In today’s episode, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with the marvellous Ryan Bruce otherwise known as Fluff.
I’m sure many of you already know Fluff from his youtube channel “Riffs, Beards & Gear.” – If you’re not already subscribed, I highly recommend it!
Fluff is an established Musician, YouTuber and Lead Guitarist for “Dragged Under.”
Today’s episode was a lot of fun to film, Fluff shared a few horror stories from his time in the music industry!
While Fluff and his band were on tour playing for a packed house with several hundred people in the crowd. They started their final song which had a very quiet, clean and jangly guitar intro (Fluff was playing it).
there was a was an extremely intoxicated man in the front row who began shouting gear questions at Fluff which were being heard over the guitars quiet humming and the silent crowd. Ruining a serine moment of Fluff being a rock god and turning it into him being Mr. YouTuber instead.
Fluff was in a studio tracking drums with a couple of really old U87 overheads. Once they were finished the intern came over to him and asked if it was ok for her to unplug everything.
Assuming the Intern knew that the power supplies needed to be powered off before they could be unplugged from the rack and the patch bay, Fluff gave her the ok to do so.
She pulled the plug and though the monitors all you heard was a woosh. She basically smoked a pair of vintage Neumann U87s. There was dead silence for about 10 seconds before Fluff said he was going to get a coffee. – haha
We had a wonderful time listening to Fluff’s horror stories and chatting. He shared his excitement about being able to see all my books in person before telling me that having them there bothers him. – haha
Check out the full video below:
Please find a complete transcription of the interview below:
Warren: Hey everybody, hope you’re doing marvellously well. I’m sitting here with Ryan Bruce, otherwise known as, Fluff.
Ryan: How’s it going, man? Thanks for having me. Hello everybody.
Warren: Now, we had a really, really brief conversation about what we’re going to ask.
Warren: So before I ask you what were were going to ask, why are you here? What are you doing in LA, far from saying hi to me?
Ryan: Well, I’m here… I’m here for you. I came down for you Warren. No, I’m just kidding. We… My band was going to be on tour and today was supposed to be the first day of the tour.
Ryan: And it did not happen.
Warren: So supposed to be the first day of the tour.
Ryan: It was supposed to be the first day of tour, but I get to go see Horror Nights, and I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan, and we’re going to go. Me and the girlfriend are going to go to Universal Studios later today after I leave here, and it’s going to be a great time.
Ryan: Yeah. Can’t wait.
Warren: So we decided to do one of those videos. Those like a… Hmm. It’s about horrors, about horror videos, but like I know for me I’ve done some really stupid things in the music industry and made some really bad mistakes, and managed to learn from them and come out the other side.
Ryan: That’s what’s important about those.
Warren: Yes, definitely. What is your most embarrassing, do you think, experience in music in general? How broad can I be with that question?
Ryan: So that’s recording, playing-
Warren: Anything. Give me some embarrassing stories.
Ryan: Okay. I can give you multiple because boiling it down to one is a little, I don’t know. That’s a little tough. Okay. First one off the top of my head, it was that Chain Reaction here in Anaheim.
Ryan: It’s my band’s first tour. This is several years ago, and it’s the last song and it starts with a very, very quiet guitar intro that I’m playing. Right? So I’m playing it. It’s a packed house. There’s several hundred people here. The guy right in front is very, very intoxicated. Quiet guitar, clean jangly, and I hear, “Fluff! Hey man, I see you’re using the Maxon overdrive. Do you prefer that?” Right? He starts asking me gear questions, literally in the middle of the set, in the middle of the set. People next to them are like, “Shut the … shut up.” And I’m looking at him like, “Are you kidding me?” I don’t answer him.
Ryan: I don’t engage, but he is yelling gear questions in the middle of what would otherwise have been a very beautiful moment.
Warren: Okay, that’s good. That’s embarrassing more for him, though.
Ryan: It was kind of embarrassing for me.
Warren: Kind of embarrassing for a little bit.
