Ruben Tomas

// ON THE RADIO //

Baby it's warmer than a summer night. George Cosby is on and radio's not dead. Embrace the vibes and let the breeze come in. Ice-cream melts. We love him.

 

Are you into ‘Twin Peaks’?

I have to be honest, I haven’t watched ‘Twin Peaks’ yet but I hear it’s great so I will make sure to give it a watch.

Do you like wearing leather?

Not against it in any way and I do have the odd item but it isn’t a staple of my wardrobe.

Your voice reminds me of Antony Egarty. Would you agree?

I can see the comparison as there are points of similarity. She is an incredible artist who is always pushing creatively. 

You also have this Chris Isaak thing going on, which I love. I think Chris Isaak is underestimated. What do you think and wouldn’t you love being a crooner from the 50s?

Chris Isaak is amazing and, yes I agree, he is hugely underestimated. His voice is so smooth. I would love to have been a crooner from the 50’s and it’s a musical period I have looked to recently and explored for inspiration.

What time is it now?

10am GMT

What are you wearing?

A black T from YMC, a pair of COS trousers and Oliver Spencer shoes.

Do you bike?

Yes, best way to travel in London. Especially when the weather is good.

Do you like to talk fast or slow?

Slow.

What's the last movie you saw, where?

‘Dunkirk’ at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton.

Strawberry or salami?

Strawberry 

Your worst nightmare?

Shark attack

When did you cry last?

Watching ‘Youth’ by Paolo Sorrentino

Do you enjoy watching Rodger Federer play tennis?

Yes, I’m a big tennis fan.

Would you rather lunch with Marry Poppins or Madonna?

Mary Poppins.

What will you do after answering these questions?

Go to grab a coffee with a friend in Soho

Do you enjoy night, darkness?

I do, I especially like a night time walk.

Do you believe in ghosts? 

I would like to…. I’m yet to encounter a ghost but always on the look out.

Was this fast enough? 

Just right.

 

...

/ ITW by REMY RUSSOTTO /

/ photo by RUBEN TOMAS/

// LOOP ITW with JEROEN TEERLINCK //

/ THE INTUITIVE MODEL /

Melon or banana?

Banana.

 Bruce Lee or Prince?

Prince.

If you were asked to change your name, what name would you chose?

Jerome, it's like my real name but in English.

Would you rather be a spy or a downhill ski champion?

A spy.

Any allergies?

Cow milk.

 What color suits you best?

Black.

How fast can you run?

I'm pretty fast! 

What scares you most, “Jaws’” or “Aliens”?

Jaws, I believe in sharks but not in aliens.

If Marry Poppins was a fruit, what would she be?

An apple.

When was your first catwalk, how old were you?

That was John Varvatos during the Milano fashion week, I was 21.

Have you been to Iceland?

Not yet.

Any songs you know by heart and sing from time to time? 

Michael Jackson - 'Man in the mirror'.

How often do you see your best friend?

Not that much but for sure once every three months. This because I moved to Milano for work.

Are you in love?

In love and engaged.

Where will you be tomorrow?

In Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Isn’t English black tea with milk completely over-rated (I read it was extremely unhealthy as well)?

I'm a big tea drinker but black tea is the only kind I don't like. 

Would you rather fly to the moon or journey to the centre of the Earth?

Flying to space is a dream for me.

Are you shy?

Not really.

Who's your hero?

Jesus.

When is your birthday?

May 6.

How tall are you?

6"2.

What's your favorite color?

Blue.

In math, do you prefer to add or multiply?

Multiply!

Ice-cream or strawberry pie?

Strawberry pie.

 Do you do drugs?

Not anymore ;)

How much sleep do you need?

I think I need 8 hours but unfortunately I'm not always able to catch that.

Who was your first crush?

Vanessa Hudgens haha (high school musical).

Do you know how many times you have fallen in love?

I forgot.

Have you cried this week?

No.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ resurrecting?

Jesus is my hero.

Do you eat meat?

I try to not to because I'm against the bio industry. They aren't treating animals with the respect they deserve in my opinion.

Have you seen the movie "Back to the Future"? 

Nope.

When have you shaved last?

This morning.

Who's your hero?

You should know that by now.

 Have you ever slept in a desert?

Not yet.

Would you prefer dining with Rihanna or lunching with Steve Carell?

Dance with Rihanna!

Where did you lose your virginity?

Amsterdam! 

What's your favorite in milkshakes?

Strawberry.

Beatles or Stravinsky?

Beatles.

What's your favorite color?

Told ya.

 Have you changed your own name?

No.

...

 

 

/ ITW by REMY RUSSOTTO & photo by RUBEN TOMAS /

/ production by MICHAEL MARSON /

/ styling by JOE VILAIRE & big thanks to Themckibbinloft for the location /

 

 

// CASEY'S BEST SUMMER EVER //

CASEY SPOONER /BY/ BEHIND THE BLINDS 

EXCLUSIVE ITW by BERT VERMEIRE & PORTRAIT by RUBEN TOMAS

 

An interview with Casey Spooner, on the last day of summer.

