During a June 22 appearance on SirusXM's "Trunk Nation", former GUNS N' ROSES and current SONS OF APOLLO guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal was asked when he thinks he will feel comfortable enough to resume touring amid the coronavirus pandemic. He responded: "One thing that is for sure is that health comes first, and if you don't have your health, you can't do shows — you can't sing, you don't have the energy to perform well. So health has to come first. So, with me, that's what I'd consider. Is it going to risk [or] jeopardize my health? If it feels like it's going to, I'm not gonna say 'yes' to a show.
"Right now, I don't plan to ever go out again until that changes," he continued. "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. But there's no point in making plans. And everyone who's making plans knows they'll have to change them anyway. So 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 and live your life under whatever the conditions are."
Asked if he is the kind of guy that will wait until a COVID-19 vaccine has been developed before going back out on the road, Thal said: "It's hard to say, because for me, I wanna see where the second half of the year goes, as far as is there gonna be a second wave [of coronavirus infections]? Do we even know if once you've had it, can you get it again? Or do you build an immunity to it? There's still too much we don't know about this strain of this particular virus. There's so many unanswered questions, because we just don't know yet — there hasn't been enough time to find out what the answers are. And I know people blame CDC [Centers For Disease Control And Prevention] and they blame WHO [World Health Organization] and they blame all these people for not having the answers yet, and they'll say what they think it is, and then they might be proven wrong, and when they realize they're wrong, they'll say something else. So at this point, I'm not living in fear. I'm just going to be very responsible. 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 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."
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.