Ryan: It really takes the wind out of your sails because you’re sitting there being Mr. Rock-
Warren: Trying to be like ‘rock god’ and-
Warren: And you became Mr. YouTube, instead.
Ryan: Yeah, that was embarrassing. It was embarrassing for me.
Warren: Alright, I’ll go with it.
Ryan: Yeah, it really takes you out of the moment.
Warren: Any more? You said you have several, after all.
Ryan: I do have several. I mean mostly, I’m thinking of a live situation. In a studio situation, I was in a studio in Seattle. We were working… Again, I don’t know, this is not really embarrassing for me per se, but it was for the intern because we were… We had mics up. We had tracked some drums that day. We had a couple of really old U87s as overheads, and the intern asked me, “Oh, can I go ahead and unplug everything?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.”
Ryan: I didn’t… I assumed she knew that she needs to power off the power supplies before she unplugs them from the rack.
Ryan: Yeah, the patch bay, and she pulls it. Through the monitors you hear…She basically smoked a pair of vintage Neumann U87s.
Ryan: And there was dead silence for about 10 seconds and were like, “Oh.” I’m like, “I’m going to get a coffee. I’ll see you later.”
Warren: See you later. Bye.
Ryan: See you later.
Warren: Yeah. Well why would she asking you?
Ryan: I don’t know.
Warren: Unless it was in your studio?
Ryan: No, no, it was not my studio. And Jason… This was at Fastback Studios, up in Seattle. My buddy Jason was running the session.
Ryan: I just…
Warren: I think you just… You looked like a grown up. You’re like somebody… “We should ask Ryan.”
Ryan: It was something for what I was recording, so basically she meant it as like “Are we done? Did we get everything we needed?” And I just, yeah. Or that’s how I took it.
Warren: It’s interesting with interns. They can be overzealous and try so hard not to do the the wrong thing that they do the wrong thing.
Ryan: Yeah, she did the wrong thing. More embarrassing stories? I don’t know, man. I’m like, what’s… I don’t get embarrassed easily. That’s the other thing. So, embarrassing stories. Can we cuss on your channel? I cuss a lot, sorry.
Warren: I can always bleep it.
Ryan: You can always bleep it?
Warren: I can always bleep you.
Ryan: Yeah. Cool. Sorry, sorry editor. Sorry about that. I cuss a lot. My bad. Embarrassing story. I’ve told the story in the past, I think on a podcast in one of my videos a very long time ago. I was playing in my high school band and basically my amp caught fire in mid set.
Ryan: Building, smoke, fire coming out of the combo because the sound guy thought it had a DI, like a bass amp would. And so basically. He used the power amp out into the board, so there was a huge impedance mismatch, and it literally was on fire while we were playing. I was 16 years old. I was horrified. And I didn’t have an amp for six months.
Warren: I’m surprised he managed to get any signal out as soon as he came out the power amp. Normally, unless you pass back into the pre amp. How did he do that?
Ryan: I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what he hooked up to even get sound.
Warren: Sounds like he hooked up maybe a small fire.
Ryan: It was really bad. And then I look over at him and he’s, he’s doing this to me, because he blamed me for some reason, I don’t know.
Ryan: Yeah, and then he refused to pay us.
Warren: Oh, God bless it.
Ryan: It was… Yeah, it was great. But it was very, very horrifying. Local show, family was there, amp’s on fire.
Warren: Okay. This is good. This is good. What about… What about in the wonderful world of YouTube?
Ryan: There’s been some…
Warren: Because I made some real howlers on YouTube.
Ryan: Yeah. I mean, okay. So at NAMM is where most of the embarrassing things happen, in relation to the YouTube. I’ve had reps that I will go up to and I will start talking to them, especially in the early days, that I’ve had conversations with and email conversations, phone conversations with. I go up to them in person and they go, “I’m sorry, can I help you?” I’m like, “Ah…” So then I have to get out my phone, or at one point with my NAMM badge, years ago I would cut out my bobblehead and have it there and they would go, “Oh, hey man! Hey, how’s it going?”
