MELODY LANE exclusive! MELODY LANE had the pleasure and the honour to have an incredible interview with the legendary Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal !  He is an award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer and world-renowned guitar virtuoso.

As lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses (2006 – 2014) Bumblefoot toured sold-out shows all over the world and his unique 'fretless guitar' can be heard throughout Guns n' Roses 2008 Chinese Democracy album. Bumblefoot's last album " Little Brother Is Watching" is an eccentric, upbeat collection of epic, modern rock with haunting melodies, huge choruses and witty lyrics about life in the digital age and beyond. 
Bumblefoot's recent collaborations include rock supergroup Art Of Anarchy (featuring Creed vocalist Scott Stapp and Disturbed bassist John Moyer) and Fragile Mortals (featuring DMC from iconic rap group Run DMC and ex-Exodus vocalist Rob Dukes).
Bumblefoot is also an accomplished composer whose music is often heard in TV, films and video games, works with U.S. Embassies around the world on cross-cultural music programs and works with dozens of international charities visiting orphanages and children's hospitals around the world with guitar in hand.

MELODY LANE: First of all, even if it could sound a bit expected, could you tell us something about the name of your band: where does the name ART OF ANARCHY come from? And talking about the members of your band, you’re all famous musicians involved in different big acts, but we don’t know very much about the Votta brothers.  So, how did you get in touch with them, and in which projects were they involved in, before ART OF ANARCHY?
BUMBLEFOOT: I've known Jon and Vince Votta for 20 years, I used to engineer and produce their bands back then.  We always stayed close friends.  In 2011, they told me they had written the drums and guitar parts to ten songs, and they wanted to make an album with no compromises, doing what was completely pure to them.  They came into the studio and we laid the tracks, and as we did they'd say "Hey Ron, why don't you throw a solo down in this spot..." and I would bust out a first-take spontaneous solo.  The Votta's started their own record label to self-release the album.  We were going to have different singers on different songs, and Scott Weiland was the first, he listened to the songs, chose one and wrote and recorded what together became "Til the Dust Is Gone".  Then his reps offered to have him do the whole album and make it a band.  We moved forward with it, and Scott W. wrote and recorded his parts for the entire album within a month.  John Moyer then joined on bass, and what started as a personal project evolved into a band.  We got a manager, who suggested we go with a label rather than being our own label, and put together a deal with Century Media / Another Century label, who released the debut album June 2015.  I think it was Vince that came up with the name.  When we started everything was very 'no rules', everyone can do what they wanted and nobody's opinion was 'law', whatever anyone involved wanted to do was accepted.  So, with music as 'art', and an 'anarchy' approach, the name fit. :)   

MELODY LANE:  ART OF ANARCHY second album, THE MADNESS was released on march 2017, and in April you went on tour. What can you tell us about your first headlining tour as ART OF ANARCHY? Copious and good audiences?  And which have been so far, the most loved songs by your fans…Songs that met with success?
BUMBLEFOOT: Our first tour was wonderful – after Scott Stapp joined as our new singer (a few months after the debut album was released) and spending a year-and-a-half working together on "The Madness" album, and finally having the album released and touring together, we grew and bonded on the road the way a band should.  By the last show, we were very solid.  We were fortunate to have the support of fans from each of our backgrounds, as well as new fans.  No matter what we've done in the past, we're still a startup band with new music, and are grateful to everyone that came to the shows and helped us get started. :)  It seemed like different songs resonated with different people, I've had every song named by someone as their favorite.   The title track went over pretty well. :)

MELODY LANE:  Will you play live also songs from the first album? Aqualung, Small batch Whiskey and Death of it are really killer songs, as a fan I would like very much to hear them live…Which are your favorite ART OF ANARCHY songs to play live?
BUMBLEFOOT: Thank you!  We were playing "Til the Dust" from the first album, but really wanted to keep full focus on the new album, the songs that Scott Stapp sang.  I like "Echo Of A Scream" and "A Light In Me" for the energy, but also "Changed Man" and "Won't Let You Down" for the melodies, "Somber", "1000 Degrees" and "Afterburn" for the guitar solos... each song has something that makes it enjoyable to play. :)

MELODY LANE:  Just in the next days of July you’ll be on tour again in the States. Are you planning to bring ART OF ANARCHY here in Europe in the near future? And maybe here in Italy? Any plan of a worldwide tour?
BUMBLEFOOT: I would LOVE to play Europe with Art Of Anarchy, but it's up to the promoters in Italy, only they can make it happen.  Actually, the FANS, they're the ones who can make it happen.  The fans have to want us to come to Italy, and the promoters would then ask our booking agent...  it's up to the fans. ;)

