Dubai hard rock band Point of View have once again been busy with renowned guitarist Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal. This year, they visited Bahrain, where they were invited to a guitar clinic and played a collaborative show with musicians from Bahrain's scene. They did the same in Dubai. Contributor Habib T caught up with Bumblefoot and Point of View vocalist Nik Uzi at the Classic Rock Coffee Shop.

Interview with Bumblefoot:

You’re back in the Middle East. What have you been up to this time?

I went to Bahrain. There’s a wonderful organization there called JamUp that invited us to their first series of events, where we went with them to an autism school and played for the kids. We did workshops, and there was a nice meet and greet at Virgin Megastore. About 200 people showed up and it was great. Then we had a great concert with my buddies at Point of View. We all played a nice show together with a bunch of local musicians from Bahrain. They are a fantastic bunch of people that I had the pleasure of jamming with. After that, we hopped on a plane here to Dubai and played an awesome show yesterday at The Fridge in al Quoz, and today we’re having this great hangout at the Classic Rock Coffee Shop.

Which Middle Eastern countries/cities have you not visited so far but would like to visit next?

It’s the kind of thing were you want to cover every part of the world. You want to go everywhere; everywhere you have been and everywhere you haven’t been to. There’s a definite pleasure in going to places for the first time, where you can make new friends and connections with musicians.
So where do I want to go that I haven’t been already? I don’t know. Call me crazy, but there are a lot of places that I want to go to where the trouble is nowadays, where the fighting is, where people can use music for a moment of relief. So we can give them a moment of something to carry through difficult times.

What do you think of the rock and metal scene here in the UAE and the region?

It’s there! As far as whatever the most popular music genre is in different times across the world, the rock and metal scene is always there. The musicians are always there; everyone finds each other. There are great musicians all over the place. For example, a metal band from Iran would reach out on Facebook and show me the stuff that they’re working on. It’s there, and it’s growing like it is everywhere else. There are always genuine metalheads in the Middle East as the rest of the world. It’s great to know that anywhere in the world you can have a “musical home”: people that you can bond with, who know the same songs as you do, and who always get each other. Music is universal, especially in that sense.

What can the fans expect for 2015? Are there any major projects that you are working on for that year?
Well, if I stick to the deadlines, my new album will be released on February 24th. I don’t even have a name for the new album yet. The mixes are almost done. There’s also a band that I produced, as a recording project, that’s turning into something more which is going to have a release next year. It’s called Art of Anarchy. That should be pretty interesting. We shot some videos for it. It’s going to be an interesting year, 2015, between Bumblefoot and Art of Anarchy and whatever else. I have some mini-tours coming up in February and March. I have some Thailand and UK shows. I have something at a guitar festival in France also. I’m also doing a rock school in the island of Corfu in Greece in August. People can come down to Corfu so I can torture them musically for a week! So we can work on music during the day, chill on the beaches in the afternoon, and then go to different pubs at night and jam. It’s going to be a busy year!

What’s so special about your own hot sauce?

There’s a combination of different flavors and ingredients in there and various levels of spiciness. The strongest one is called Bumblefucked. It contains ginger and tropical fruit. It also has ginseng and caffeine like an energy shot. One little drop of it will set you on fire for a good ten minutes!

Are any bands that have recently caught your attention?

One that’s really caught my attention is a band called Thank You Scientist. They are a phenomenal band. They touch every part of your being. Their music is intellectual, passionate, and melodic. It’s very interesting, and you can’t not like it! Great stuff. To me, that’s the best new band that I’ve heard.

Any words for the readers of Metality?

Thank you for reading this! I hope to get to see you someday. Enjoy 2015! 

Interview with Nik Uzi:

What are some of POV's plans for the near future? Are you guys working on a successor to Revolutionize the Revolutionary?

We’re working on the second album for sure. We have 11 songs ready, but we haven’t started recording. We feel that we haven’t read into the first album enough, even though we’ve sold more than 800 copies of it. We also missed out on an important thing, which is making good videos for the first album. So we want videos to be done for the first album, which will happen in the next two months. Simultaneously, we’ll start gently tracking the new album.

Tell us about what you and Bumblefoot have been up this time. Do you think he'll make an appearance on the new album?

There’s a lot going on between us and Bumblefoot. We’re looking to work more with him in the upcoming year. We’re planning more gigs for the Middle East and in other parts of Asia such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. He definitely is on the second album. He’s playing a guest track with us plus he appears in more than one song which is jointly composed by us. We are collaborating with him on a lot of other things as well. We’re working on some Bollywood projects together, which isn’t part of Point of View. He is like a mentor to us, and we love working with him. He’s going to be a prominent figure in Point of View's work, in anything and everything we do.
I mean, what’s the best you can do as a musician in Dubai eventually? You’ll play a few small gigs and then get an opening slot for some big festival somewhere in Abu Dhabi, and after that what? You’ll get some other small gigs again and that’s the end of the story. We really don’t want to restrict ourselves to this locale, even though the scene here is amazing. We want to grow, and for us to do that, we need to get out of the local scene. Bumblefoot is our opening connection to the West, and he shamelessly promotes us there to other big acts. He loves our music. We’re definitely going to seize the opportunity and see what we can do with this help that we have. He has plans for the West and Asia for us.

What can we expect from the new album? Any hints on a potential release date?

We’re looking at a second half of 2015 release for it. Our sound essentially is standard; it’s a heavy riff-driven guitar sound basically. So that characteristic will remain the same. The first album was rather political. It had a lot of songs about issues that people face in society. The new album is a bit more relaxed; it’s more about personal experiences, and the sounds are more diverse, ranging from alternative to grunge, but still retaining that heavy element to it. I think our style of writing is going to remain the same, although the subjects might change. It will still be that heavy-riff driven melodious album, with guitar solos and vocal melodies.

Any words for the readers of Metality?

Support the scene. I know this is said a lot of times, but after what I saw in Bahrain, I have to say it again. We played a gig in Bahrain yesterday for 800 people. There, we had people who were insisting on paying for the show even though they were offered to be on the guest list. I think that is something that needs to happen in the scene here in the UAE. People should support the local bands. People need to give up a little bit of money to go see a good band. Be true to your music, support the scene, and try to make some free time to go to shows instead of coming up with excuses like “I have a barbeque to go to today”. We need a genuine, supportive scene. In Bahrain, there were people willing to pay up to 250 dirhams for a guitar workshop, which is unheard of here. As far as Point of View goes, listen to our album and go check us out on social media and on our website If you like the music, don’t be ashamed to tell us that you like it. Come to our shows and tell us. Listen to good music; that’s what we are all about! Thank you! 

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