Bumblefoot: His total self
For Nepali music enthusiasts, May 19 and 20 will be days to remember. How? American guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal from the hard rock supergroup Art Of Anarchy, and Guns N Roses (2006 to 2014) will be a part of the Guitar Workshop on May 19. The workshop will be followed by Tribute Night in which Bumblefoot will be jamming up with other musicians. The talented musician, who writes and sings and has numerous albums under his belt including Little Brother Is Watching, shares about his visit, music and his musical journey with The Himalayan Times in an email interview.
Your say on the visit
I am very excited to be coming to Nepal for the first time, and am very grateful for the invitation! I’ve heard great things about the local music community and am looking forward to getting to know everyone!
How have you envisioned your visit to Nepal?
Nepal is known for its culture, its natural beauty, but you don’t truly know a place until you are there. The energy of a place, the experiences... when I go somewhere for the first time, I keep an open mind and know that I’ve yet to learn what I will learn.
What will you offer to the Nepali audience?
I offer my total self. Musically, personally, we’re going to have a good first moment together.
How has your musical journey been?
My first concert was actually around the age of seven! I have been doing this my whole life. The connection to music that each of us has is always there, it never begins or ends. It’s what we do with it, how we try to share it with others, no two people walk the same path. There’s lots of good and bad, mild and intense... maybe I’ll share some ‘war stories’ during the workshop.
Your experience with Guns N’ Roses (GNR) and post-GNR
I was GNR’s lead guitarist starting in 2006, our last shows together were in 2014, and since then I released my latest Bumblefoot album Little Brother Is Watching and the debut Art Of Anarchy album featuring Scott Weiland on vocals. I’m continuing to produce artistes, make music for TV and film, lots of teaching and workshops, Bumblefoot touring and with other bands, and am finishing the next Art Of Anarchy album — we just announced our new singer, Scott Stapp (from the band Creed).
What is music for you? What is so special about the guitar?
Guitar is our second voice; it sometimes expresses who we are better than our first voice. Music is the language of our spirit, a language we’re all born knowing and all speak and understand. When I was five years old, I heard the KISS’ Alive! album and that’s what inspired me to become a musician. I wanted to be a bassist (KISS bassist Gene Simmons was my favourite character in the band at the time...) but when I went for music lessons, I was told I needed to play acoustic guitar before I could learn bass. I think the store owner tricked me, he probably didn’t have a child-sized bass but had child-sized acoustic guitars… I started on guitar, was writing songs, recording, performing, and never stopped.
Solo artiste Vs Band
Each has something the other doesn’t, good and bad. As a solo artiste, I can express 100 per cent of myself in performing and arranging, lyrics and singing, producing and everything. As a part of a band, we share the tasks and responsibilities. I can be a ‘hired gun’ in small doses, but I need to be in creative environments first and foremost.
Your plan after the concert
Hopefully to return, as soon as you’ll have me. But until then, I have shows and workshops in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Canada, will be back in the studio with Art Of Anarchy, then Corfu Rock School where we all spend a week together on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu doing workshops, working on songs, and playing shows together at local venues — a very good time!