In a brand new interview with Ireland's Overdrive, former GUNS N' ROSES and current SONS OF APOLLO guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal was asked for his opinion on the current state of rock/guitar music as a whole. He responded: "As technology changes, it brings out new styles, and when it's a new style, it's gonna be the first style to people that are paying attention to music. They're gonna feel like it's the most modern thing that represents them, that they can connect to. So, sure, there's a lot of electronic music now, and that's what I think a lot of younger kids are listening to. Yet every time I'm in an Uber [car], there's gonna be some 20-year-old kid driving it, and he's listening to an oldies station and I ask him why, and he says, 'Ah, music today is so disposable. This stuff has substance.' So, if people want their art to taste like art, they're gonna add substance and flavor, and if you think that guitar music is dead, or I should say 'physical' music, because you have to physically play the instrument at that time to make that sound, go to any school of rock anywhere on the planet, and you'll see a bunch of 10-year-old kids kicking ass, and forming bands and writing songs. You'll realize, 'Hell no! It's doing just fine!'
"Is it the thing that mainstream is putting their funding into, or things like that?" he continued. "Maybe not so much, and there's a lot of reasons for that: One problem is that funding isn't quite where it was. The second thing is it's not the most current fashion of music that's out there today. But it'll never disappear, I believe, because it is still the most current form of physical music. The only thing that came after rock and metal was electronic music. Rock and metal is still the height of what current music has reached so far. There was classical, blues, country, jazz, rock and roll, classic rock, and most of that just changed as electronics changed. Even the types of guts inside a man might allow for a different type of music with more intensity, and types of studios allowing more of that.
"So, is rock gonna die? Not as long as people want to have an instrument in their hands that they wanna use to make music and express themselves with as a true extension of themselves."
Thal was also asked if he was surprised to hear that Gibson, a trusted and long respected beacon of the very essence of rock music, was in financial trouble.
"It might just be a shift in the overall — I don't know how to say it — economic structure, I guess," he said. "What people are going for right now. It could be that big stuff is too big right now for where the economy is, where everything is, and they're struggling to maintain what they've built up.
"Everything ebbs and flows; everything rises and falls, rises again and falls again," he continued. "So right now, this could just be the fall of things. I mean, hell — there was a time a while ago where nobody would touch a Les Paul. It was out of fashion. But all it takes is one fantastic band to be playing one type of guitar and it just revitalizes that guitar."
Joining thal in SONS OF APOLLO are former DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian alongside Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-JOURNEY, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE).
SONS OF APOLLO's debut album, "Psychotic Symphony", was released last October by InsideOut Music.