Ron Bumblefoot Thal: "If I can come to Romania and play music, then I still have a reason to be happy" (Romania)
24 August 2016  |  Cristian China Birta

I did an interview with Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal. I wrote these few simple words. But behind them it hides a lot of emotion. And much joy. And much pride to say that right :) because all I heard about Ron makes me feel it, I don't know how to say otherwise, that is a special man.

Everybody knows his time (8 years) with Guns N' Roses. But it seems unfair to put all this "stamp" and ready. Because Ron is much more than that, much more. Personal Life including weights, had to stop (he was sick with cancer, has suffered a terrible accident, hit his father's death...) and how to overcome them are lessons of life. And the music, what else is there to say?

I recommend to read the interview on the blog.

You can hear Ron on September 3rd in Romania, Ziua Chitarelor 4 Festival, with Frank Gambale (Chick Corea), Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), Prashant Aswani (Justin Timberlake), Daniele Gottardo (a favorite guitarist of Steve Vai). The concert is free, so please enter and let those who you think would love to be there and to enjoy all this good music.

Tell us in just 5 words what people (who don't know you already, of course :D) should know about you :D

1. Elephant, 2. corkscrew, 3. papaya, 4. mop, 5. banana.

What's the story with your guitar? You know you annoy a lot of guitar player who go I want one!? :)) It has to be a story!

Ahhhh, my Vigier Bumblefoot Signature Series "DoubleBfoot" Fretted/Fretless Double-neck beast!! YES! It has everything I want and need in a guitar :) You want one? You can get one too...! :D

You are an inspiration for a lot of us. Not for the guitar part (though it is amazing!), but for the human being part. The hardships you faced, the way you dealt with them is sensational... What is your secret? Where does this power came from? Please to tell us.

Every person has their own set of challenges to overcome, and mine are nothing special or unique, normal life things, and certainly not worth complaining about. If I can come to Romania and play music, then I have more to be happy about than not we should all 'count our blessings'. It's easy to forget this when we're struggling, and maybe we're supposed to forget this when we're struggling, give ourselves permission to feel what we feel, be sad, angry, bitter. And when we're done, take our fighting spirit and beat the challenges. :)

You are involved in a lot of charity missions. How can you find the time to do this? And - as strange as the question may seem... - why are you doing this?

Musicians GIVE. We give our experiences, our souls, everything we are, in the form of music, to connect us all. It's in our nature. So it's only natural, normal, to take what we do as musicians and use it for a 'greater good', to unite people for positive changes and to help those that need it. Most musicians I know feel this way and do this. It's what gives being a musician its real value. :)

How important is for you, the guitar masters, to pass the knowledge to the young ones? Because - maybe is just my personal wrong feeling... - the guitar force weak with these ones is...

VERY important. Maybe most important. We became musicians because we fell in love with the songs we heard that inspired us so much that we dedicated our lives to doing the same for as many people as we can. We received a gift (music), and we share the gift. Teaching is no different. Teachers gave us the gift of knowledge, the gift of how to make music. In the same spirit, we share this gift. I started studying music academically at age 7, and I never stop learning, every day, we're all students. By age 13 I started to share what I had learned, giving guitar lessons from home from there I started to teach at a music at local stores, and then became a music director and instructor at a music institute. Then I became head of the music department of a school and assembled a jazz band, a gospel choir, music history, music theory... after twenty years of teaching by age 33 I was an Adjunct Professor at a New York State University, SUNY Purchase College, teaching music production, studio production and more. The nature of a musician is to share what they receive, whether it's music itself, or how to make music. So anything I learned, anything I did for myself, I would share with others. I learned music, I taught music. I learned how to record my music, I started producing other artists. So, back to those '5 words'... 1. Guitarist, 2. Singer, 3. Songwriter, 4. Producer, 5. Teacher. And forever a student. :)

When can we expect your next album? And it will be solo or with Art of Anarchy?

The next release will be the re-release of an album of mine from twenty years ago, called "Hermit". It was released on Shrapnel Records (US) and Roadrunner Records (Europe, Japan) in 1997. Back then, the US label didn't give a lot of support, and there were issues with the final mastering (Mastering is when a specialized engineer adjusts the volume, EQ, energy of each song to make sure they're all consistent with each other, and consistent with the standards of music being professionally released). The label stopped manufacturing the album after the first pressing and it became 'out of print' and impossible to find. Now, a record label 'The Orchard' has acquired the entire Shrapnel catalog of albums, and we're working together to re-release my past albums that were on Shrapnel. So I've decided to re-mix and re-master the "Hermit" album, and make it sound like I always wished it did. I didn't re-record anything, I didn't add any tracks, I only used the original tracks no 'drum replacement' with sampled drum sounds, kept it authentic. I must say, it sounds like an entirely new album! Now you can hear all the subtle things in the cellos, backing vocals, everything that was hard to hear in the original version. I feel like this album finally has a chance to live, after twenty years.

And soon after, ART OF ANARCHY! A group with Scott Stapp (Creed) on vocals, John Moyer (Disturbed) on bass, founded by twin brothers Jon and Vince Votta on guitar and drums we're writing and recording our new album together, I've been producing it, recording at my studio. Our first single will be out in the next few months, and the full album early next year. We write together as a band, and you can hear everyone's influences Scott's signature vocal melodies, Moyer's coolness and groove, Jon and Vince's old-school metal roots, and my... ummm, I don't know, haha! My wacky guitar parts, and Beatles-inspired harmony ideas? Whatever it is, you put all these ingredients together and you have a real band. :) This will be the band's second album, the first one had Scott Weiland on vocals... may he rest in peace. Check out the video "Til the Dust Is Gone" from the first album at

This is not your first time in Romania. What do you know about our country? Except, of course, that is the land of Dracula, Nadia Comaneci and maybe Ceausescu the dictator? :))

I know you have the fastest internet speed in all of Europe. I know you have some of the most amazing castles...! I know your language is one of the original 'Romance' languages derived from Latin. I know you have beautiful mountains, forests, beaches... and people! But the only way to truly know a country is to BE THERE. This will be my first time in Constanta, and I hope to come back and get to know Romnia more and more. :)

What do you expect from the concert in Constanta on September the 3rd? And from Romanian people, in general.

I hope everyone will enjoy, that simple. Enjoy! :)

Please send a message for the people still undecided to go see and hear you in Constanta. Be harsh on them, I dont mind :))

Thank you for the invitation to come see you all in Romanian again :) The event will start in the day time with guitar workshops, but it's not just for guitarists! I'll be playing and also talking about why music makes us feel like it does, the science behind it, lots of interaction, Q&A, laughter and fun! At night we have the big concert, and there's no other concert like it, bringing this diverse group of musicians together on the same stage...! And, it's FREE, all of it. To everyone that's going to be there, THANK YOU, MULTUMESC, I look forward to seeing you all, giving you all lots of hugs!! :D I can't wait to see you all :D

See you soon!

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal

Originally posted at