A 411 Underground Summer Series Interview in Partnership with FlashWounds.com: Bumblefoot
In today’s world, we live and breathe side by side with (or sometimes seeming more like inside of) cyberspace, technology and social media… watching and being watched…experiencing a wide range of emotions that simply weren’t part of life even less than two decades ago. In his current single “Little Brother Is Watching,” guitar virtuoso, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and producer Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, influenced by the unpleasant omniscience of “Big Brother” from George Orwell’s novel 1984, musically depicts this new reality and its evolution ~ and is not shy about letting his frustration about the topic ring loud and clear. No-one is immune, nothing is sacred.
The single is the title track off Bumblefoot’s 10th album, released earlier this year (February 24) and has Ron dealing with not just commentary on the pitfalls of our socio-techno-cyber existence, but also with his own life and coming to terms with what we all inevitably experience: beginnings, endings, and moving on. Despite revolving around what could be considered rather weighty subject matters, Little Brother Is Watching remains an upbeat, eccentric, collection of epic modern rock with huge choruses and witty lyrics about life in this digital age…and beyond. Musically, it is no surprise that the album is genius…or rather, as Guitar Network put it, “Ridiculous. That is the one word that comes to mind when trying to describe Bumblefoot’s music and playing.”
Along with the single comes a supremely creative video for “Little Brother Is Watching,” directed by Gabriella Loutfi. Rather than showing the current incarnation of Orwell’s “Big Brother,” Loutfi takes us back in time to 1984 BC to demonstrate how timeless power struggles truly are. Watch the video here.
During his appearance on 411 Underground, Ron discussed the new album and some of his current and past collaborations. But that wasn’t all… our chat led us into topics such as “The Brady Bunch,” old movies, cavemen beating on stones, an ode to a decayed Blackberry, a zombie apocalypse time capsule, and…Nope, sorry, that’s as much of a sneak preview as you’re going to get…. you’ll simply have to listen to the entire interview to hear all the details, so just click the link below and start getting to know Bumblefoot on a whole new level!
Editor’s Note: Anyone who is into rock/hard rock/metal recognizes the name “Bumblefoot” and the musical brilliance attached to it and can likely name some of the bands he’s been in and maybe even some of his behind-the-scenes accomplishments. Some of us are lucky enough to have seen him perform live with a variety of colleagues in a variety of venues. Many are aware of some additional facts about his personal and professional history (or, after hearing this interview, will make a point of finding out more about them via one of his official sites), stay up-to-date on his current projects, and always have his latest album. Not as many people, though, know another side of Ron, a side that, since rockers who support charitable causes and foundations hold a very special place in our hearts, elevates Ron past his established standing as “just” a Rock God (check out our live coverage of Bumblefoot performing alongside fellow Guitar Gods here)/Icon to the status of Rock God with a Heart of Gold. Read on and you’ll understand why…
Bumblefoot is continuously donating songs and performances to fundraising CDs, often making appearances and donating autographed items for charities. He has performed at events for the Red Cross, Navy Seals, juvenile diabetes, Operation Smile, men’s & women’s health issues, burn victims, The Grammy Foundation, Rays Of Sunshine, Music Rising “Icons of Music” for victims of Hurricane Katrina, Oxfam’s Tsunami Relief & Global Emergency Fund, the Earthquake Relief Fund, Humanitarian Water & Food Award, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Little Kids Rock and Rock Asylum for children’s education, Dubai Autism Centre, and NGO Wildlife Trust of India. He is a board member of the MS Research Foundation, spokesperson for iRock2Live ~ which provides schools with programs designed to end bullying, texting while driving, and obesity, a member of “Musicians On Call,” and a frequent visitor to visits orphanages and children’s hospitals all over the world, always with guitar in hand.
In 2013, this unassuming, hands-on philanthropist began working as a Cultural Envoy with U.S. Embassies around the world on programs to extend cultural diplomacy through music. So we not only applaud “Bumblefoot” for his outstanding talent and multi-faceted career which is continuing to evolve in many different directions, but also Ron for being an exceptional human being and role model.
Bumblefoot Signature Guitar Cases (via Eastport, Inc.)
Bumblefoot Hot Sauces (proceeds donated to women’s health organizations)
Read the whole story on the 411 Underground Rock Is Alive Summer Series in collaboration with FlashWounds.com (and get the full upcoming show schedule) here, and to have weekly episodes delivered to right to your Inbox (seriously, does it get any more convenient that that?!), sign up at 411underground.com/contact.html. To read the articles containing the full transcripts of each of our past 2015 Rock Is Alive interviews, just enter 411 into FlashWounds’ home page Search!