Interview: Victor Ruiz – From São Paulo to Berlin
São Paulo native Victor Ruiz is fast becoming a household name on the techno circuit, remixing artists such as Moby, Stephan Bodzin and Dubfire, as well as playing some of the biggest venues and electronic music festivals in the world.
Now based in Berlin, Ruiz plays Dublin’s 39/40 tonight (29 March), while his first release on the seminal Drumcode label, Nimbus, will be released on 12 May.
909originals caught up with him to discuss the influence of heavy metal on his sound, Brazil’s place in the techno landscape, and the atmosphere he seeks to create through his music.
Q. How did you first get in to music – I understand you were in a rock band originally?
From day one I was into rock and roll and heavy metal, because of my brother’s influence. We used to sleep in the same bedroom when I was a kid, and the soundtrack for bedtime was Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, ACDC, Led Zeppelin and so on. Also, my mom was into The Beatles and this band became one of my biggest influences.
Q. What was the ‘turning point’ that made you get into electronic music – was it a particular record, a radio show, an album, a night out?
It was Daft Punk’s Around The World. The first time I saw the video clip on MTV, it blew my mind. It was such a simple song, yet so creative and new.
That was the very first time I was impressed by electronic music and it got my attention for real.
Q. Brazil is home to a number of high-profile techno producers – Gui Boratto, Renato Cohen etc – yet the country isn’t considered a ‘home’ for techno. Why do you think this is?
Brazil doesn’t have a big techno culture, if you compare to other countries. I’d say now the genre is getting more popular and more clubs, parties and festivals are embracing the sound and pushing it a bit further, which I think is fantastic.
Unfortunately, the big mass of people just want the ‘easy sound’ and something more popular, so maybe that’s why the country isn’t considered a ‘home’ for Techno, even though we have one of the best Techno clubs in the world: Warung Beach Club.
Q. You have cited everyone from Johnny Cash to Dubfire to Slipknot to Justice as influences… do you think this has influenced the direction you have taken your music?
Of course! I basically don’t listen techno at home, so all the major influences of my work come from every single band and artist that I listen to. I absorb and try to translate it all into my music.
If you pay attention, my tracks will always have some element(s) that are quite different from the others. That’s because of my influences. I don’t think like an ‘electronic’ artist.
Q. How long have you lived in Berlin? What to you is special about the city?
I moved to Berlin in May 2018, so almost a year now. If you visited Berlin, you will know. For those who haven’t yet, Berlin is one of the most artistic cities that I’ve ever been to.
There are so many artists living here, and not just musicians. It overflows with culture and history. So much has happened here. I can’t even describe, you have to come and experience it.
Q. Are there any artists making music today that particularly inspire you?
Most of the music that I listen to is from old bands and artists, but the ones that are still making amazing music are Nine Inch Nails, Apparat, Foo Fighters, Owl Company, Massive Attack, Bart Skils, Enrico Sangiuliano, Wehbba and Thomas Schumacher.
Q. What can we expect from your gig in Dublin?
I’m very excited to play in Dublin for the very first time. All of my DJ friends and colleagues told me that the Irish are one of the best crowds in the world, so I’m looking forward to it!