November 12 2013
The Italian electro punkers get a musical education from Paul McCartney on their new album. Bob Cornelius Rifo prefers the synthesizer to the electric guitar and wears a black comic-book-hero mask at his gigs. The music he produces as The Bloody Beetroots is punk for the new millennium. It’s energetic, you can dance to it and it’s heavier than most rock songs. In 2009, the 35-year-old Italian scored his first hit with the track Warp 1.9 alongside Steve Aoki. He now has more than a million fans on Facebook and spends time in the recording studio with Tommy Lee, Peter Frampton and Paul McCartney. Yes, you read that right: the former Beatle recorded his first ever electro banger for The Bloody Beetroots’ second album, Hide.
How did you get Paul McCartney to sing on your new album? 'Out of Sight' is a cover of a song by McCartney’s band 'The Fireman', isn’t it?
“The story is pretty simple. I was in the studio with Youth from Killing Joke who is also the other half of The Fireman. He asked me, Bob, who would you like to work with on your new album? I told him that Paul McCartney’s one of my favourites. So Youth sent me the parts of a song by The Fireman [Nothing Too Much Out of Sight] and said, see what you can do. You need to know, my credo is: destroy to create. And that's exactly what I did. I changed the melodies and the rhythm. Paul loved it. It was him who decided to sing on my version of the song and to invite me to his studio. That was a pretty crazy adventure.”
In an interview you once said, I use the music of the present to create the sound of the future. What does that mean?
“What I've been trying to do with this album is to build a bridge between the old and the new generation. We tend to forget history as everything is moving so fast these days. My new album makes that very clear: Life is all about breaking down barriers and expanding your knowledge.”
Is the album title a reference to your mask?
“Absolutely. The choice of the mask is due to a need to let the music speak for itself. Through the mask I have an identity but I am unidentifiable at the same time. I express myself through music, not through some bullsh*t.”
Your new mask is heavily decorated with LEDs. Can you see anything on stage?
“I’m totally blind when the lights are on. It's pretty crazy, but it's a new challenge. It's like playing blindfolded, so I have to be really careful and focussed on what I am doing. It's kind of crazy, but I can handle it.”
EDM has become a phenomenon over the past few years and you’re at the forefront of this movement. How did you experience the ascent of electronic music in the United States?
“On one hand it's a good thing that dance music is so popular these days but on the other side loads of artists jump on the bandwagon and make that kind of music to be successful, not because they love it. EDM is just a term created by the industry to make money basically. When Americans bring something, they do it f**king big. They do it all the time, think about Italian restaurants, man.”
The Bloody Beetroots 'Hide' album is out now!
Via Red Bull