Check out the full interview HERE!
I’ve had my share of hosting interviews.
From experts in their field to those just getting their feet wet and everything in between. I’ve found it pretty remarkable how much I can learn about my interviewees based on how elaborate (or lack thereof) they answered the questions. Ohio-born, Chicago-based techno and house DJ Rü was no different! Since quitting his job and pursuing music three years ago, Andrew (a.k.a Rü) had battled through discomfort, fear, and self-sabotage to get to a point where he’s learned to “appreciate all the little milestones, no matter how insignificant they are” in his expedition in the electronic music realm. He didn’t spare any details when answering some pretty personal questions about his childhood, his journey, and some of the coolest moments he had been able to experience. Let’s get into it!!
All artists couldn’t get to where they are if it wasn’t for the love, loyalty, and support from their fans.
Rü, what had been some of your favorite experiences with your fans thus far?
“Dude honestly, one of the coolest things about throwing parties and just Dj-ing is seeing the effect my music immediately has on people! So I used to do stand-up comedy, I was bad, but I did stand-up comedy for a hot minute and there’s just something so amazing about a laugh or in this case with music, getting people to say “f**** this song is dope!” and you just can’t exchange that for anything! The longer that people stay on the dance floor and are just into the stuff that you’re playing; every second they’re there is the biggest compliment.”
When you play at your parties or play in general do you have a go-to song to pump everyone up and a track to chill everyone out?
“When I first started DJ-ing at seventeen, or whatever, I’ve always been into Diplo and when He and Low Budget had a Hollertronix party in Philly and there’s this record that I have “The Almighty Simon John” and it’s a remix of a Paul Simon song as a Baltimore club thing, and dude it just slapped SOO hard and when I first started DJ-ing, I would always love dropping that track. Now there’s a song that’s a completely different vibe called “Afterparty Planet” by Mija and Billy Kenny.”
Now I’ll ask some personal questions so your audience can really get to know you. As we know, you now live in Chicago, but where were you born? How old are you? What’s your sign? What’s your CC number? I’m joking please don’t tell me that, but tell me about yourself!”
“I’m 33, so I’m old as f***. I feel it in my bones. I’m originally from this small town in Ohio called Tiffin but actually, I’m from an even smaller community called Green Springs. My father does many things, but he’s mainly a farmer and my mom was the CEO for a bunch of nursing homes. So basically, I’m from the middle of nowhere in Ohio, and it’s sad to say but my first CD is Ace of Bass, and their record was called “The Sign”. My sister and I fought over it because we had to buy it collectively with our allowance money, so then we had to share the CD so we got into SOOO many fights that my dad broke it in half. He literally went biblical with it and broke it in half. So anyway, I had a friend that was really into technical guitar playing and I looked up to him so much because I was a guitar player but I wasn’t good but he was really into “Dream Theatre” which is a super progue metal band. So on Napster, something was labeled “Dream Theatre” and it wasn’t a virus but someone renamed something so it actually wasn’t “Dream Theatre” the band, but it was the song “Dream Theatre” by Infected Mushrooms and I had downloaded a bunch of stuff from them (the person who uploaded the file) and that sh** slapped and I was just like “holy sh** this is sick” but that was my first actual run-in with electronic rave music.
Did your parents support your choice in becoming a musician?
“yeah! They helped me set up my equipment when I played at parties and underground events.”
Did you have a life-defining moment that majorly impacted who you are as a person and/or as a musician?
“So full shout out to Gramaphone records. Best record store anywhere in the world, TurnTableLabs is a close second for electronic music at least. I went in there (Gramaphone records) so much that I made a PowerPoint about why they should hire me. Eventually, they were the first people to sell my record! Then I went to TurnTableLabs in New York and was like “hey, TurnTableLabs, I just released a record, can you sell it?” and they asked me if I was local and I said no, and their response was “bummer, because we only take records on consignment from local artists”. I literally flew to New York to drop off my record, and when they said no I went to their headquarters and was like “look dudes, you guys were mad influential that I became a DJ and the way that I developed as a human, and I don’t give a sh** if you guys don’t sell the record. I just want you to have a copy” and now they have a copy!”
So to wrap this up, I want to say I think you’ve done amazing during this interview. Like honestly, I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend vs. an interview so truly, thank you for taking the time out of your day to have this conversation with me and really explain and elaborate your perspectives and artistry. My last question for you is…
Do you have anything else that you would like to say to our wonderful audience today?
“There’s a poem that really spoke to me and really grounded me, and it’s the idea that pain is your best teacher. I was reading a lot of Buddism at the time when I was in the hospital (earlier we had talked about his hospitalization, but out of respect for Ru and his privacy, I won’t mention why or his reasons) and one day it all clicked for me. Your suffering is your teacher. So I will say this for anyone that is pursuing their dreams and doing what they want to do. Firstly, don’t try to be comfortable. Don’t actively try to make yourself uncomfortable, but there are things that you’re going to have the option to do that quite frankly, will make you uncomfortable. Trial by fire, and there is no growth in safety. Next, don’t have a backup plan. This is directly from Travis Barker, not from me, but literally, just DO. IT. You can stop at any point and get a bullsh** job, no one is making you do this. Thing is that there are moments where it does suck. I spend so many more moments being anxious, and uncomfortable but I’m happier overall because I AM doing this versus being comfortable and having the opposite effect. Signing up for any creative endeavor you’re not signing up for the easy way. One thing that I can say definitively is that you really got to learn to ACCEPT in order to continue to struggle is the acceptance of the struggle. It’s very possible that you’re going to suck, but you know, at least you TRIED and now know that you suck versus living in the unknown and not knowing if you’re good or not. That’s all I got to say”.
As stated in the beginning, I’ve had my fair share of interviews, but nothing as eye-opening and philosophical as the one I had with Ru. Catch the entire interview here and have your mind be blown too!