Wicked Info’s latest interview is with none other than guitarist virtuoso Ron Thal (aka Bumblefoot). Bumblefoot, for those that don’t know, is a talented guitarist, singer, songwriter, and charitable individual. Last year, he was added to be the third guitarist in the band Guns N’ Roses (maybe you’ve heard of them?), which just recently finished an extensive tour throughout Europe and the United States.
We hope if you learn just one thing from our interview with Bumblefoot that it be that Ron equally loves wombats and kangaroos. What a guy!
Q: Do you have a favorite song that you enjoy playing more than any other?
BBF: No favorite sticks out in my head, it's always changin'. It depends on the moment, on a lot of things. The crowd, the vibe of the band, whatever's goin' on personally, it all could make a song have a different meaning to ya as you're playin' it at any given time.
Q: What bands, or individual musicians, have influenced your musical career?
BBF: Kiss had a huge influence - I heard Kiss Alive! when I was 5, and it made me wanna be a musician. Hearing the intro to Mean Street from Van Halen changed the way I looked at guitar playin', Halen totally changed the direction I was takin'.
Q: What bands are you currently listening to? Are there any cool, new bands that we should be paying attention to?
BBF: Most recent stuff I stuck in the iPod were Beach Boys, Mr. Bungle, The Who's early stuff... coolest new band I've been diggin', and they're not really that new, is Muse - never stopped lovin' the Absolution album, it's a fucking masterpiece. One band I thought was interesting was Swashbuckle - metal band mixed with pirate music - saw them live and really dug it, told the folks at Bald Freak (the label I'm on) about 'em and they signed 'em - check them out at www.swashbuckle.info.
Q: Playing music as a career, or even as a hobby, can understandably be really frustrating at times. Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
BBF: Be diverse. Develop different skills in music besides playing your instrument - teach, write and co-write, record yourself and others, do gigs of your own music, book bands, manage bands, do studio and live sessions, cover bands, do all you can. Ya never know what part of it all you'll become passionate about, and may find your calling in a place you wouldn't have expected.
Q: Where do you find inspiration when writing new music?
BBF: Good question - trying to write lyrics right now, and I never know where to draw the words from. Usually a darker place - I need struggle.
Q: A few months ago you announced a contest to have fans submit design ideas for your new guitar, how is the contest coming along so far?
BBF: We haven't found the *one* yet, gonna keep the contest going until it happens.
Q: Do you have a New Year’s resolution, or any specific goals for 2007?
BBF: To do a new solo album.
Q: We hear that you’re involved with Multiple Sclerosis research, how did you get involved with that work?
BBF: My good friend Ralph Rosa was diagnosed in 1997. He started the MS Research Foundation (www.msrf.org), a non-profit organization that puts on dinner-comedy shows, and the profit goes to medical research. I help with decisions and organizing shows, anything I can do to help.
Q: Being that you’re from New York, we of course must ask a few important questions: Giants or Jets? Yankees or Mets? Wombats or kangaroos?
BBF: Hmmm... would have to go with Giants & Yankees, but dig the Jets & Mets too. Even between wombats and kangaroos, can't pick.
Q: Finally, do you have a message for your fans?
BBF: Thank you! Y'all kick ass and I hope to see ya's soon!