Art of Anarchy’s ‘Bumblefoot’ on Why Rock Will Never Die + More

2017-03-24

Story by Anne Erickson

Interview: Meet supergroup Art of Anarchy, bringing together members of Guns N’ Roses, Disturbed and Creed

Art of Anarchy started as a handful of musicians simply wanting to make some great music, and today, it’s blossomed into one of the hottest new supergroups on the scene. The band brings together heavy-hitters in the music world: Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal who spent much time in Guns N’ Roses, Disturbed bass player John Moyer, Creed singer Scott Stapp and twin brothers Jon and Vince Votta.

Now, Art of Anarchy have unleashed their sophomore album, “The Madness,” out today (March 24), which marks the group’s first with Stapp on vocals. The emotional album brims with thick, powerful vocals, moody guitar atmospheres and fist-pumping choruses.

Art of Anarchy’s Bumblefoot spoke with Anne about how the band came together, the new album and why “rock will never die.”

Find Art of Anarchy online at ArtofAnarchyband.com.

Anne: Art of Anarchy has such a cool mix of musicians. What brought you together with John Moyer of Disturbed, Scott Stapp of Creed and Jon and Vince Votta?

Bumblefoot: The story begins about 20 years ago. The founders of the band, Jon and Vince, are brothers, and one plays guitar one plays drums. They were teenagers and lived in New York, and I had a studio out there, and they were coming to my studio with their bands, and I would record them. We always stayed friends and stayed in touch. Then, in 2011, they hit me up and said they had written 10 songs and wanted to make the album available, so I brought them into the studio, and they had pieces of music that were just drums and guitar. So, we recorded them, and as we were recording, they said, “Hey, why don’t you just throw a guitar solo in it?” So, I said, “Sure! I’ll just bust something out.” That continued, and next thing you know, I’m adding a lot more guitar parts, now it’s three of us on the album.

The idea was to look for different singers to sing different songs. The first person we did it with was Scott Weiland. He ended up doing the whole record. Then, after that, John Moyer of Disturbed joined us as a bass player, and then we got a deal on Century Media. So, what started off as a very simple idea of just them wanting to record songs and make something special for the own enjoyment evolved beyond that, and it started becoming a band.

What makes Scott Stapp the right fit to front Art of Anarchy today?

We had a very small list of singers to move forward with, and the first one was Scott Stapp, and he was at the top of that list. Two months later, we were in Florida and hanging out with Scott and jumped into a rehearse rehearsal room and started jamming. It went well, and a month later, he came up to New York, and we spent about a week and a half or two weeks, just the five of us alone with our gear recording everything and writing from scratch. For the second album with Scott, it was the first time that we started from the beginning of this whole thing and the whole process is a band, and you can hear the difference.

Scott was looking for a band, we were looking for a singer, and it just happened. It’s like anything in life. How did you find your husband or wife? In my case, my wife. A lot of times, it’s just chance meetings with people lined up at the same place at the same time. I think he’s singing better than he ever did. He sounds better than ever. He has a very unique voice. You know it’s him when you hear him, not just the sound of his voice, but the way he writes melodies and lyrics that are personal to him.

Congratulations on your new album, “The Madness.” What makes you excited about release?

Just the fact that it’s being released! (Laughs) It’s been a year-and-a-half from the five of us being in that room and just going at it and blasting out ideas for songs, and the album came from that. It was a long road of getting to this point and balancing our touring schedule so we could keep writing and recording and doing videos and photo shoots and everything we had to do.

What are your thoughts on the state of rock music? It’s been said that rock is dead. I totally disagree! What are your thoughts?

Anyone who says that, I mean I can understand what they might be saying, like, maybe rock has not been funded in the mainstream where was 30 years ago, but rock is far from that. If you don’t believe me, you can go to any school of rock across the world or anything like it and see 7-year-old kids jumping around with guitars and doing it. Rock has never been more alive and well, and it always will be, because rock is the final form of physical music. If you look at all the types of music that there have been throughout history where the music is made by a person doing something to the instrument, whether it’s the drums or guitar or keyboards or anything, rock is the final one that we have. Electronic music is not physical music. Rock will never die as long as people want to physically make music, and people, I don’t think, will ever stop wanting to do that.

How has social media changed the music industry and how you connect with fans?

It’s a huge, huge, wonderful thing. It’s what we dreamed about when we were in bands in the ‘80s. Before the Internet, there was no way to get in touch with fans. If you wanted them to see what you looked like, you had to get in a magazine. If you wanted them to hear what you had to say, you had to get in a magazine or get on the radio. If you wanted them to hear your music, you had to get on the radio or have an ad in the back of a local magazine or newspaper saying, “Send $2 in a self-addressed stamp envelope to our address, and we’ll mail you a cassette of our band.” It was so difficult to get in touch with just the people in your city let alone the world. Now, anybody anywhere can connect with you. They know everything about you. They can see you. They can hear you. They can talk to you. That is something we only dreamed about, and now we complain about it, but it’s phenomenal. It’s a blessing.

Courtesy promo photo by Victor Atlasman

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