MELODY LANE:  Tell us something about the creative process of ART OF ANARCHY music. Do the songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together or is it a team work and your songs written in the studio with all the members composing together? Can you tell us the difference in writing and composing the first album and The Madness? Because for what we read, correct me if I’m wrong, in the beginning ART OF ANARCHY wasn’t a real band but just a ‘studio project’…Is it right? Now you are “more a band” than in the beginning…aren’t you?
BUMBLEFOOT: We started making the album in late Sept 2015, just the five of us in a room, jamming all day and recording ideas, and by night we had songs coming together.  One of us would make up something, someone else would play along, someone else would come up the next part, it was the way bands should do it, together.  After two weeks we had half the album written.  The first album started as a project and grew into a band – the new album with Scott Stapp started as a band.  Then I had to do a solo tour, then Disturbed hit the road, then Scott, so for the next year we would get together anytime we were all free, and would continue writing, recording, photo shoots, video shoots, whatever we could do...

MELODY LANE:  In 2015 you released your last solo album called “Little Brother Is Watching” and a great video was shot for the title track. On the album you played all the instruments apart from drums. What can you tell us about the state of your solo project and future plans? Will you tour in the future? Who are the members of your live band?
BUMBLEFOOT: Since the "Little Brother Is Watching" album came out, I started playing shows around the world, playing songs from the album at many shows and festivals ( , ), I released two music videos, for the title track "Little Brother Is Watching" ( ) and "Don't Know Who To Pray To Anymore" ( ).  On Aug 25th David Ellefson's [Megadeth bassist] "EMP" record label is going to re-release the album on CD and on vinyl ( ), I'm planning to start doing more US & European touring...

MELODY LANE:  In 2009 I was in the huge audience of the GODS OF METAL FESTIVAL, here in Italy, and I saw you play with Lita Ford. People were pleasantly surprised to see you on stage with her. What can you tell us about that collaboration and that tour?
BUMBLEFOOT: Lita called me from Sweden, she just played Sweden Rock and said she wanted to put a whole new band together and asked if I was free for the Summer.  (That Summer was the only time in 2009 I was free, perfect timing!)  She had a tour starting in a week – I flew down to meet her and put a band together, we got 15 songs nailed down on two days notice, and hit the road.  It was a fun tour with a lot of laughter and good memories.  Lots of trading solos and jamming between us and keyboardist Michael T. Ross, was a great band.

MELODY LANE: With this question I’m going to be a bit “localist”. Among the infinite list of musicians and bands you collaborated with in the years, there are two Italian bands that we like very much and that have been reviewed and photographed by our webzine, I’m talking about DESTRAGE (Bumblefoot solo on the song “Are you kidding me?No”) and DOBERMANN (Bumblefoot solo on the song “Radioactive”). What can you tell us about these collaborations? How did you get in touch with these italian musicians?BUMBLEFOOT: Ahhh, great bands!  And very cool guys!   Destrage is really over-the-top, love them!  And Dobermann, I've known the guitar Valerio Ricciardi a long time, great guy!  The collaborations are all very down-to-Earth...  "Hey, we're working on a new album, want to lay a guest solo?"  "Sure!"  Haha, that simple.  Almost – there's making sure my touring schedule doesn't conflict with their recording deadline, and I have to feel like I can do something of value for the song. :P

MELODY LANE: Apart from the ‘classics’ like Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhoads etc etc…Talking about the new generation of guitarists…Could you suggest us some guitarists on the actual scene, that you find interesting, because they are doin’ something ‘new’ and different in your opinion…And also could you suggest us any new band doin’ something ‘fresh and new’? Maybe some band you collaborated with?
BUMBLEFOOT: Every once in a while you cross paths with someone with a special spirit, and a special energy and feeling in how they make music and perform it.  The band "Thank You Scientist" is always my first choice, the guitarist Tom Monda is phenomenal.  I also like the band "J and the 9s", the singer is eccentric and colorful and very talented.  There's also the twin brothers Jordan and Talor Steinberg, one plays bass, the other guitar, they both sing, and do it all incredibly, jaw-dropping skill and passion – they're working on their first EP, and I'm hoping to lend my support to them.  I'm a big supporter of up-and-coming artists – when they have the talent, the work ethic, humility, when their heart's in the right place, they deserve our support.

MELODY LANE: Thinking about your huge and wonderful career, what has been your biggest achievements to date, the things that you look back with the most pleasure… and what do you want to achieve in the next future?
BUMBLEFOOT: For me, the biggest achievement is a bunch of little ones – it's the messages from people, saying that my music, lyrics, or advice helped them in some way.  Helping them through difficult times in their life.  When that happens, that's when I feel like I truly achieved something.  :)

MELODY LANE: In the end… A message from you to all MELODY LANE followers and readers...
BUMBLEFOOT: Grazie mille!!  Thank you for your time, I hope to see you all very soon!!


Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal