Music photographer Alex Ruffini has worked with stars such as Dokken, Eric Sardinas, Bonfire, Antiproduct, House Of Shakira, L.A. Guns, Duff McKagan and Loaded, Hardcore Superstar, Paul DiAnno, Richie Kotzen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Stevie Salas, among many others. He has been acknowledged by international magazines, such as Guitar Player (USA), Muen Magazine (USA), Scandinavian Tattoo (SWE), Sandman (UK), Tattoo Energy (UK and Italy), Freewey Magazine (IT), Power Play (UK), and more.
Interview With Photographer
March 6, 2015
By Londa R. Marks | Metal Music Interviews
Published By Rock Legend News, Firenze, Italy and
Tempi Dispari.it, Rome, Italy
Rock Legend News: Your photography depicts an obvious understanding of rock music and musicians. When you saw Kiss performing in Italy for the first time you were inspired by the mix of music, stage design and make-up. Would you say that your approach to photography consists of capturing what the musician is experiencing in the creative area?
Alex Ruffini: Loving music and everything visual around it, I was first “hit” through my eyes, then through my heart. I was little more than a child, so any pretty distorted guitar was good enough to turn me on, and a showing off guitar or bass player was even better to me. Kiss were my very first love, I got lucky, that is why I have always been keen on groups from abroad!
Rock Legend News: It is known that you were inspired by Ross Halfin and others but you are one of the best music photographers in the world and you have photographed the elite of rock stars with your work showcased in popular music magazines. Though you produce work at a fine art level and you capture emotion, the musician in you can be seen surfacing in your photos quite often. What is your secret?
Alex Ruffini: Can I say that Ross Halfin is a not so correct middle class guy? Neil Zlozlower is the best person, for me. What you see is what you get, even if many “colleagues” of mine describe me as a sort of Ross Halfin. You know me, so you know who I am. For the rest of the world, who cares. First thing is being a professional. You cannot allow yourself to have the star in front of your camera asking you “What am I supposed to do now?” or “What do you want me to look like now?”. Just a few minutes like this, and the star is fed up of you, so bye bye.
Rock Legend News: You are a musician too. How do you approach music?
Alex Ruffini: I have been a guitarist myself for quite a long time, I used to be in some local or foreign bands as well, but my love for photography overcame, so I made my choice: photographer! Anyway, I still have fun jamming with a few of my former and present myths. Luckily, my parents used to be music lovers, and music still means happyness to me. The Ruffini family always had lots of joy at home, we always used to listen to everything. My father loved Classical Music, while my mother was more the rock ‘n’ roll type, she used to listen to Elvis!!
Rock Legend News: Recently your photos have been exhibited at the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome, Florence and Venice. Do you have exhibitions scheduled in other countries?
Alex Ruffini: I have been invited to take part to some festivals in Northern Italy last summer, but I refused, as I did not find it a smart idea having my pics shown in a sort of beerdrinkers environment just for a few days. Photos must be enjoyed in a dignified place, on my opinion, and not only because they are MY photos. My agent is planning exhibitions in Austria, and in Berlin, Germany. This is exciting. Last week I met George Dubose, the living legend of photography, and he had a look at my pics then he said he wants them in an exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, in one of his galleries.
Rock Legend News: Your book, ’Monsters Of Rock’ contains photos of some of the most famous names in the international rock scene from Kiss to Smith, the Sex Pistols and many others, both inside and outside the stage and much more. Will you tell your fans about this captivating collection of your work?
Alex Ruffini: I wanted many of these artists in the Monsters Of Rock simply as a token of sympathy and esteem to them. As a kid I used to be, and I still am, a fan of theirs, I used to adore and venerate them as gods! Honestly, who could have guessed that such stars would be models for me?
Rock Legend News: You have photographed pretty much everyone in rock but is anyone missing from your artist’s list that you would like to add?
Alex Ruffini: Aerosmith, Kiss in my studio, then I could even die peacefully (jokes).
Rock Legend News: Who would you say was the easiest artist you have worked with?
Alex Ruffini: Everyone. They know you, know your final result, therefore I have a head start!
Rock Legend News: Who is or has been your favorite artist to photograph?
Alex Ruffini: Musicians/Artists with an Attitude! I like people who know how to take a challenge.
Rock Legend News: What would you recommend or say to those choosing your profession?
Alex Ruffini: Go straight your way, do not consider judgments on your pictures, or Likes on Facebook. Just surrealistic unreality.
Photo of Alex Masi by Alex Ruffini
Photo of Alex Masi by Alex Ruffini
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Ten Years After and Alvin Lee Featured in Rock Legend News May 2017 Issue VII Vol. VII Published May 3, 2017 included are: Pete Way, Leo Lyons, Dieter Dierks, Scorpions, Johnnie & Tommy Bolin with a couple of rare videos, Hard Radio and 2017 - 2018 Rock Festivals including Rocklahoma, Iggie Pistolero And The Band of Gypsys at Hard Rock Hell. Uli Jon Roth, Scorpions, Hollywood’s leather-smith for W.A.S.P. and rockers since 1980
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