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RUIZ!

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW RUIZ! WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya mate thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge again, grab a brew and take a seat.

Introduce us to you and your musical history?

Hello, I am Hugh. Ruiz is my surname and that’s why I call myself Ruiz!. The exclamation mark was meant to distinguish me from all the other Ruizes in the world, there are a lot of us out there. It’s the Smith or Jones of the Spanish speaking world.

My musical history started as a five year old and continued in the classical world until I was sixteen and joined a Durham University student band. We were called Don’t Kick the Baby and wrote all our own tunes, an unusual thing for Durham Uni bands. We were a bit like Gang of Four, A Certain Ratio, Echo and the Bunnymen meets early Simple Minds. I still have a few demo tapes lying around. They still sound boss.

When I got to Sheeld after my A levels, I began my journey of playing in indie, post punk, funky noise makers until I ended up in obLONG. We played the main stage at Tramlines a few times, got played on 6Music and worked with the marvellous and very talented Paul Blakeman down at the much missed Club60, and also with the also very talented and lovely Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA, WorkingMen’s Club, Yard Act etc). Just as things were beginning to pick up we split up. It’s all on Spotify if you fancy a listen, etc and then came Covid and lockdown… this forced me to pull my finger out, teach myself to write and produce music, and so was born the solo artist I now am!

What was life like before music?

I don’t think I have life before music. When my parents escaped to the uk from Franco’s Spain in the late 1960s their language skills were somewhat limited so my mum basically spent all her time with me. She was a classical pianist and guitarist so we’d always have people playing music or there’d be records on. I started learning to play at the age of five… Life has always been music.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a musical path?

That’s a tough question. I would say it’s the Beatles that got me hooked. I used to play the cello and would play it on my knee pretending it was a bass guitar. Day Tripper was one of my favourites to play. I did play along to a lot of music to be fair, and was surprised when my parents let me get an electric bass when I was 13. More surprising to the very young me was that basses are tuned differently to cellos…

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the music industry?

Being based in Sheffield, and it being an urban village when it comes to music, I’ve met a lot of amazing musical people over the years I’ve been living here. If you take Reverend and the Makers as an example, they’ve been going for around 20 years now, their greatest success has only been relatively recent. As Jon McClure has done, you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and not take criticism personally. We all have an opinion, who care’s what others say as long as you believe in yourself, all is possible. Follow your dreams.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

As a foetus, on several occasions, I spend a good few hours in close proximity to the Beatles.

My first gig was seeing Siouxsie and the Banshees at Preston Guild Hall when me and my mates escaped from a Boarding School in Lancashire for the evening.

I once went on a bender with Robbie Williams when he first left Take That which ended up with us consuming far too much Guinness, and narrowly avoiding getting into trouble with the Police.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

I would love to get this album out in vinyl, and to do some live shows to promote it, with enough funding to do it well. I’d love to play festivals, on radio etc, and industry support would be good with a slot on Jules Holland etc.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss…

It’s not really something I’ve thought about before. If people are actually listening to me to the extent that they’re take something so seriously to cancel me then I’d have been doing something right.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

Of course I do. How did the planes crash into the Twin Towers if it wasn’t an inside job?!! There are some that are more credible than others obviously. Did Hitler really take his own life? Why did we not find his body?

What was the worst experience on stage?

Not being able to hear myself is my biggest fear. That’s happened a few times in my life. I think my worst stage experience and regret is maybe when I was very much younger than today, the band I was in had sent a demo-tape out to around 30 record companies, majors and Indies. We had a manager and we’d been offered a publishing deal. He organised a showcase gig and they all turned up to watch us. We (mostly me…) got so drunk before the gig that it was a complete disaster. They say first impressions count… They really do.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? Although I don’t look it, I am 3/4s Catalan (Spanish) and 1/4 Cuban.

What are the next steps you plan to take as a band to reach the next level?

It’s definitely to get a band together and perform Ruiz! Live. I’ve written a lot of new songs, so getting the next album finished has to be on the cards too.

What’s your thoughts on Elon Musks contribution to the world?

Elon Musk is definitely a cunning businessman. He’s revolutionised the electric vehicle world and started the private Space Race, which I think is pretty cool. His purchase and complete takeover of X (fka Twitter) was a bit rubbish. He’s very wealthy and seems to do whatever he wants. He’s not someone I’ve really given too much mind space to.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yes, Bedswervers and Dilettantes is my second album and contains my last six singles and a further seven previously unreleased ones. They’re all songs written over the last few years, and are mostly songs lyrically inspired by my subconscious and various failing relationships. It’s a very personal collection of music which I’m really proud of, and I really hope people love it too. It’s rich mix of electronica, synths, guitars and lots of harmonies.

It should appeal to fans of Depeche Mode, New Order, Ride, Super Furry Animals, Radiohead and Beatles to name but a few.

What was the recording process like?

It was literally me sitting in the tiny office room in my house in Sheffield. I created musical noises until I had something I liked and worked. Then a lot of tweaking commenced to hone the noises and lyrics into the songs that make up the album. I have to give a lot of thanks and credit to my amazing kind and talented buddy, Paul Galpin, who patiently mixed the album.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Compared to the songs on Mind Games, my first album, the tunes on Bedswervers are simpler in their construction. I tried to keep it all as simple as possible with playing them live in mind.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

No. I am really pleased with it to be honest, and proud. I am really chuffed with it as a piece of art.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

The album will be available on all the usual streaming channels and you can purchase a copy from my website and Bandcamp site. I will also be doing some gigs, keep a lookout. Keep on keeping on!

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