Interview with EUGENE RIPPER
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
There were two key developments. In the beginning, when I was a kid, my aunt Sophia took me to some folk festivals. She was super into the scene and I was interested so she brought me along - a few annual trips to the Mariposa Festival. This is where the seeds were sown for my love of acoustic music, roots music and storytelling. Some years later – on my own – I discovered the first wave of punk rock - The Clash, DOA, The Ramones and all the rest. My creative life changed forever once exposed to the energy, the spirit of inclusiveness, social awareness and DIY ethos of that scene.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I read as much as possible…and for sure, this is a big influence on my creative process…lyrics and storytelling are a top line element in my creative offering… I like hanging around with words - reading is like a creative fuel for me…giving me additional energy to power the work.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in Toronto now but have also lived, for extended periods of time, in Vancouver, Halifax and New York City. To that point, for me, environment is an major influence but in different ways depending on the situation. Toronto (like New York) for example, is a big bustling international city and the energy of the city seems to kick my butt into a higher gear when it comes to being industrious and getting things done to care of the business behind the scenes, behind the music.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I have many favourite places. I generally like venues that feel like music – authentic music rooms. I know that sounds a bit cryptic…but there is a feeling…I just know it when walk into a space. For example, walk into Carnegie Hall in NYC …and there it is…feel it in my bones it’s all about music! So I guess that stage would be in my dream scenario… but closer to the current reality of my life and creative world there is a wee small pub in the highlands of Scotland in Inverness…it’s called The Market Bar…it’s tiny joint…but it’s got that same certain feeling…I walk in there …as solo artist…and just exhale…I’m home.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Keep your eye on the donut not the hole, be nice to people, look sharp, don’t forget to breathe and always try to hit the stage like it’s the last chance you’ll ever have to do it again.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think the songs I’m working on right now are probably the most meaningful as they are just so alive and in need of attention.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I try to take the long view and keep the creative process as part of my life on a daily basis… make an appointment with myself every day to work at the craft - stay in creative shape in some way…pay the day in some way.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
I try to share of my some of my impressions of life on earth and the rich pageant that come with it - for better and worse and everything in between. I also try to present this stuff I put together in an entertaining way and hopefully connect with somebody’s sense of humanity in some way.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m promoting a new single “Folk Song 3000” and launching a tour in Toronto on Sat Sept 23 – The tour will take me across Canada, into Europe and UK.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?