Interview #18: Sir Bob “Cornelius” Rifo


By: Forward Musiq
Today we exchange words with one of the most illustrious and genre defying entities in EDM, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo from The Bloody Beetroots.
His success really isn’t a surprise if you take your time to read up on his life. Every move, single and production he’s done has been calculated to be perfect and to be what he wants it to be. Yet you can’t  help to be amazed at what Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo has done in such a few time. He has managed to revolutionize (quite literally) the whole EDM scene, taking it by storm since the first day he stepped foot in it. Bob’s work to many is legendary, mainly being released through his main act, The Bloody Beetroots. Many of his productions have become icons and cult hits; hailing in those categories would be Dimmakmmunication, I love The Bloody Beetroots, Cornelius, the punk influenced Church of Noise, and the huge international hit, Warp 1.9. But the man doesn’t stick around in one specific genre. To classify his work under one, would be foolish, for his productions range from classically influenced hits, to hard hitting punk-esque masterpieces. Music isn’t his only domain, for he has taken grounds to photography and cinematography as well, but more importantly he has managed to amass a movement of his own, some call it a religion, others a political group, but Church Of Noise transcends all of his work. Without further ado, we present to you, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo.

Forward Musiq: Thanks for taking a bit of your time Bob, we’re very excited and honored to have you here.
FM: You have very well established yourself as an individual with multiple talents as your arsenal, being playing multiple instruments on stage or expanding your artistic abilities towards photography and thematic and symbolic music production. Why do you feel its necessary to expand yourself as an artist in such a way, tasting what each artistic frontier has to give? Do you have in mind partaking in  any other project you haven’t done so far?

Bob Rifo:  I firmly believe everyone has more than one artistic avenue he or she needs to explore. Life is about searching for ourselves! We have only one chance to leave a mark on the world. I’m very busy creating original music currently , I started studying classical guitar, drums and piano again. It’s time to come out with some new fresh material.

FM: Punk has always been part of you since the beginning, but more recently have we began to fully see it in the music you produce, most notably your latest single Church of Noise (featuring the very well known Punk vocalist from Refused, Dennis Lyxzen) which is a perfect fusion of Punk and Electronic Dance Pusic. Can we expect more tracks such as this one from you in the future, or will you be experimenting with other genre’s? Also, why did you choose EDM as your method of expressing yourself successfully as an artist, why not Punk? Do you have interest in doing a Punk exclusive production in the future?

BR: The Bloody Beetroots project has always been pleasantly controversial, it varies in genres like a ship in a stormy sea. I love chaos and I’m comfortable with it, i always expect the unexpected and I like it.
Hell Yes, punk is part my history and now more than ever I identify that adjective with  lifestyle, a way of thinking.
I chose EDM, or rather the “Electronic”  denominator  cos’ it’s part of contemporary culture and it’s extremely effective and direct.
Punk music, although I’m a big fan, has lost some of its contemporary relevance. Every Historical Period has its own soundtrack and will be remembered for that…Btw my answer is yes, I would love to do an exclusively punk production.

FM: Church of Noise is evidently more than just a song for you, more of a way of living and thinking of freedom and equality. Why did you choose to fuse these ideals with your music and career? Do you wish to see it become a full ideology, something your fans I believe hold very dear to their hearts already? And will we be seeing more of the Church of Noise movement?

BR: Church Of Noise is a creed, it’s a small movement based on principles of respect and equality . There was no religion that mirrored the way I was thinking , so I started my own.
It’s currently taking its first steps as an online community promoting a dialogue between art and music . Its future will be defined by the same artists who live it and it will feed on creative need.

FM: We haven’t seen a studio album from you since Romborama back in 2009. Back then your sounds where more focused in fusing classical music elements with EDM, not to say you haven’t lost that style. Now that you are beginning to fuse Punk with EDM, can we expect your next studio album to be Punk influenced? Are you planning on composing an album, or do you feel you need to polish your style or experiment even more until you are ready?

BR: I am planning several releases, all different. My new inspirations are Funk, Disco, Heavy Metal, Rockabilly, Techno, House, Prog-Rock and symphonic music.
The album is a collection of singles and exclusive material, I need to trace the history of music at a time when music is becoming plastic. I’m looking for a bridge between what was once considered analog and this post post-modern age.

FM: Recently we have noticed you have begun to focus more on your DJ Sets, rather than your live set (Death Crew 777). Why have you chosen to go back to your DJ Set’s? Do you feel it is in a way, going back to your roots as an electronic dance music artist?

BR: The Bloody Beetroots project has always been wide-ranging and controversial, there is a DJ Set, The Live Band, my studio productions, photography and more. As I said before , it varies, it’s like a sine wave. People have seen this project unravel over a span of 5 years, but everything was planned from day one.
I never thought of myself as just an electronic dance music artist, my intention is and always been to express a contemporary idea. That’s the reason why there are so many conflicting opinions on what I do.

FM: Now that you have all this international success, do you often look back at your beginnings? What was it like then? Do you feel happy with where you are now, or do you feel you it can still be improved?

BR: In life you never reach your destination. I believe that research and study should be an integral part of everyday life. I don’t look back to where I started, I just move forwards enjoying my life as much as I can, being real with the people i know .

FM: You and Steve Aoki are known to be very good friends, having collaborated in tracks together, and being part of the Dim Mak family. What drew you two together, how did you meet? Can we expect more from you two working together in the studio?

BR: Myspace brought us together 5 years ago, it all started from there. We were both excited to be part of a thing that became massive at the time. Steve will always be a brother, he’s in my heart. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll do something together again!

FM: Thanks for your time Bob, any words for your Puerto Rican fans?

BR: Puerto Rico! Let’s Feel The Rage!!

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