Former GUNS N' ROSES and current SONS OF APOLLO guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal has clarified his comments about his willingness to perform live amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 22, Thal told SirusXM's "Trunk Nation" that he is "not gonna say 'yes' to a show" if it feels like it is going to jeopardize his health." He added in part: "Right now, I don't plan to ever go out again until that changes. I'm not making any plans. I'm just going with the flow of wherever the world turns. That's it. So right now, I plan for the rest of my life to spend every day in my studio writing, recording, doing guest work, doing stuff for the U.S. embassy, doing all kinds of streaming stuff, writing the next SONS OF APOLLO record, laying tracks with David Ellefson [MEGADETH bassist] — all kinds of things like that. And that is the indefinite, endless future plan until things change. And then when things change, the plan will change."
He continued: "I don't wanna get anybody sick, I don't wanna get sick. And I'm just gonna [get in] the studio and stay creative until it looks like it's okay to go out there. If the numbers go down drastically as far as new [coronavirus] cases and clearing up and the planet's doors have reopened and the cases are still going down, then I'll get out there and rejoin the world. But I'm not making any plans at all; I'm just saying, whatever now is, that's it, and I'm sticking with that until it changes."
A day after Thal's comments were published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Ron took to this site's comments section to she more light on his readiness to return to the road.
He wrote: "Just to clarify, as articles often cherrypick pieces of a full interview...
"I'm doing a ton of creative work in the studio writing, recording, producing, guest recordings, mixing & mastering, also getting to teach again, some streaming shows, work for US Embassies, making music for TV/film, working on albums for 3 different bands plus my own music. I love being in the studio, I've needed a break from touring (check my touring schedule www.bumblefoot.com/tour.htm, nonstop for years...) and time to focus on writing and recording. And to be more available to people in my life.
"I have too many people in my circle of friends who have dealt with Covid19 getting very sick, long-term lung problems, some deaths. No bravado here - I take it seriously and don't want to organize gatherings prematurely that could potentially spread illness.
"I've learned in life that health absolutely comes first, without it you can't do the rest. Regardless, I'm waiting indefinitely on travel restrictions (which may increase, EU is considering a ban on American travelers due to a recent spike in covid cases) and event restrictions to lift, and that's not up to me, so I'm accepting the situation and not making touring plans until I can. If you knew how many times SONS OF APOLLO have rescheduled tours (and how much work goes into planning and changing a tour) for this year and next, you'd understand.
"Whatever the situation is that we're in, when it's out of our control to change, my view is to not fight it but to flow with it and find a way to do good. As quoted, 'just roll with whatever is going on, and whatever the situation is, find a way to deal with it, be useful and purposeful and helpful and do good things'
"We each gotta live by what works for our own life, this is what works for me, for now. And that will change when the situation changes. Rolling with it, whatever 'it' is...
"Wishing you all the best, and see you out on the road again when possible. :)"
Earlier this month, Thal released his latest acoustic EP of cover songs, "Barefoot 3" exclusively via Bandcamp.
"Barefoot 3" takes the "Barefoot" series up a notch, with intricate guitar arrangements, big backing vocals, and drummer Kyle Hughes.
Last month, Bumblefoot released "Barefoot 2", featuring acoustic covers of songs by IRON MAIDEN, BILLY JOEL, THE POLICE, THE YOUNG RASCALS and PAUL MCCARTNEY.
In April, Thal released a new instrumental song called "Planetary Lockdown" which he said was "inspired by [the] feeling of urgency" during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Thal joined GUNS N' ROSES in 2006, replacing Buckethead. He played with the band for eight years and performed on "Chinese Democracy". He has also released nine full-length solo albums over the past 23 years, most recently 2015's "Little Brother Is Watching", which was reissued on CD and vinyl in August 2017 by MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson's EMP Label Group.
SONS OF APOLLO, which also features drummer Mike Portnoy, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and bassist Billy Sheehan), released its second studio album, "MMXX" (pronounced: 20/20), in January via InsideOut Music/Sony.
Photo courtesy of SONS OF APOLLO's web site