On September 7th, the former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal performed Paul McCartney, IRON MAIDEN, KISS and GUNS N’ ROSES classics on his solo acoustic concert at the Twice Café in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan.
Last week saw the announcement of SONS OF APOLLO, the highly anticipated new band featuring former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force). Their debut album ‘Psychotic Symphony’ is due for release on 20th October 2017 via InsideOutMusic / Sony, and now they are pleased to reveal their first track titled ‘Signs of the Time’.
Listen now here:
Mike comments: “Signs Of The Time was the very first thing myself, Derek & Bumblefoot wrote when we got together to begin writing for Sons Of Apollo in March of this year.
It starts with this heavy, brutal Bumbleriff (initally coined “Korntera”), then goes into a cool verse with a 2-Pt vocal melody that I wrote sung by Jeff and myself…which eventually opens up to a HUGE vocal hook in the chorus that Jeff wrote (sung in 3-Pt harmony by Jeff, myself and Bumblefoot)
The middle section riffs are a few things that Derek brought in and show why he is the most BADASS keyboard player in the biz (playing the keys like a guitar player on fire!) and then we have the long extended breakdown and guitar solo which shows why Bumblefoot is one of today’s greatest GUITAR HEROES! This album is going to get him the recognition he truly deserves and this particular guitar solo is one of the tastiest, most insane solos I’ve EVER heard…
So all in all, this song has a little bit of everything that makes Sons Of Apollo so special…great heavy riffs, amazing solos with individual instrumental virtuosity and a big, catchy chorus with more hooks than a tackle box!!
I figured this would be a great “first taste” to introduce the world to this amazing new supergroup…and there’s a whole lot more of different musical styles and twist & turns still to come all throughout the album…”
The debut album, PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY is now available to pre-order on 2CD Mediabook (featuring a second disc of instrumental mixes), Gatefold 2LP vinyl + CD, Standard Jewelcase CD & digital download. Pre-order now here: http://smarturl.it/SonsOfApolloPS
The full track-listing is as follows:
1. God of The Sun
2. Coming Home
3. Signs of the Time
6. Lost In Oblivion
7. Figaro’s Whore
8. Divine Addiction
9. Opus Maximus
An album teaser can be seen on InsideOutMusic’s YouTube page here:
PSYCHOTIC SYMPHONY was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as “The Del Fuvio Brothers,” which is the nickname given to them over 20 years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.
SONS OF APOLLO got together very organically, as Portnoy explains: “Derek and I reunited shortly after I left Dream Theater in 2010 and we put together an all-instrumental touring band with he and I, Billy Sheehan, and Tony MacAlpine. That was my first time working with Derek since the ’90s when he was in Dream Theater and it was just great to be working with him again. Ever since that tour, which was really just a one-off live thing, he has been nudging me to start a real, original, full-time band. The timing just had never been right, because I had too many other things on my plate. Long story short, the time was finally right to take the bait and put together a band.”
“Mike and I work at a relentless pace in the studio,” continues Sherinian. “The music is modern, but we have an old school soul. What is unique about SONS OF APOLLO is that we have true rock n’ roll swagger along with the virtuosity– a lethal combination!”
But what to call the next great supergroup? “Derek was mainly the one behind the name,” says Portnoy. “I have a list that I keep on my phone of about a hundred different band names, which I constantly have to refer to every time I have a new band every year (laughs). So, I pulled up the list and Apollo was one of the names on the list. It was a word that both of us really liked. We started fiddling with different variations of the word. One of the original band names we were working with was Apollo Creed, the character from the ‘Rocky’ movies, but after lots of different discussions on different variations, Derek suggested SONS OF APOLLO and it seemed to stick. Apollo is the God of Music so with that in mind it seemed like a fitting name.”
Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian and Billy Sheehan previously toured together in 2012 and 2013 as PSMS (along with guitarist Tony MacAlpine), playing all instrumental versions from each of their previously recorded music. SONS OF APOLLO is the next logical progression by adding a vocalist and creating all-original material. The band incorporates the progressive style and individual technical prowess that Portnoy & Sherinian shared together in Dream Theater combined with the swagger and groove of Van Halen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.
“I have known Mike and Derek for a long time, so when they came to me with Sons of Apollo, I jumped on this straight away,” says Thomas Waber, Label Manager/A&R International of InsideOutMusic. “However, the album they ended up recording exceeded my already high expectations by a long mile! We couldn’t be happier about it!”
SONS OF APOLLO will hit the road in 2018 for their first worldwide tour.
“This is a real band,” Portnoy declares. “This is going to pick up for me and Billy where The Winery Dogs left off, in terms of this being the next logical full-time thing for us. I’m not saying The Winery Dogs have broken up, because we haven’t, we’re just on a break. SONS OF APOLLO is absolutely going to be a full-time band and we plan on touring all over the world all throughout 2018 and, honestly, it is the priority for all five of us.”
