INTERVIEW: Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo

Interviewed by Harlow Sharp | Photos courtesy of Troy Acedevo for wearenightowls
We got a chance to sit down and pick the brain of the one and only, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo aka SBCR aka The Bloody Beetroots. While The Bloody Beetroots remain an eclectic, rock-influenced live band, SBCR is Sir Bob’s strictly DJ-performance project under which he releases dance-punk productions. Before he took the stage last week, he gave us a glimpse into his world.
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Troy Acevedo @ wearenightowls

EDMLA: You were born in Italy, the Italian culture, especially in dance music is strong. When you were born though, the dance music scene hadn’t taken off yet…

SBCR: I was born in ‘77, dance culture probably took over in Italy in ‘85.

So what kind of music caught your ear as a kid?

I used to listen to punk music, because my uncle was a drummer of a punk band so growing up I listened to Sex Pistols, Germs, Crass, The Clash, and lots of post-punk as well, like, Joy Division, Killing Joke. Even the Shoegaze period was part of my adolescence; bands like Ride.

I hear you like photography, what do you like at the moment?

I like to shoot people. People are my first fire of inspiration, I get really inspired by people. When I get out of my studio, ‘cause I’m tired of making music, I need to take pictures. I’m a big fan of Richard Avedon, he took portraits of people with a white background, it’s a classic actually. Now I’m trying to take portraits of people. I always have this thing in my mind to portray the black sheep of our community. When I meet people that, for me look like black sheep, that’s a guy or girl that I really want a portrait of. There’s a strange feeling, and I need to bring back that strange feeling home to get inspired. It’s something I really love doing.

I have noticed that everything about your brand: the design and your music coincide…

It’s really important for me to design an aesthetic for my music because the visual aspect of what I want to express has to stick with the music all the time. That’s what I love doing with SBCR and The Bloody Beetroots, I want to try to stick with that. The good news with SBCR, we introduced [the color]red, which wasn’t used at all during the Bloody Beetroots years, so this is new to me, to experiment with three colors and I want to stick with three colors and try to evolve the three colors as a visual aspect of SBCR, a statement.

I was watching the graphic videos you did for the EP’s on YouTube. The artwork, once again, matches up really well with the music. When you are composing, do you already have a visual of what you want the music to project?

Usually when I start composing a song, I start from a title. The title is such a strong thing, because it gives you everything about the music, and the aesthetic is going to follow. When I get the chance, I also love writing the treatments with the director so I follow every aspect in detail and in-depth.

Your music is unique… very multi-dimensional… it’s hard to genre-fy it, (in a good way) and I hear many elements and influences in your music.

That’s beautiful to hear, because I don’t like being classified and I don’t believe in music genres — just because our life is so different during the day, you know? You have various emotions from the moment you wake up, the moment you go to sleep, you experience a full, wide range of colors and I want to express them all. And I want to keep it this way, because that’s the only language I know.

So do you focus more on the energy of the EP as a whole, or do you look at tracks individually as you’re composing them?

The choice to release so many EP’s is because I need to research myself into the music. I told you before, this is my language. I have so much music to release that I don’t know how to release it, because an EP is not enough. I would love to do a double album as soon as possible, but I can’t. I believe it’s counterproductive to release so much music in a short time, but this is my need.

I’m probably going against the rules of the market, but it’s a need. I’m not paying my status with music, it’s the way I express myself. Bloody Beetroots need to go through this process of creation to find a new spot in 2017. I need to make more experiments through SBCR, so that’s why in Vol. 3 you’re going to be surprised by music that I’m doing.

In the past you have done collaborations with some classic rock legends, Peter Frampton & Paul McCartney among others. What was it like working with them and did you get a feel for their view on electronic music?

Some of them were skeptical about collaborating… but they wanted to try. Probably the most flexible one was Paul [McCartney] because back in the day he used to release electronic music, so he was pretty confident to work with me. It took a day to record everything. Peter Frampton did a great job and so did Tommy Lee, of course. The furthest out that I wanted to work with was Penny Rimbaud, who was also the biggest inspiration for “HIDE” as the man who really delivered what I wanted to say. In the future I have a strong need to work with him again. He’s a great poet, he has a lot to say, and I think it’s very inspiring for these new kids to get in touch with such a great, great character.

Any upcoming collaborations on next EP?

Yeah, next EP I have a crazy collaboration with Gallows, a punk band, they have a new singer now, Wade McNeil, who is the singer of Alexis on Fire. It’s pretty crazy, the song design took me a lot to balance all the colors I wanted to be in the song. And more coming too…
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Troy Acevedo @ wearenightowls

Thank you, Bob for chatting with EDMLA!

– Harlow Sharp for EDMLA



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