Warren: But your bobblehead and your head are pretty darn similar. You’d think there’d be… You wouldn’t actually need to point to the bobblehead. You’re like…
Ryan: You know what? I know. Another time I was walking down the aisle and a guy out of nowhere came by, and he kissed my beard.
Warren: I’m sorry. That’s-
Ryan: He kissed my beard and I was like, “Whoa, timeout.”
Ryan: And it was Eric. No, it was not. He kissed my beard. I was like, “Yo, timeout. Too far, man. Too far.” He’s like, “I’m just so excited. I didn’t think I’d meet you. I’m so excited.” I was like, “That is too far.”
Warren: It is an interesting one, isn’t it, when you’re at those kinds of events and you get lots and lots of people that have an opportunity to meet you. Of course, there’s the other experience where maybe they have commented, and you’ve responded, and maybe it’s been two or three comments, and so they now have a connection to you.
Ryan: Well, and they watch you when, you know, waking up in the morning, laying in bed, or while they’re eating their cereal in the morning so that they feel close to you.
Ryan: I understand that. But do not-
Warren: Kiss your beard?
Ryan: Do not kiss my beard, please. Yeah, don’t. Please don’t. Please don’t.
Warren: Except if it’s Eric.
Ryan: Unless it’s Eric.
Warren: Because he does have a really like … Look at that hair.
Warren: It’s always Eric and his hair. Look, he spent-
Ryan: He does have great hair.
Warren: He does have great hair, yeah. We think it’s just velcroed on.
Ryan: Wow. I can absolutely see that.
Warren: Yeah. Yeah. So what other YouTube-y things? How about, I’ll give you a little in because some of the ones that I can talk about on your channel are really messing up really badly in a video. I’ve done a few of those and not realized it, and had it uploaded.
Ryan: Oh, I’ve done all sorts of editing mistakes. One, I did not put in a video, but I did upload. Basically I filmed it replaying on my phone that actually the post went almost super viral, is I go to sit down in a chair, in a drum stool, and I didn’t realize it wasn’t tightened all the way, so it twists. I basically sit down. So I have my guitar, I’m staring at the camera, I start talking, I sit down in the seat and in one motion, I turn and fall, and go right into the wall.
Ryan: I break the outlet. I put a hole on the wall, and I am in so much pain and then I realize, “My God, the camera’s on and it’s rolling.”
Warren: Did you keep it?
Ryan: I still have it.
Ryan: I have it. It wasn’t part of the video, but I posted it on my Instagram at the time, and it was-
Ryan: It made it on to one of Jared Dines’s videos. They laughed at me, publicly-
Ryan: Which I deserved.
Warren: I was about to say, I’d like to be laughed at publicly by Jared Dines. That’s probably not a bad thing.
Ryan: When you have random people for years afterward coming up to you, reminding you of it. So whatever that is, choose your poison man.
Warren: Yes. I have plenty of people reminding me of my stupidity. Hey, well wondrous. So it was great having you down here in sunny Los Angeles.
Ryan: Thanks for having me, man. It’s cool to actually see all the books.
Warren: I know.
Ryan: Not the console… You guys thought I was going to say the console. Not the console, the books.
Warren: I mean, yeah, those are some important books to me. There’s records I’ve done. People have signed them, signed copies to me and things. So yeah, it’s fun.
Ryan: It’s cool. Also, the board is kind of cool.
Warren: Yeah. And you’ll notice that these don’t weigh anything. People are like, “Oh my God, doesn’t it press the buttons down?” Like, “No.”
Ryan: Why… Okay, can I ask you? Why do you have the stuff on here? Is it because you don’t actually use the console very much?
Warren: No, I use the console every day in all ways, shape or form. I mean, when you see it labeled like this, that’s because this is all carrying audio. So no, I use it all the time. The bus section at the top is permanently done. So you see all the lights? So when I’m busing out of there into subgroups… You see I’ve got subgroups for the drums. I got subgroups being sent to vocals. It’s permanently. I never change it. They’re all permanently going to external stuff.
