September 10 2013
Fast forward to 2013, and The Bloody Beetroots is still here – with an Australian tour earlier this year confirming that he’s still as visceral as ever. On the verge of releasing his album 'Hide', the hype has been amplified by an incoming appearance at the colossal Stereosonic – a gig which he describes as both “a pleasure and an honour.”
While Rifo has become a frontrunner in the dance department, to write him off as just another ‘EDM’ act would be borderline criminal. There’s not many producers who can say that they’ve collaborated and toured with hardcore punk pioneers like Dennis Lyxzén of The Refused, and Rifo notes that this constant boundary-pushing has given him longevity in the game. “I think at this moment we’ve reached a point where many artists are the same, but of course there’s many that created their own sound, but many are alike. I’ve been around for six years now as The Bloody Beetroots, and that means I have something to say… In six years, people change so fast.”
Indeed, with upcoming album Hide, Rifo adds even more eyebrow-raising collaborators – including Tommy Lee, Paul McCartney and Peter Frampton. While fans of The Bloody Beetroots may only be familiar with the likes of Frampton from his hilarious appearance on The Simpsons, such collaborations are indicative of Rifo’s intent of “bringing musicians together, the past and the present to create the sound of the future.” Motley Crue member Tommy Lee seems to have made a particular impression on Rifo. “He’s a great drummer, and the energy that he adds to music is super-powerful and crazy… Tommy is very versatile, we ended up with something even more incredible,” he said.
With today’s current stream of formula-driven house and electro, The Bloody Beetroots has often been associated with bringing a much-needed shot of punk rock spirit into the genre. While Rifo has ’1977′ tattooed across his chest – the same year where icons like The Sex Pistols and The Clash rose to prominence – this theme is also something I discussed with Boys Noize, and is often associated with Justice and the Ed Banger collective. However, Rifo notes that his intention to “make the music speak” is intensely personal. “I do what I want to do, when I want to do it… Punk to me means not being hard all the time, but being pure all the time. Punk is drastically and emotionally linked to my life,” he proclaimed.
Rifo is one who clearly someone who takes his art very seriously, and amongst the venomous mask, the rambunctious stage shows and mysterious aura surrounding the man, it was nice to hear him explore a more human side too. I heard that Rifo enjoys listening to Bach while cooking, and his tone immediately lightened when I asked him his signature dish. “I’m very well known for my tuna pasta. It takes me hours and hours to do, it’s very complicated. If you have a chance to ask Tommy Lee to talk about my pasta, he’ll tell you everything about my pasta,” he chirped. Aside from the album and relentless touring, he’ll also find time to “go home with family for Christmas time. I really need a break now, I’ve been touring non-stop for six years… I will do the ‘Harold Holt’, as you say in Australia.”
For those waiting for The Bloody Beetroots’ album Hide and an appearance at Stereosonic, Rifo leaves a simple message: “Expect the unexpected.”
By Christopher Kevin Au at Pagesdigital