Sherinian agrees, “We will go on a worldwide crusade in 2018 to bring SONS OF APOLLO to as many people as possible. Apollo was the God of Music, and we are his mighty offspring!”
Former GUNS N’ ROSES and current ART OF ANARCHY guitarist, vocalist, and producer RON “BUMBLEFOOT” THAL has signed a deal with EMP LABEL GROUP who will re-release his epic 2015 independent solo release “Little Brother Is Watching” on CD and vinyl DOUBLE LP August 25th, 2017.
“Little Brother Is Watching” is an eccentric, upbeat collection of epic, modern rock with haunting melodies, huge choruses and witty lyrics about life in the digital age and beyond, specifically, Thal’s own life and coming to terms with what we all face – beginnings, endings, and moving on. The album was composed, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Bumblefoot at his studio in New Jersey, and includes a crowd of 100 fans stomping, chanting and singing backing vocals recorded at a listening party in New York. The day after its initial release, the album went as high as #4 on the Amazon.com Rock charts in Europe.
The album features the singles “Little Brother is Watching” and the epic “Don’t Know Who To Pray To Anymore”, with a video filmed in three countries with 12 sets and 50 actors, including the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Fortress of Klis and Diocletian Palace in Croatia, and being granted exclusive access to ancient Roman ruins by the Jordanian border with the distinction of being the only music video to ever have been shot there.
“Little Brother is Watching” Music Video:
“Don’t Know Who To Pray To Anymore” Music Video:
EMP LABEL GROUP’s Thom Hazaert says of the collaboration, “Myself and Ron have been working together for years now, even pre-EMP, through the original release of Little Brother, and discussing various scenarios for a wider retail release. Obviously, Ron and David (Ellefson) have a great relationship, and eventually the stars aligned and we are extremely proud to welcome Bumblefoot to the EMP family!”
Thal echoes those sentiments. “A great pleasure to officially join the EMP family! We’re starting off with the vinyl release of the Bumblefoot Little Brother album, and we’ll grow from there. Looking forward to a bright future together.”
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal is an award-winning Multi-instrumentalist, Vocalist, Songwriter, Producer and World-renowned Guitar virtuoso, with over 20 years of releasing music, playing international festivals and headlining tours, and gracing magazine covers as a solo artist. As lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses (2006 – 2014) Bumblefoot toured sold-out shows all over the world, headlining festivals with crowds up to 150,000. Bumblefoot’s unique ‘fretless guitar’ can be heard throughout GNR’s 2008 Chinese Democracy album and the 2012 concert DVD Appetite For Democracy.
Bumblefoot is also a founding member of rock group Art Of Anarchy (featuring vocalist Scott Stapp and Disturbed bassist John Moyer), whose latest album The Madness landed in the Top20’s at Rock radio and #2 at Billboard’s Heatseeker chart earlier this year.
Thal is also an accomplished composer whose music is often heard in TV, film and videogames including the theme song to VH1’s “That Metal Show” and the film score to the horror movie “The Evangelist” (released May 2017). Bumblefoot also works with U.S. Embassies around the world on cross-cultural music programs, has his own line of award-winning hot sauces, and works with dozens of international charities visiting orphanages and children’s hospitals around the world with guitar in hand.
The wait is finally over as ART OF ANARCHY gears up to release their highly anticipated new effort, debuting iconic vocalist Scott Stapp (Creed). The blistering, new hard-rock offering, “The Madness”, is now officially set for a March 24th release, via Century Media Records. Album art is attached and track-listing is below.
ART OF ANARCHY is one of the rare rock bands where each member has a strong identity, and together creates something special. No filler, just raw talent, and dedication to the music and being true to who they are. The members have collectively sold tens of millions of albums worldwide and have a rock pedigree that most artists would be content to rest their laurels on. But while AOA possesses the star power of a rock “super group” in spades, the band’s focus is squarely on songwriting and musical craft.
“The Madness” (Official Music Video):
Album: “The Madness”
Release date: March 24, 2017
1. Echo of a Scream
2. 1,000 Degrees
3. No Surrender
4. The Madness
5. Won’t Let You Down
6. Changed Man
7. A Light In Me
9. Dancing With The Devil
Lead guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal hails formerly from Guns N’ Roses, while bassist John Moyer first rose to fame as a member of Disturbed. Twin brothers Jon Votta (guitar) and Vince Votta (drums), meanwhile, first gained renown as fixtures on the New York music scene. The most recent addition to the group is Grammy Award winner Scott Stapp, the founder and lead singer of Creed. Stapp replaced the late Scott Weiland (of Stone Temple Pilots) as AOA’s lead singer.
