Bumblefoot: A quick flick through a dictionary will give you slang for ulcerative pododermatitis, an infection found on the feet of birds of prey and rodents.
Type the words into Google and the results are a little different but a lot more interesting (unless you’re a veterinarian). Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – producer, engineer, writer and current lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses.
What the search won’t immediately tell you is why the man — who let’s face it doesn’t exactly need the publicity — is en route to the UAE to personally support Dubai-based band Point of View.
“They’re down-to-earth real people making real music, they talk about things that matter to them,” he told tabloid!
“They make music to spread their ideas, not for their ego. They want to improve the world, whether it’s raising awareness about issues, or taking time for charitable causes. They made a great sounding album, the songs have musical influences that I like, the guitar melodies and ripping solos, the vocals, rhythm riffs, drum grooves, it’s good stuff. Most of all, it feels real, legitimate.”
Something of a child prodigy, Thal has been playing, writing and recording music almost since he could walk.
The guitarist will play alongside the Dubai band at the launch of their first album, Revolutionize The Revolutionary, at the Hard Rock Café in Dubai on October 3, and will perform some of his original solo material.
“These bands are our future. We live in a time when music is easily available but it’s more difficult to survive doing it. A little support isn’t much to ask,” he said.
Point of View frontman Nikhil, (who goes by the stagename Nik Izi) met Thal after watching Guns N’ Roses play in Abu Dhabi in 2010. “I looked up his Facebook page and wrote him a note telling him how much I enjoyed the gig and surprisingly he replied. We kept chatting from time to time and he then asked me a little about myself. I shared our demos with him and he really seemed to like what we had put down. This initial interaction left me surprised, relaxed and confident about our music. It also brought to my attention how humble an accomplished musician like Ron is. He is a gem. And well, here is he is. Mr Ron Bumblefoot Thal, in flesh and blood, live on stage with my band. I’m living the dream.”
A word with Ron…
Q. Are you looking forward to coming to the region again?
A. Yes! We had a fantastic time in 2010, and I’m happy to return.
Q. What plans do you have while you’re here?
A. Visiting the Autism Centre, seeing more of Dubai, and making lots of music.
Q. What’s life really like in such a high-profile band?
A. Normal. Boring answer, right? I’m still doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. Other people will view me as whatever object entertains their minds, but I’m a man, with a family, with responsibilities, that devoted myself to making music. Other people can be rockstars or gods, I prefer to be a man, and try the best I can to be a good one.
Q. Worst band habits (don’t keep it clean)?!
A. Ahh, you want *dirt*! Haha! We’ve all had our imperfect moments, I’d rather not point them out.
Q. Best fan story?
A. We had a concert in Rio, Brazil in early 2010. Right before the doors were going to open a huge storm hit and the stage collapsed. Fans were so sad, they were outside our hotel. I came out and spent hours with them playing acoustic guitar and singing songs together, we made our own concert that night. It was very special, we made it something positive. A month later we chartered a plane back to Rio and played a make-up concert.
Q. Best bit about being in Guns N’ Roses?
A. The travelling, the people you meet, the roller-coaster ride of a life. But we’re all on that ride — it goes up and down and fast and slow and forward and backward and twists and turns for all of us. Just try not to vomit while going 100km/h!
Meet Point of View
Q. How important has his support been to you?
A. When a guitar player of the calibre of Ron Bumblefoot Thal with a profile backed by Guns N’ Roses, approves of your product, the only thing you can do is stare in disbelief. And when someone of his cadre encourages you and takes out time to tell you in detail about what he thinks about your music, then you know that this is the support that you have been waiting for.
Q. Tell us about the new band and the sound?
A. The band has been around for more than four years and besides garnishing the flavour of vintage rock we have a lyrical backdrop that carves every song into a message. We have written an album, which not only delivers a strong message to the global youth, but also brings back the sound of rock from the 80s and the 90s.
• REVOLUTIONIZE THE REVOLUTIONARY is distributed by Music Box Middle East; visit pointofviewonline.net
• Tickets for the launch night, from 9pm, are Dh100, at Hard Rock Café; call 050 1139873.