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"India is becoming a home away from home"

From head banging to launching sauces under his name, Ronald Jay Blumenthal, better known by his stage name Ron Bumblefoot Thal, is a multi-faceted personality, who not only plays, but also breathes music. After performing in several Indian cities in December last year with Guns N Roses, the guitarist will be back on stage to belt out his songs and jam with Dubai-based Rock band Point Of View (POV). In an email interview, the 43-year-old reveals his plans to promote Indie music, his desire to visit India’s temples and his business venture to release a line of guitar cases.


Ron Bumblefoot Thal. Pic courtesy/Katarina Benzova

Excerpts from the interview:

How is it being a part of an iconic band like GNR?
It was the summer of 2004 when Joe Satriani recommended me to Guns N’ Roses, and we began making plans. I joined the band with the May 2006 European tour and we started recording later that year. Life has been a runaway rollercoaster since then. My life was always intense and fast-paced, writing and recording my albums, running a studio and encouraging a lot of bands, doing solo tours, teaching, writing music for TV shows and video games -- with Guns N’ Roses in the mix, the volume just went from 10 to 11.

What can people in India expect from your jamming with Point Of View?
POV will do the great show they always do, and then, I’ll join them on stage to play my songs, their songs, maybe a few classic Guns N’ Roses songs for the audience to sing along with. A few guests will jam as well.

Why did you decide to endorse POV?
Today, people endorse an artiste not just for the music, but because you admire the artiste. POV has great talent, a great work ethic, and are also great people who make music for a bigger purpose, like supporting animal welfare and more. I liked their music, but things like this made me their fan. They’ve inspired me; I want to create a new kind of festival that will give attention and support to
Indie artistes.

Any Indian musician you like or have heard of?
In December 2012, Guns N’ Roses performed in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon where our opening acts, Thermal And A Quarter and Goddess Gagged, were wonderful. I know of a few Indian artistes, but I’m always discovering more. There’s a cool Jazz-Blues fusion group I like called Adil & Vasundhara. One of my former students -- David Abraham -- lives in Mumbai and has a band called The Koniac Net.

Any other plans for the India trip?
If the travel schedule permits, I’d love to visit more temples and historic sites, eat local traditional cuisine, and get to know each city better. The more I visit, the more it becomes a home away from home, which is what I would like to
happen with India.

What are your future plans?
I’ll keep doing what I do, as much as I can. I’ve been writing music for Indie horror movies -- I enjoy it immensely. I released a line of Bumblefoot hot sauces earlier this year in the US. Later, I’ll be releasing a line of guitar cases, some of which are designed to make travelling with guitars easier. Hopefully, I will visit India again.

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