With a clenched fist raised high in the air, The Bloody Beetroots has continuously revolutionized electronic music for more than a decade. Commanding a creative lane all its own, The Bloody Beetroots operates as a multi-layered concept that unfolds like an art project and encompasses original punk-fueled dance music, in-demand remixes, high-end visuals and graphics, fashion, photography and riveting live performances.
At the core of The Bloody Beetroots universe lives Italy-born, Los Angeles-based founder Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, a modern-day multi-hyphenate who operates as the act’s primary producer, songwriter, musician, DJ and mastermind. Inspired by his lifelong love of punk rock and comic books—the artwork of legendary Italian comics author/illustrator Tanino Liberatore and the Venom-inspired black masks Rifo dons onstage remain constant in the act’s visual aesthetic—Rifo unleashed The Bloody Beetroots in late 2006. Since then, he’s crafted an intense sound unlike any other: Mixing Rifo’s background as a classically trained musician, his punk rock obsession and his burning passion for electronic music, The Bloody Beetroots’ edgy rock-meets-dance hybrid sound pummels you like a punch in the face or a brutal kick to the stomach.
That fluid style has come to define the act’s versatile aesthetic throughout its discography, which includes three full-length albums, multiple EPs and compilations, numerous remixes, and a string of high-profile collaborations, in addition to prominent music synchs in film, TV and video games. It’s also solidified Rifo as a visionary artist and a true counterculture icon for the rave generation. In a world drowning in uninspired artists and cookie-cutter noise, Rifo stands out as the self-proclaimed black sheep of electronic music on a mission to
challenge the status quo.
“Being different is my approach to life and my approach to music,” Rifo says. “Everything I do, I do it with a punk attitude, which is ‘no fucks given.’ That’s been the modus operandi of The Bloody Beetroots for the last 15 years. I do whatever I want to do. I'm completely free.”
The Bloody Beetroots first exploded on the scene via its 2009 critically acclaimed, commercially successful breakout debut album Romborama (Dim Mak Records). Mixing elements of electro, acid house, alternative hip-hop, industrial, noise and boatloads of punk attitude, Romborama remains one of the defining electronic releases of the 2000s era. The album is led by the iconic track “Warp 1.9,” featuring dance music legend Steve Aoki, which is largely credited as one of the tracks that helped launch the American EDM boom at the end of the aughts. A definitive song of the late 2000s electro age, “Warp 1.9,” which is recognized as one of the 101 Best EDM Songs of All Time by Thump ( Vice ), this year celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a limited-edition vinyl and digital release.
In 2013, The Bloody Beetroots followed up with his sophomore album, Hide (Ultra Music). A crossover project with big ambitions and even bigger sounds, Hide enlists a roster of rock icons and alternative stars, including: the inimitable Sir Paul McCartney, alongside producer Youth, on “Out of Sight” ; guitar god Peter Frampton, talk box and all, on “The Beat” ; Mötley Crüe founding member and drummer Tommy Lee; R&B singer Theophilus
London; P-Thugg of Chromeo; and synthpop artist Sam Sparro, among others. With one foot in rock arenas and the other on the dance floor, Hide ultimately “breaks barriers between electronic subgenres and rock radio” ( Consequence of Sound ) and marries Rifo’s two musical worlds like never before. Following Hide , Rifo put The Bloody Beetroots project on a temporary hiatus as he launched into his next creative chapter as SBCR (Saint Bass City Rockers) in early 2015. As his more experimental and underground-minded outlet, SBCR saw Rifo fully exploring the contemporary international electronic scene. In addition to worldwide DJ sets and tours as SBCR, Rifo released a three-part EP series via Dim Mak between 2015 and 2016, which includes SBCR & Friends Vol.1 , SBCR & Adversaries Vol.2 and SBCR & Punks Vol.3 and encompasses everything from house and techno to electro and glitch.
“SBCR was a different chapter of my career. It was an incubator for me… to see what might grow when I have no guidelines." Rifo explains. “I've been evolving for the last 14 years, and I want to keep evolving. If you don't evolve, you die. That's why I'm continuously transforming, building and evolving something under The Bloody Beetroots concept. I don't want to play it safe—I want to be an outsider. You can't be a pioneer without pissing off a few people.” In 2017, Rifo revived The Bloody Beetroots via his third full-length album, The Great Electronic Swindle (Last Gang). Named after The Sex Pistols’ renowned 1980 film and album The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle , The Great Electronic Swindle continues The Bloody Beetroots’ electronic-rock narrative and sees Rifo collaborating with Jane's Addiction founder and frontman Perry Farrell, alongside superstar drummer Tommy Lee, on the politically charged “Pirates, Punks & Politics” and Australian rock band JET on lead
single “My Name Is Thunder,” the latter of which reached Billboard ’s Mainstream Rock National Airplay chart. The album also includes collaborators from deep within the rock world, including Gallows, Anders Friden of In Flames, Leafar Seyer of Prayers, Deap Vally and many others.
Rifo enters 2019 with the release of the highly anticipated Heavy EP, his first major project as The Bloody Beetroots in almost two years. Set for release June 14 via AWAL, Heavy sees Rifo unplugging the rock amps and heading back to the dance floor as he revisits his classic electro style. The five-track EP includes collaborations with next-generation artists like Ephwurd, on the riotous lead single “Wildchild,” and Dr. Fresch, on the thumping electro house cut “Fkn Face,” in addition to three new Bloody Beetroots solo originals. “For Heavy , I wanted to detach from rock and go back to the club scene,” Rifo says of Heavy . “It’s unpretentious, direct club music, throwing back to The Bloody Beetroots’ electro days, but with a contemporary sound and still punk as fuck.” As a live unit, The Bloody Beetroots is one of the most engaging and exhilarating acts in electronic music, with Rifo, always concealing his identity behind a mask and clad in leather, thrashing alongside audiences across intimate clubs and international festival stages. Rifo has continuously experimented with The Bloody Beetroots live show throughout the years to reflect the project’s ever-evolving musical identity and visual aesthetic. From one-man DJ sets (as The Bloody Beetroots DJ Set and SBCR) to full-band live shows (as The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 and The Bloody Beetroots Live), which feature live guitars, pianos, vocals, drums, synthesizers, and more, Rifo has done it all and continues to push his boundary-breaking vision into the future. Via his various Bloody Beetroots live and DJ setups, Rifo has performed at virtually every major music festival around the world, including Coachella, Primavera Sound, Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, Summer Sonic, Sziget, Governors Ball, Montreux Jazz and many others, in addition to headlining several solo tours. His versatility as a performing unit allows Rifo the flexibility to move in and out of clubs and festivals with tenacity and authenticity. To this day, The Bloody Beetroots remains the only act in the world that can play a rave in the desert in one day and incite mosh pits at a rock festival the next. In 2019, The Bloody Beetroots is confirmed to perform at leading international festivals, including Mind Festival (Italy), Up and Down Festival (Australia), World DJ Festival (South Korea) and many others.
With new music in tow, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo now enters the next chapter in The Bloody Beetroots’ timeline as he looks ahead to what the future holds for him and his always-developing vision. “The new music I create is always going to make me think about the next stage of The Bloody Beetroots,” Rifo reflects. “I can’t predict what that’ll sound like right now, but this moment in The Bloody Beetroots is bringing back lots of memories and is giving me a new future to see. This is a long journey, and I'm not at the end yet—I still have a lot to say.”
—John Ochoa, May 2019