Masked Italian producer and performer Robert Rifo (aka The Bloody Beetroots) is back on the road. His current 10-date My Name Is Thunder Tour is taken from the first track of his just-released new album, The Great Electronic Swindle.
After last appearing under the moniker of SBCR (the initials of his adopted stage name Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo), the new run marks his first North American live shows in more than three years.
Using vocalists on 17 of the album’s 20 tracks, Rifo worked with a long list of varied collaborators on the album that includes everyone from Australian rockers Jet and L.A. duo Deap Vally, to Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell and Prayers front man Leafar Seyer.
Rifo’s music hits the decade mark this year as well. And while the last ten years have been filled with the enigmatic songwriter’s music being featured on TV and in video games, remixes for the likes of Britney Spears and Depeche Mode, and partnerships with Steve Aoki, Tommy Lee, and Sir Paul McCartney, Rifo is firmly fixated on the future.
Here’s what he told Pacific about it all:
PACIFIC: The Great Electronic Swindle is your most personal and political album. Beyond being a snapshot of the last few years of your life, what was driving the message for you?
Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo: I believe TGES will be a strong influence on change, a change of how I would like music to be perceived in our modern culture. Substance, culture, and legitimate content are needed to start a revolution as much as artistic honesty. I strongly hope TGES could inspire other producers to develop art projects with their own language - free from any rules; a prerequisite to building a strong identity.
All but three tracks on The Great Electronic Swindle feature a vocalist. Did you have specific singers in mind when creating each track, or was it after the tracks were made, you then thought about vocalists? Did you record anything that didn’t make the album?
My intent was to give a voice to each story, so I called all my “singer" friends who helped me to have a clearer vision of how I wanted this album to be/sound. Nothing was done randomly and they were all recorded after being emphatically involved in my life - that’s the reason why it’s a 20-track album. I haven’t discarded anything on purpose.
First live shows in North America in 3 years. What does the show look like? How are you recreating the vocals of the album each night?
The live show is a solid blend between the past and present of TBB, so it would have been stupid to present only the last chapter, as TBB is a project that lives in its own history. Screamos are all sung by me, while the softer vocals (such as those of Greta Svabo Bech) are on backing tracks. TBB live is definitely a spectacle not to be missed, very physical and powerful.
The Bloody Beetroots Live
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 27
Where: Music Box, 1337 India Street, Downtown
You’ve called ’77 the death of punk rock, while many have called it the birth. Either way, that’s 40 years ago now. What do you think about the current state of punk music? Of electronic music? Music in general?
Our current youth needs a substantial cultural revolution. It is utterly obsolete to talk about punk in 2017, as it will become obsolete to talk about electronic music unless we begin to create quality content that can be relevant to people’s lives. We must unite forces to move into something new and I’m not just talking about musicians, but all people with a cultural hunger who want a change in everyday life.
The Bloody Beetroots hit the 10-year mark this year. Does that mean anything to you? How has the way you see yourself as an artist changed in that time?
My life has radically changed in the last 10 years. TBB gave me the opportunity to meet the world and to challenge myself with different social languages. It’s a priceless experience.
I believe my way of living, thinking and making music has become more responsible and rewarding, year-by-year.
What’s next? Is there anything in the works that you can talk about?
I would like to make a quick reference to the BB Bootcamp - which is a workout program accessible to everyone. A different way to bond together and to prepare for what the live concert will be. If you’re coming to show on this tour and like to sweat, check out my socials for location and time for each Bootcamp.