videos out at the same time, one in a normal lit room, the other filmed in total darkness with night-vision cameras.

Q: The last song you released in the series of singles was “The Pink Panther Theme” in December last year. Can we expect some new material any time soon?

“The Pink Panther Theme” is the version I play live with GNR as my solo, the recording has my GNR bandmates playing on it – I guess that makes it the only music released with current members of GNR on it... well, so far. I have some new music brewing in my head, just need to write lyrics and get into the studio......    

Q: The last few singles you have released, you’ve been releasing them as you finish them. Are there any plans to maybe release them all together on a record as well, or would you rather include all new material when the time arrives to release a new full length?

I've gotten spoiled by the ease of releasing music without any manufacturing. Releasing each song at a time with all the extras – the transcriptions and backing tracks for guitar players, the recording stems for remixers, each song release felt like more of an event, each song had all the options I wish I had available to me when I was growing up and trying to get deep into a song. I may still release CDs, but for now the next plans are the tour, next few solo songs, more producing and writing....

Q: You’ve also been producing and co-writing for ‘Breathe Again’, the debut album of Alexa Vetere. You’ve actually been teaching her stuff for a while and now you’ve produced and co-written ‘Breathe Again’. Can you tell us a bit more about how this all started and what the whole process was like?

Started back in '03, '04, she was the daughter of a friend of a friend. Her goal was to release an album, she had never sang, written a song or played guitar. It would be a challenge – and I like challenges. So we started on guitar lessons - she'd play until her fingertips were literally black. Vocal lessons, songwriting, demoing... my solo band backed her for recordings and live shows in NY & LA, all was going well. She got a nice guitar endorsement, we posted a song at iHeartRadio.... (the song ended up being #1 on the Rock charts with over 3.6 million plays) Then I started with GNR, she went to College, life happened. We always stayed in touch, and always knew there would be a time when we'd put life aside and release the music we made together. This year we did that. (Finally!)

Q: You’ve done and achieved so much over the years. What’s the thing you’ve done that you’re most proud of ‘til this day?

Playing Madison Square Garden NYC in 2006. It's where I saw my first concert, was meaningful to play there.

Q: When it comes to touring, you’ve been all over the globe. Are there still places you’d like to play?

Haven't played Africa, , India, China.... ah, and Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, that part of the world.

Q: So of course there’s also a new Guns tour coming up, which will take you through Europe. How do you prepare for all this touring?

A lot of running on the treadmill, haha. And some guitar playing too.

Q: During this tour you’ll also be making a stop over here in The Netherlands in Rotterdam. Are you excited to be coming over here?

Yes! My solo drummer Dennis Leeflang will be there, my friend Edo Van Der Kolk, guitarist of Saturnine – long-time good friends. Always fun in the Netherlands!

Q: Guns will also be playing at some festivals like Graspop and Hellfest. Do you like playing at festivals or do you enjoy headlining shows more?

Either are fine. If you close your eyes there's no difference between playing in a small club or at a huge festival, you're doing the same thing, it's everything around you that's different – as long as you love what you do, any kind of gig is good.

Q: Guns will be headlining the Graspop Metal Meeting Festival this year. Do you actually have spare time to check out other bands as well at festivals? If so, are there any bands in particular that you’d like to see at Graspop or at any other festival this year?

I enjoy seeing the other bands at festivals, but the travel schedule doesn't always allow it. Hopefully I'll get to see a few – Killswitch, Gojira, Pain, Motorhead, Hatebreed, Bodom... great bands that Sunday!

Q: So what more is in store for you in 2012, besides touring with Guns obviously?

Not sure what the rest of the year's touring schedule will be, but hopefully I can continue writing, producing & releasing music this year...

Q: And my last question, do you have any message for our readers?

Thank you for reading! Hope to see you all very soon! Dank u ! !

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