Interview with Ryan "Fluff" Bruce
Ryan "Fluff" Bruce is an American producer/engineer and content creator for his YouTube channel "Riffs, Beards & Gear." He also works as an A&R rep for Joey Sturgis Tones.
How and when did you get started?
I started playing guitar when I was about 14 years old in 1995. I was in various bands growing up. I gave all that up, got a desk job, and making YouTube videos for fun in really late 2010. Eventually, the videos kind of got around and the rest, as they say, is history.
What have you been working on lately (that you can divulge)?
My band Rest, Repose is currently writing and demoing new material for a new full-length album for 2019.
If you were the age that you originally started today, and you had to start again from scratch, how would you approach things?
Honestly, I don't know if I would even start, YouTube is so saturated with guitar playing channels that do the whole "what if Metallica tuned up" and stuff like that, I am not sure I would even give it a go. I originally just started posting videos out of my own blind naivety so maybe that would happen again? Who knows.
What is the most important part of a song for you?
The Chorus hook. Ya gotta have that hook, otherwise what's the point of the song?
What is your favorite project that you've worked on?
The first Rest, Repose EP was a really special time of just putting music together in a sweaty room and jamming everything out as a band, that time will always be really close to my heart. Another one is mixing the big Rob Scallon videos like Banjo Slayer and Metal In Inappropriate places. So much fun!
Who is an artist you would like to work with but haven’t been able to yet?
I would love to do SOMETHING with Ghost or Mastodon. Whether that be a tour, or record with, or just get bagels on their breaks. I'm into it haha.
Are you a big plugin user? If so, name some of your favorites!
Oh man, yes I sure am. Oeksound Soothe, Slate VMR of course. Let's see, ummm all the Eventide stuff is grossly underrated, JST Clip, Bus Glue, Line 6 Helix Native, Eiosis EQ, FabFilter, man I could go on a while. Plugins are like shoes, different things for different purposes.
What is one thing that you can't get your sound without? Hardware, software or whatever else.
When I am tracking guitars and bass, I really feel like my Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay basses are a huge part of a given mix. They just have that perfect thumpy yet cutting quality I just love.
Who are some of your favorite producers & engineers today?
I'm old so a lot of the guys I really love are maybe not super familiar to the younger crowd. Andy Wallace mixes like how I think a record should sound. His mixes are just so amazing. Andrew Scheps, CLA, Josh Wilbur are all my dudes I really really enjoy.
What advice would you give to those new to the game?
To really be the best that you can be, don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Focus on you, and success will come.
Outside of your day job, what music have you been listening to lately?
A LOT of Ghost. A LOT. Every Time I Die, John Mayer, DeadMau5, Katy Perry. I am kind of all over the place.
p>Big thanks to Fluff for answering our questions! You can check out his Band Rest, Repose's latest album in the Spotify playlst, and take a tour of his home studio in the video below.