Interview with guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Romania)
29 August 2016 | Andreea Gherfi

Metalhead: First of all Hello and Thank You for accepting this mini interview for our metalzine

Bumblefoot: Greetings! Thank you and to your readers!  :D

Metalhead: How was the passion for guitars planted in your soul? When did this happen?

Bumblefoot: I was 5 years old, was over my neighbor's house, and there were albums lying around the house from his older brothers and sisters... we put on a new one, called KISS "Alive!". As soon as I heard it, I knew: THIS is what I wanted to do. A year later, I had a band, was writing songs, playing shows in our basement, school and backyard, making demos using multiple cassette recorders to do multitrack recordings... and I kept going, never stopped. :)

Metalhead: How did you get your first guitar?

Bumblefoot: I was tricked into playing guitar!! I wanted to be a drummer, but my older brother wanted to play drums... my next choice was bass, because I liked KISS bassist Gene Simmons' character. So I went to a local music store to start taking bass lessons, but I was only 6 or 7 years old, the bass was bigger than I was, I'd never be able to handle one. So the owner of the store told me that "the rules are, you have to play a kid-size acoustic guitar for 2 years before you can switch to bass." It sounded suspicious to me, even at that age. But I went along with it. So, I was TRICKED into playing guitar, haha! All I knew is that I wanted to make songs and be in a band, and give back to the world this wonderful gift of music that all these bands were giving to me with their songs and passion. Whatever I needed to do to make that happen. :)

Metalhead: Besides guitars, are you interested in any other types of instruments?

Bumblefoot: I also sing and play bass, and can play a little bit of keyboards, cello, drums. As a producer, all sounds interest me, everything is an instrument. Here's an example...

Metalhead: All guitar gods have a beautiful collection of incredible instruments but only one true love among them, which one is yours?

Bumblefoot: I have a weird collection going back to home-made strange guitars from my teenage years... beautiful hand-crafted Vigier guitars.

My all-time favorite go-to guitar is the Vigier Bumblefoot Signature Series Fretted/Fretless Double-Neck "DoubleBfoot" guitar. It's everything I want and need to do what I do  :)

Watch it in action HERE...

Metalhead: From where do you get your inspiration?

Bumblefoot: Inspiration is around us, constantly, like air. We expect it to be something that approaches us and serves itself to us, but it's already around us, everywhere. We just have to allow ourselves to see it, and to embrace it. Look around you right now everything you see, hear, touch, think, is a song waiting to be written by you.

Metalhead: Are there anymore guitar techniques left to be invented? :)

Bumblefoot: Technology plays a role in the development of styles, so possibly? If technology allows sounds to change by additional physical motions, new physical techniques will arise and be mastered. :)

Metalhead: Do you believe in native talent or only in people who practice until their fingers bleed?

Bumblefoot: I believe that music starts in the spirit, the mind, the heart. The dedication, the creativity, the individuality. Music doesn't come from the fingers. Music leaves you at your fingers, it comes from everything before reaching your fingers. So it's just as important to exercise the spirit, the mind, the heart maybe more important.

Metalhead: Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix? Which one is closer to your heart? Why?

Bumblefoot: Love both, but I lean more toward Hendrix. Hendrix was a bit more experimental and free-form, which I like..

Metalhead: Do you think guitarists were more passionate and dedicated in the "old times"?

Bumblefoot: It's about individuals, in any time there will be people that are more passionate, less passionate, and all in-between. The bigger difference is how the economy has affected the music industry's ability to nurture and support artists, the industry could afford to act on their passion in 'old times', and now the industry can't always give the support the way it once did. But the passion is always out there, it's part of our human spirit.

Metalhead: Can you name one golden rule for guitar beginners than can help us, the noobs, tame this beautiful instrument?

Bumblefoot: The DRUMMER is the boss! You need to FOLLOW the drummer, don't try to lead everyone. Let the drummer do that. It's about having a groove, not a race. Use a metronome, and relax and follow the beat. Never step in front of it.

Metalhead: Thank you once again! We are looking forward to listen to your guitar magic!

Bumblefoot: Thank YOU! It's a pleasure, can't wait to see you all in Romania  :)  Multumesc!!

Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal

Originally posted at