AOA evolved organically out of an 18-year friendship between Bumblefoot and the Votta brothers. Jon Votta came to Bumblefoot with the idea of putting together a new band with a diverse group of talent and a uniquely melodic and aggressive sound. The group released their self-titled debut album, “Art of Anarchy” in June 2015, featuring the late Scott Weiland on vocals. The album showcased a gritty hard rock edge balanced by a powerful focus on innovative songwriting and skillful musicianship. Bumblefoot shines throughout the album not only as band’s co-guitarist (and a world class one at that) but also as the producer and engineer on the album. Jon Votta shares lead responsibilities with Bumblefoot and co-wrote the album with Weiland. Vince Votta brings his powerful rock drumming sensibilities and showmanship, while Moyer brings a punchy bottom end that rounds out the sound of AOA.
The band’s next chapter begins now: The addition of Stapp and the electrifying new musical direction he brings ushers in a new era for the group. “I’m excited to be a part of Art of Anarchy,” said Stapp. “I appreciate collaborating with other talented artists and I can’t wait to share our new music with the fans very soon.”
Bumblefoot adds, “Scott’s style and the personal lyrics he’s been writing are taking the sound in a new direction- one that brings out the best in all of us. It’s a new chapter for us all, and I’m looking forward to sharing the new music with the fans and seeing what the future holds.”
Israeli guitarist, producer, composer, arranger YOSSI SASSI and his YOSSI SASSI BAND are set to release their third album “Roots and Roads” in less than a week, on May 25th. Its genre can be described as Oriental Prog Metal, combining Yossi’s various musical roots – east and west, acoustic and electric, oriental and metal.
The band has now unveiled the second single and video from the upcoming album, for the song “Palm Dance”, featuring Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns’n’Roses) on guitar solos, stream it below:
Yossi Sassi – Electric Guitars, Bouzoukitara, Bouzouki
Or Lubianiker – Electric Bass
Shay Ifrah – Drums
Ben Azar – Guitar solos 2 and 3
Roei Fridman – Percussion
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – Guitar solos 1 and 4 on “Palm Dance”
Ariel Qassis – Kanun
Itzhak Ventura – Arabic, Turkish and Persian ney
Assaf Perelmuter – Lap steel
Also stream the first unleashed single “The Religion of Music” here:
The final sound of the album is the reflection of an intricate combination of rock, classical and worldwide oriental instruments: Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Bozuouki, Oud, Saz, Charango, Chumbush, Ney, Kanun and much more. Alongside well-renowned local (Israeli) guest musicians, the album includes vocals by Zaher Zorgatti (Myrath) and guitar tunes by Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns’n’Roses).
The album was recorded in the Jaffa Sound Arts studio in the ancient city port of Jaffa, Israel, during April 2016.
Watch below The making of “Roots and Roads” | Behind the scenes video:
Lifestyle Apparel Brand PUCK HCKY launches new “Thrashers And Slashers” line, issued The Dark Side, featuring lines from legendary rockers David Ellefson, Bumblefoot, 36 Crazyfists, Radio and Industry Personality Thom Hazaert, and more.
Michigan based lifestyle hockey apparel brand PUCK HCKY, known for their edgy, stylish and often Rock and Metal inspired collaborations with hard-hitting NHL stars like Marian Hossa, Freddie Andersen, Tomas Tatar, Hampus Lindholm, and more, have launched a new line firmly straddling the fence between Fire and Ice.
The aptly named “Thrashers And Slashers” line, incorporates lifestyle hockey and sports elements with bold Rock N’ Roll attitude into an apparel line so metal you could forge skates out of it! Featuring individual lines with legendary Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, world renowned shredder (and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist) Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Industry and radio personality and EMP Label Group co-honcho Thom Hazaert (including some LA-centric designs for Dash Radio outlet Los Anarchy Radio, which broadcasts Hazaert’s syndicated show “AM/PM with Thom Hazaert”), and Alaskan Metal sensation 36 Crazyfists. The SLASHERS lineup is rounded out by a goalie-inspired line with horror icon Ari Lehman, better known as the original Jason Voorhees from the classic slasher franchise Friday the 13th, also a musical virtuoso, who now fronts the aptly named horror-metal band First Jason.
Says Ellefson, “Being a huge hockey fan, from the beginning, this was such a great fit. PUCK HCKY sent me some stuff to check out, and I was blown away from the start. I’m always trying to find exciting new ways to expand my brand outside of music, and PUCK just did it right. The designs are amazing, the quality is exceptional, and the reaction from my fans has been wonderful. “
Says Hazaert, who spearheaded the line with PUCK HCKY CEO, Matt Marini, “I saw the amazing stuff Matt was doing with 36 Crazyfists, and their amazing NHL stuff, and reached out. The ideas poured out and, literally, within a few days, I connected the dots with a few friends and Slashers and Thrashers was born. If you’re a fan of Hockey, Metal, and Horror, (or any of the above, really) this line is for you. The PUCK team is amazing, and I am consistently blown away with everything they do. And the response so far has been amazing. There’s nothing cooler than being out at a show and someone is wearing your PUCK gear, and you just go.. wow.. that’s fricking awesome.”