The Bloody Beetroots' Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo Discusses "The Great Electronic Swindle" and the Death of Electronic Music
In the four years since The Bloody Beetroots' last album, HIDE, quite a bit has changed not only in the electronic music scene, but for the project's mastermind Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo. Following the Chaos and Confusion tour, Sir Bob began performing under pseudonym SBCR, playing smaller, more intimate clubs and further embracing the punk roots that already dug deep underneath The Bloody Beetroots' sound. Flash forward a few years, and now, The Bloody Beetroots are getting ready to release their groundbreaking new album, The Great Electronic Swindle - a rallying cry to those who desire more our of the electronic music scene and a promise to take back control.
Not only does The Great Electronic Swindle feature some of the biggest and most diverse artists on a Bloody Beetroots album to date, but it is also easily some of Sir Bob's most aggressive, emotional and passionate work so far. Chronicling the four year gap between albums, The Great Electronic Swindle is meant to destroy barriers between the punk and electronic scenes, introducing a more genuine, honest mentality to a genre that needs it the most. Sir Bob is hellbent on giving back to this scene, and with the album dropping this Friday, October 20th and tour dates kicking off later this month, the sky is the limit.
The Bloody Beetroots will be coming through Denver, Colorado at Summit Music Hall on November 2nd. Tickets for the show (and the rest of the tour) are available now HERE. Listen to the latest single, "Crash," featuring Jason Aalon Butler below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
I want to start off by talking about your new album, The Great Electronic Swindle. The album’s title and central themes are a nod to the film, The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, which depicted the end of the Punk era. To you, what does The Great Electronic Swindle signify for the dance and electronic music scene?
TGES has the straight intention to provoke and to hopefully give a different point of view on what has become a flat scene with little artistic flair. Electronic music has been squeezed so much by the business that it’s creating its very end. TGES also intends to shed light on it to give a prospect of improvement and at the same time it’s an accusation against those fake characters whom easily occupy a stage without any responsibility and artistic honesty to the crowd. This has to come to an end.
The Great Electronic Swindle continues to push the boundaries between the electronic and punk scene. What goals did you have in mind for these songs? What would you like to see the album achieve?
My primary will was to break some barriers I had not yet considered, not just pushing the music to the ends but also infusing it with songwriting as I felt the need to express myself in words as well. I would like this album to give back the sense of “TIME.” TGES does not want to be understood in a second nor was it written quickly, it tells four years of life and by force of things; it takes more than a moment to be heard properly. Nothing more than that.
Emotionally and lyrically, was there anything you wanted to explore with the album that you haven’t been able to touch on before?
I believe I tried to study myself through the eyes of all the people who have collaborated on TGES. Everyone has been empathetically catapulted into my life to give voice to a story. That was both challenging and fantastic. For the first time in the TBB path, lyrics were as important as the music.
The Great Electronic Swindle features some of the biggest and most diverse guest vocalists on a Bloody Beetroots album to date. What do you hope these guest artists will bring to the album and the message that you wanted to put forth?
I guess all the vocalists involved in TGES will be an excellent catalytic element. That said, I did not look for it but instead I chose the voices of this record based on a close bond of friendship, a natural process of creation built on empathy.
You’ve released a few songs from the album so far, most recently “Crash” featuring Jason Butler. I feel like this is one of your most aggressive sounding songs so far - how do you feel Jason’s vocals and his personality helped the song to shape the energy and message of the song?
Without Jason, “Crash” would be a useless song. He’s such a gentle and sweet guy and it was quite incredible to see him turning into another being when he started screaming on the microphone. His soul has giant proportions and the message comes very loud and clear.
Over the past few years, you went back to your roots a bit and wrote, recorded and performed in smaller, more intimate clubs as SBCR. Do you feel that this became a sort of catalyst to the topics and sounds that you’re now covering as The Bloody Beetroots on The Great Electronic Swindle?
The SBCR project made me understand what I wanted and did not want to do with TBB. It gave me the opportunity to research, study and to reconnect with my core fanbase. SBCR has also given me the opportunity to be fast but accurate in producing new tracks. Technique without which TGES could not see the light.
You’ve mentioned before that your photography work is a powerful outlet because visuals relate directly to the image of a song. How do you go about tying this visual aspect of your art into your live performances? What visual elements do you hope to bring to a live show alongside the music on your upcoming tour dates?
Photography is my second great passion and I think it is complementary to music. The visual aspect in my shows is very important but it is never exaggerated as I believe in the human presence and in the fact that good performances must work without too much stuff on stage. What I hope to have for the upcoming shows is an ever better presence that can communicate through my body language all my emotions. The visual aspect will be improved for every step I will make on myself, we have patience and there is always so much to learn.
"This is a people project, it belongs to all of you."
With these upcoming performances, what do you hope to provide to listeners that they might not normally receive from other electronic shows?
This is a people project, it belongs to all of you. My interaction is your interaction and the more we exchange energy the more the show will be unique and unforgettable.
The Bloody Beetroots is bringing this punk mentality back to the electronic music scene, which is something that it definitely used to have and something that it needs more of as of lately. Sonically and lyrically, how do you hope to create a dialogue and a movement of sorts within the scene?
I believe in the power of music as an excellent method of universal expression. With TGES and through TBB live, I hope to inspire other people to do the same, to squirm the foundations of a system, expressing ourselves without our own fake obligations. The rules are made to be broken and we want to break them all.
There is a strong need for music with contents to shake the masses. Music can always change the state of things and we must all work together thinking out of the box.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Take back the stolen time and listen to TGES. Thank you.