INTERVIEW: The Bloody Beetroots, “The Great Electronic Swindle,” & Performing in Leather


Whether you know him as The Bloody Beetroots, SBCR, or Robert Rifo, there is one thing that’s certain: he is the man, the mask-wearing-myth and the EDM legend that we don’t deserve, but desperately need. The release of his latest album, “The Great Electronic Swindle,” is a sonic rallying cry to fellow producers and fans that surges a much needed pulse of vitality into a scene that has felt fairly uninspired and monotonous to date. It’s the cathartic punk-meets-electronic love child we all crave in our loins (especially given the chaotic state of affairs in a post-2016-election world), and each track delivers a distinct perspective that is just as complex as it is vibrant. It’s the kind of album that not only requires, but deserves multiple listens to really appreciate and understand the layers of meaning and excellence threaded into every drum, synth and vocal. With rock legends like Perry Farrell and Jet, and melodic angels like Greta Svabo Bech (most notably known for lending vocals to deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon”), the features on the album provide a beautiful smorgasbord of sounds you can appreciate with every mood and emotion. Basically, this album was worth the 4-year wait.

Liz Tillman of EDM NYC caught up with The Bloody Beetroots to discuss this musical masterpiece and to learn more about who he is as an artistic visionary. Read below!

MauroMaglione_BobRifo_20Photography Courtesy of MSO PR

EDM NYC: Were there any cultural events that inspired your new album, or was the album’s inspiration stemming from a more personal space?

Bloody Beetroots: I guess my inspiration came from the counter culture that stemmed from the Sex Pistols’ era. I called it, “The Great Electronic Swindle,” after [the Sex Pistols’]“The Great Rock-N-Roll Swindle,” I guess we’re kind of experiencing the same sort of thing.

EDM NYC: Especially after the election last year, that totally makes sense. There are several guest vocalists featured on this album, but if you could have one vocalist – dead or alive- lend their vocals to the album, who would it be and why?

Bloody Beetroots: Ooh, that’s a good question! Because this album was inspired by the Sex Pistols, to close the circle, I’d have to say Johnny Rotten would be perfect.

EDM NYC: Your live performances are so unique, primarily because of the high energy you exude on stage. Is there a power-food or power-snack you require on tour to keep your energy up?

Bloody Beetroots: I eat lots of proteins and I train a lot. Basically every day I work out. I’ve been doing boot camp. We’re not trying to educate, but we’re trying to let fans know if you want to go to a Bloody Beetroots show, you have to be well trained. I eat well and I try to stay as healthy as possible. Chicken is a good source of protein; but everything that has proteins, even vegetables, are more than welcome in my world.

EDM NYC: In the “Church Of Noise,” who is the Pope?

Bloody Beetroots: I guess I am the pope!

EDM NYC: Haha, I like that answer. Both you and album vocal feature, Perry Farrell, have expressed your frustration with the electronic music scene of today. In your opinion, what is one thing that either artists or fans need to do to shift this scene for the better?

Bloody Beetroots: Well, the funny thing is that electronic music had the context and substance that usually the underground did, but because the underground movement doesn’t exist anymore, we need to prove ourselves on how to deliver content of substance in a pop world, which is very hard. My goal is to try to use my music to add substance and context, not be granted on harmonies, not be granted on melodies, but to do my best to express myself and express my life and tell the stories I have to tell through the music, that’s not a part of a marketing algorithm, or part of the music business. Releasing a 17-track album, which is kind of crazy nowadays to do such an operation, [the music business]doesn’t trust me, so I said, “I want to do something compact, because an album can tell a story.” It’s not all about a song, it’s about my life story over the past 4 years, and that takes time. And time is quality. I guess we need to improve ourselves on that kind of standard. To bring back the times where we create something that is solid, and something that’s going to last.

EDM NYC: Is it uncomfortable performing in leather clothing?

Bloody Beetroots: It is very uncomfortable…

EDM NYC: I like your honesty!

Bloody Beetroots: Even with the mask it’s pretty uncomfortable. But fortunately I wear the leather jacket for like, 15 minutes, so it’s okay. The mask is a little longer, but I’ve managed to do it for 10 years so it’s okay.

MauroMaglione_BobRifo_01Photography Courtesy of MSO PR

EDM NYC: If your music could change one specific thing in society right now, what would you want it to change or impact?

Bloody Beetroots: Time. I’d love to change time and the use of time because everything is super fast and quick, and that’s actually one of the drivers with the Electronic Swindle, because it belongs to a different time. I wanted to make time complete, time to pause, time to reflect, instead of going through it all that in one second. I wanted people to take time for themselves because we’re not servicing ourselves anymore. Everything is very superficial, where after 5 seconds it’s gone. So that is something I would really love to change: the use of time.

EDM NYC: Although you’re from Italy, you spent some time living in Australia years ago. What is one tourist attraction you would recommend to someone going there?

Bloody Beetroots: It’s such a beautiful country, you have to see it all! I think I went to Nimbin, which is a hip community up in the mountains. They smoke weed all day, and worked together as a community which was really inspiring- not because they smoked weed, but the way they took together the community with the sense to protect, that was pretty cool. So Nimbin is something that could be… interesting to visit.

EDM NYC: Photography is a huge passion point for you, so I’d love to know who you’re following on Instagram or any social platform to look at cool photos.

Bloody Beetroots: Platon is my favorite. I also follow my friend Alessandro Simonetti.

EDM NYC: What’s the funniest or strangest encounter you’ve ever had with a fan?

Bloody Beetroots: Ooh! Well I remember in Toronto maybe a couple years ago- maybe 4 or 5 years ago- the stage had a catwalk, and I was standing at the very end of the catwalk, and there was a girl grabbing my balls while I was screaming, and that was really quite the experience, to have a girl trying to rip out your balls from your body.

Don’t miss the Bloody Beetroots this Thursday, November 9th, at Warsaw Concerts in Brooklyn. Click HERE for tickets and information!

– Liz Tillman

Follow on Instagram: @LizTillmanNY


About Author

Liz Tillman

Entertainment marketing professional by day, electronic music lover and journalist by night. Instagram & Twitter: @liztillmanny

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