Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal was on tour with SONS OF APOLLO in early March when the coronavirus outbreak forced the band to postpone most of the shows and return home. The former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist recounted the experience in a recent interview with Sofa King Cool, saying (hear audio below): "SONS OF APOLLO, we were touring Europe. We had a 20-show tour [booked], and after four shows, we had to pull the plug and get out. We saw how this thing was escalating and the direction it was going and figured out how far can we get, how many shows can we do before we can't? And things started to get canceled. We knew we wouldn't be able to do the bus run, which was two-thirds of the dates. We started off [by] doing shows where we fly everywhere, and it was a lot of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and then after that, we were gonna grab the bus and hit Milan and then Zurich and all the places that were the first to really get hammered. And there was no way that it was gonna happen. So we knew that we couldn't get past the fly dates and we wouldn't be able to do the bus dates. So we canceled the bus. We started talking to promoters. One promoter was saying to us, 'We're gonna sue you. There's no cases here. Everything is fine. You guys are being pussies.' All that kind of stuff. And a week later, the same promoter, their country was completely shut down, they were inundated with cases, and they were saying to our tour promoter, 'Wow, was I wrong? I hope you guys are okay. And we look forward to rescheduling when we can. And everyone be safe and be healthy.'"
Thal went on to say that Mother Nature is sending the human race a huge warning and forcing people to reflect during the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is a very humbling thing," he said. "It's a reminder that we are all just mere guests in this world. This is not our world. We don't run it. We are not the supreme beings of it. We are guests, and all Mother Nature has to do is take a look at us and tilt her head a little bit, and we're gone. We should be very gracious and grateful and appreciative of anything we have, starting with our health, and be good to each other. And let this be a reminder that we are not almighty."
The guitarist's remarks come as many around the world are in lockdown or following stay-at-home orders as the coronavirus has spread to infect more than three million people worldwide, killing at least 215,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to Thal, SONS OF APOLLO features former DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-JOURNEY, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE).
SONS OF APOLLO were on the road in Europe promoting their second studio album, "MMXX" (pronounced: 20/20), which was released in January via InsideOut Music/Sony.