Domestic Groove: LEONARDO RINGO

DOMESTIC GROOVE ~ Celeb’s Chosen Nine is my biweekly column in The Beat (Jakarta) mag. Basically it’s an interview via e-mail which focuses on small, intimate, domestic stuff; what Indonesia’s public figures are really into.

For the 30th edition I went upclose-and-personal with Leonardo Ringo.

Singer, Songwriter, Music Producer

What music are you into at the moment?
Well, up to now, releases from Stax and Motown Records have always been my personal favors. I’m still hooked on to the 70s, my mind is amused by Pink Floyd and David Bowie. There’s also stuff from Tom Waits, Buzzcocks, Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Joni Mitchell that I put in my iPod, next to my revived swing jazz collection, and lots of originals. Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Louis Prima and lots more… I just press “shuffle” and there you go…

What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
The first record I bought was Aerosmith’s Pump. For a kid like me, the album cover was amazing. I didn’t think twice and bought it instantly, and also I didn’t even care what the hell Aerosmith was haha… Thank goodness that album is great!

What are your all-time favorite albums? Why?
I can’t name them all. There are too many. I guess they’re Tom Waits’ Closing Time, The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s The Dirty Boogie, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Stone Flower to Napalm Death’s Scum haha… Too many… My personal wish after buying a record is that the album will actually speak to me, with our own secret lingo, if it’s a good one. If it doesn’t say a thing, then, to the toilet it must go.

What was the worst record you ever purchased?
The worst record I ever bought was Nuno Bettencourt’s solo album. I forgot what the title was. I cant even remember why I hated it. Too ugly to remember. But the worst album somebody ever gave me was a Tiesto album. Haha, come on, Tiesto?

Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
I guess I wanna reincarnate as my dad. I wanna buy little Leo a guitar, and a drum kit, and let him be what he wants to be when he grows up.

What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)? Borrow or buy?
There’s this book titled “Friendly Fire” written by Julia Sweig. It’s a political book about the anti-America movement. I got this thing towards politics. The other is “Love is a Dog From Hell” by Charles Bukowski, one of the Beat Generation’s grandmaster. Poems in it are mostly satirical composition. Love it. It’s a 10 for sure.

What new movie should people see? Why?
I dunno about new movies, but I never get tired watching “The Usual Suspects” over and over again. Bryan Singer is a genius! Theres another, dunno whether this is a new one or not. It’s Ricky Gervais’ “Cemetery Junction”. A typical Brit-movie, you’ll laugh your ass off, but you could go either way, you could drown in tears.

What album do you choose to start your weekend?
During this period I usually play Chuck Berry’s St. Louis to Liverpool out loud while doing my air-guitar around my house, and sometimes while washing my car. Well, it’s the weekend… Haha.

And album you choose to end your weekend?
To end it, it’s time for Tom Waits’ Closing Time or Terry Callier’s What Color is Love. A perfect getaway car!

A man of many talents, Leo is currently preparing his Singapore gig sometime in the near future. Other than gigs and prep for his 2nd album, he’s also doing some minor directing. He’s made one video for himself “Blatant” and he did Sore’s “Silly Little Thing”. Next one is L’alphalpha’s video.

He’s also producing two artists. The first one is Popzzle, a vocal group singing children songs wrapped in swing jazz music. The other is Roofers, a new breed, Jakarta’s upcoming band, a mixture between The Strokes and Waljinah. Both are still in the production room.


*This interview was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #54, Dec 25-Jan 08, 2011
*Photos by: Dimas Wisnuwardono and Andreas Pardede

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