Australian dark culture blogger and promoter Renee Ruin breaks down her triumphs, passions and thoughts on what is yet to come.
You recently reached a 10-year milestone with your site reneeruin.com – tell us more about how music, art, fashion and alternative culture came to be such a focal point for you.
Wow! 10 years! I didn’t even pick up on that myself! Well, initially when I started reneeruin.com the concept was that it just be an extension of myself and the things I enjoy and like and a way for me to share the rad stuff I found with others. However, over the years it evolved more and more into an outlet for me to interview and feature amazing underground and off-centre Artists, Musicians, Brands and culture etc. I guess there’s no real way to say how it became a focal point because it was just me. Always me, my authenticity and my interests just put on show for others to enjoy. As the site grew it became an integral part of my life and I think that passion shows through. What started as a small blog is now a fully fledged media, arts and entertainment website that attracts readers from all over the world and that still blows my mind.
As I get more and more I guess “well known” artist etc. on the site or through Ruin Radio it starts to sink in a bit more how far the site and me have come. It is still very much a project of passion despite what people may assume. I don’t do advertising or sponsored posts and earn no revenue or salary from the website. I’m actually running a donation scheme at the moment to help build up our funds for website upkeep and to ensure I can keep the site running.
This year you launched ruinagency.com – a different venture that still invokes the spirit of your personal blog. Do see the agency as an extension of your blog work or is it something totally different from your previous work?
It is definitely an extension of my website. I find people who come to Ruin Agency with queries about work almost always have come knowing my reputation as reneeruin.com. Finding myself unemployed and losing my UK work visa I started to think a lot about what I enjoyed and what new thing I could take on. It was an opportunity I saw to take my unique insight, and work personally with underground and independent bands, musicians, brands etc. who are niche and very much need bespoke help when it comes to PR, Social Media and dealing with Press etc. I saw a gap when I was looking at PR and Media industry. We value the unique, the strange, the rebellious and the individual. Ruin Agency offers bespoke and specialist services that cater to the niche and subversive whether that’s bands of fashion brands and helping with press releases and media coverage or social media management. Again, its more of a passion project and not a full-time thing. I have to work like a commoner doing freelance work like the rest of the world trying to pay bills and rent. But its always been about the passion and project rather than the money with me and some may say that is my greatest flaw.
Listening to your mixtapes on Ruin Radio at mixcloud.com/rruin/ we get the sense you want to tell a story with your music selection and have it fit in with everything else you do.
Yes, always. I generally choose a genre or vibe I’m feeling around the time and then start compiling songs that match that and that I have usually been thrashing consistently that previously month. And as RUIN RADIO has grown I’ve been able to secure more and more high-profile celeb curators to do mixtapes which has been the most exciting. I love doing the mixtapes and I love showcasing new music and underground stuff the most. I really hope it keeps growing and growing. I’ve always liked the idea of experimenting one day with podcasts too.
Check out the most recent mixtapes from Renee Ruin loaded with alternative, darkwave, post-punk, industrial, and thematic sounds:
This year seems to have been crazy for many of us—at times feeling like car pile-up—but it is finally coming to a close. What are your dreams for 2019?
2018 was such a brutal rollercoaster car crash of a year for me so I honestly don’t know what to expect from 2019. Now I’ve relocated back to Australia and I’m loving the weather and atmosphere again I hope to really start kicking thins off more with reneeruin.com and Ruin Agency and making some new career moves. All in all, I just want a MUCH BETTER year than this year. I think that’s the most I can hope for at this stage. I superstitious about being to positive about new years lol.