For the better part of 20 years, guitar virtuoso Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal has performed at sold-out shows and festivals around the world.
Thal, whose unique guitar work is an undisputed highlight of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy album (2008), also headlines as a solo act and helps raise awareness for several constructive causes, including the Red Cross, Operation Smile and the Earthquake Relief Fund.
Although it’s been nearly seven years since he’s released a solo album, Bumblefoot is back with Little Brother Is Watching, his 10th full-length solo release.
It’s an inspired collection of eclectic, modern rock that’s packed with tasty guitar work and lyrics about life in the digital age and beyond. The songs, including the album’s title track, reflect a change in perception of who’s watching who, while “Don’t Know Who to Pray to Anymore” and “Livin’ the Dream” focus on self-reflection and the need to question everything.
Although he’s unable to discuss his current Guns N’ Roses status, you can tell in speaking with Thal that he’s at a good place in his life right now, and it’s even more obvious when listening to Little Brother Is Watching.
I recently spoke with Bumblefoot about the new album, his songwriting, gear and another new project, Art of Anarchy.
GUITAR WORLD: What spawned or inspired this new album?
It’s been too long since I’ve done an album. Although I did some one-off singles in 2011, it’s been a while since I did a full collection of music. Due to touring, there was never enough time to dedicate and keep momentum in a studio. Now that I’ve got that time, it was time to make that happen.
How would you describe Little Brother Is Watching in terms of how it relates to some of your previous work?
The foundation for everything I’ve done has been punk and classic rock. That’s what I grew up on. Everything else is icing on that cake. As I got older and with all of the time that’s passed and life experiences, there were more stories to tell. I just got more direct about telling them.
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Interview with Bumblefoot by Clicking Here!