Ryan: I’m going to admit this for everyone, but this actually bothers me a lot, the books.
Warren: It bothers you? Why is that?
Ryan: It bothers my… Not OCD, but it bothers my… I want to just… Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t agree at all. I don’t agree at all. They should be… They should have their own space on a bookshelf.
Warren: But the problem is then nobody could see them.
Ryan: You could see them. You could see the spines of them, as a bookshelf was designed, Warren.
Warren: He’s a bookshelf aficionado.
Ryan: I am.
Warren: You are bookshelf aficionado.
Ryan: You can make some nice bookends, SSL bookends.
Warren: Yeah, maybe. Maybe. I think what it is for me, it’s stuff that’s really important to me and inspires me.
Warren: It’s sentimental, but really a little bit like… There’s definitely some of that. I love cricket. It’s one of my favorite sports, so I’ve got an England cricket cap up there. I’ve got a cricket ball there. The cricket ball moves around over the years. But yeah, that’s an Ace Frehley strap that he gave me-
Ryan: Which is pretty damn cool. I will say.
Warren: Yeah. Ace gave me one of his guitars.
Warren: Yeah, I’ll show you.
Ryan: One of the Gibsons.
Warren: Yeah, I have a three-pickup, custom shop, Budokan guitar.
Warren: Do you want to go and grab it, Eric?
Warren: Van Halen gave me a guitar. I have an Eddie Van Halen guitar signed as well. Yeah, I mean these…
Ryan: You don’t ever see that on the channel. It just sits in a back.
Warren: Well, you know, it’s just like you sort of… I don’t know.
Ryan: No, I get it. I get it.
Warren: I’m sort of like with me, with the channel, it’s about bringing people together. It’s not about showing the differences, but trying to bring the similarities.
Warren: 100% trying to thank you, just straight go. What do we all love? We all love music.
Ryan: You don’t rotate any guitars though?
Warren: Yeah, maybe.
Ryan: I have a storage locker full of guitars and amps and I try to rotate them-
Warren: I have a storage locker as well.
Ryan: And use some of them when I can. I feel bad. I don’t know.
Warren: I think it’s important to me though to celebrate things like… I love Lewitt mics. We use them all the time. They’re one of the few companies that are looking forward.
Ryan: No way. Look at this.
Warren: So I finished his first album. This should be more on your channel, this one. I finished his-
Ryan: Actually, I should wait.
Warren: Yeah, let’s do it on your channel.
Ryan: Okay. I think that’s cool. I should wait.
Ryan: We’re going to wait.
Warren: Yeah. You’re going to have to go to Ryan’s channel to see the conclusion of this.
Warren: Yeah. There you go. Double whammy.
Ryan: I’m stoked. Wow. Alright.
Warren: Are you a KISS fan then?
Ryan: No, no. Well no, I greatly respect what they have done. Ace has actually influenced a lot of people that I love. Weezer, and just everybody.
Warren: Are you a Weezer fan?
Ryan: Huge Weezer fan. Older Weezer fan. Okay. I like their older stuff, the Ric Ocasek stuff.
Ryan: Yeah. Well, he made some of the new albums as well.
Warren: He did. He did.
Ryan: Yeah. Some of those are great. I have a lot of respect for Weezer and that just… Yeah, what a great rock band.
Warren: Well, thank you so much for coming by.
Ryan: Thanks for having me, man.
Warren: We’re going to do a video on your channel now.
Ryan: Yes, we will.
Warren: This was fun. Thank you.
Ryan: Alright, man.
Warren: Alright. Have a marvellous time recording and mixing. Leave a bunch of comments and questions below. And thank you ever so much, Ryan, for stopping by here in Los Angeles.
Ryan: Yes sir.
Warren: And it wasn’t just because your tour got canceled.
Ryan: We’ll talk about that. Fluff out.
Don’t for get to check out Fluff’s Channel “Riffs, Beards & Gear” to see the second part of today’s video where I unveil the guitar that I got from Ace Frehley!