After four long years and a speculated separation, we are thrilled that Italian electronic legends The Bloody Beatroots are back with a brand-new album, ‘The Great Electronic Swindle’. We were lucky enough to spend some quality time getting to know the man behind the mask, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo. We talk about road trips, avoiding fame, and what drives him to create…
S] I’ve got to say man, the new record sounds incredible! How do you think your sound, as well as yourself as a musician, has developed over time since your last record?
B] The way we make music has changed, production has changed, and I have changed as a person. A lot of stuff happens in four years! The way I structure song writing is very different now, and I think that’s because of the way I have come to care about music and more so now, lyrics. This album feels different because it has a story, I’ve never written that way before.
S] What inspires you, outside of music?
B] I made a choice ten years ago to wear a mask when I go out in public, because I want to protect my private life. But what inspires me the most is my private life; my friends, my family, everything they do for me. It’s something that I will never take for granted. I will never be able to totally detach myself from my roots. The people who I love, I love with my whole heart, and that inspires me. Being able to live happily with them, without the fame and success from the public eye and the media, is a beautiful thing and it inspires me to write beautiful songs.
S] On this new record, you’ve got guest appearances from LetLive, In Flames, and other alt rock musicians. Where did you get inspiration to fuse genres like electronica and rock together in your music?
B] Both rock and roll and electronica are such vast genres, there is a lot of opportunity for pushing the boundaries. I remember when I used to see rock bands play live, I just used to think that the impact wasn’t as impressive as contemporary electronic acts. I thought, rock and roll deserves more, rock and roll fans deserve more impact. That’s when I got the drive to create something unique; keeping the humanity of rock and blending it with digital mastery. It was like giving rock a super powered sonic boom! That was my manifesto, the reason I wanted to create music, doing something unique.
S] What were some of the best times that you had while making this record?
B] We’re all friends – myself and the collaborators on this record, and what we’d like to do is go on trips together. It helps to create that energy for writing songs, it creates empathy and a deeper connection between us. Spending time together helps us to be consistent in our substance, in our energy. Some of the best times were when we just had a dinner together; a couple of pizzas, red wine. ‘Nothing but love’ is a very heartfelt song, all it took was one take to do the whole thing.
S] Do you still find challenges in putting albums together? How did you push yourself on this record?
B] The challenge was deciphering the story we wanted to tell, it had been four years since the last record and there were so many things we wanted to include. We had to bring these years to life through music. In terms of production, I am still learning; on this album we learned how to mix and blend so many genres, and how to mix the rich vocals to achieve the perfect sound.
S] What emotions would you like people to feel when they listen to this record?
B] We live in a world that is very superficial, people are brainwashed into thinking the same way and rarely do we stand up and say ‘No!’ to injustice. I want this album to inspire people to make a change for what they believe in, to make the world a better place to live in.
I’m fascinated with time and making something of quality takes a lot of time, it’s what we’ve been doing for the past few years. But it all came from an idea, you know. All profound changes, no matter how long they take, come from an idea and people acting on that idea.
We had the people who made it possible to make this huge album; it seemed impossible but we did it! And you can do anything too, just surround yourself with people you love and believe in yourself!
S] What advice would you give to young people around the world who want to make electronic music? Who want to inspire people the way you guys do?
B] First of all, be yourself. Yourself is something unique and special, no one else is like you. Expression comes better when you believe in yourself. Making music should come from the heart; fame and money are not good motivations to make music. It’s better to work on your skills as a musician and really understand music, that way you can really call yourself an artist. The more you understand about music and about yourself, the more you grow as an artist.
S] That’s some wonderful advice. What is your attitude to fame?
B] I’m lucky that fame doesn’t touch me. Without the mask, I’m just a normal person. It helps me to maintain a focus on music and I don’t get distracted by the things that don’t matter. The more famous you become, the more problems you have, and it’s harder to escape that. The purpose of this for me was always just to make music, all my life that’s what I wanted to do. As humans we need to live a humble life to be able to create. If we are focused on fame we won’t be able to express yourself truly, we will become empty souls. Don’t be scared to live your life how you truly want to, everyone has a unique purpose and you just need to enjoy what you’re doing. Create from the heart.