 

Casey, I caught you just after a couple of days in the studio working on your new album. How’s it going?

 Great! We are mixing the tracks, which is a very creative process for us. But it can be a bit tiring. We’re constantly trying to find the right sonic balance, playing with arrangements, layering, harmonies… All the elements that make a great song. It’s been intense. Almost like a marathon.

 Our producer likes to work from sunset to sunrise… It’s good in a way because you're almost existing outside of reality. Just focusing on work, living in a bubble. Writing-wise it was interesting, quite emotional, more vulnerable. And for some reason my voice just sounds great at 3:00 in the morning. Turns out my golden hour is from 3:00 to 5:00 AM.

 On this album we are really pushing my voice. It’s more naturalistic and more raw.

 

 A lot of different inspirations, stories and research go into your albums. I guess its no different for this one.

 Well I started working on the album before my breakup. And then all of this sadness happened. So there is a bit of a before and after story in there…

 I also wanted to use elements that make us unique. The fact that I’m a mature gay man sets us a bit apart from the rest. In showbiz you’ve got a lot of white, blonde women that are supposedly representing a gay male or queer voice. I don’t relate to them; they just can’t tell my story. So that’s important to me. Telling the real story about being gay in an era of new technology and new emotions.

 We are living in such a time of change, there are so many new narratives, new stories unfolding. Take Jennifer Egan’s book Black Box for example. Every paragraph has the same limitations as a tweet. An extract was printed in the New Yorker and it’s really incredible. An interesting use of this “condensed attention span”.

 Of course all these new technologies also bring about new types of emotions. Things like YOLO or FOMO. Brand new 4 letter emotions. Great and awful at the same time. Isolation and loneliness, illusions of relationships that are mediated by new technology. But then of course there are also real connections that are happening.

 Sometimes when I spend a lot of time online, looking at pictures of other people and their lives, it is so surprising to see them in real life all of the sudden. Then I get so excited to see this person that I’ve “investigated”. And sometimes you get along with them. Sometimes you don’t.

 So different sorts of stories, interactions, love, lust,…

 

 Before this album coming out you also bundled some of the research for it in a book. EGOS - Character Studies, Online Marketing and Prelude To New Music Excited about you first print work?

 I’m waiting for the final print now, really looking forward to having it in my hands. We partnered with Nicolas Santos on the book. I trust his feel for aesthetics a lot, so that gave me the possibility to relax and focus on generating good content. While he was defining the form and final product.

 It was such a relief because I am usually a bit of a control freak. But with Nicolas it was great. We did this crazy test; I gathered all the photos from all the photo shoots I have been doing over the last year and a half. So we got 500 images from 30 different photographers.

 And so me, Nicolas and Karl Kolbitz – a graphic designer who also worked on the book – went through all photos in one sitting. In every stack we each had to choose one picture we definitely wanted to keep. And 9 times out of 10 we would all pick the same one. That gave me a very confident feeling and a lot of trust in them.

 Of course it also helped that they are both insanely good looking guys. So whenever I would have a comment or voice some of my concerns, the more I talked to them and the longer I looked at them, the harder it was to put my foot down. Karl would just start in this charming German accent; “But Casey…” And all my concerns would just fly out of the window.

 

 Did it ever get weird for you to be looking at all of these pictures of yourself?

 Absolutely. It’s kind of degusting sometimes. And definitely exhausting. Usually when I develop a character for Fisherspooner there is one big main shoot. Here it was a lot more material. But at one point you can look at yourself very objectively and only see the image.  

 Of course at other times you see the imperfections and feel flawed. With this photo project I’m also really setting myself up for failure. I’m too old to become a super hunk model. I’m 45, what am I doing? Comparing myself to the most attractive people in the world. And I’m never going to look like that.

 The idea feels a bit like going for perfection but also knowing that when I fail to succeed it’s actually the most interesting. I know I’m setting myself up for failure but I have to go for it.

 

 Another interesting part of the research was doing some investigating into the darker underworld of gay culture. Clubs like Laboratory in Berlin or other sex clubs. How does something like that translate into music?

 This summer was the first time that I was exploring that side of my sexuality. And that sort of spaces. I did it years and years ago, back in the 90’s. And then it was just a bunch of creepy guys. It also was the height of the aids crisis. So basically having public, promiscuous sex was seen as inviting death. So I have to confront and deal with a lot of anxiety in these sort of clubs. But I’m getting really good at it. It’s a very special way to relate to people.

 The first time I went to a club like this was in June, in Madrid. I was going there with a friend and I didn’t tell him I’ve never been to a sex club. I was so nervous! I didn’t dare take all of my clothes off in the locker room, so I went in in my underwear. Later inside, no one was wearing anything. So I really felt like an idiot. It was strange to see everyone walking around so exposed. But after 5 minutes my body started to feel the same as clothing. It started to feel like another layer. The things I really liked about it is that I felt so free in my body.

 I also was going in there, into all these worlds, with an artistic agenda. Which really coloured the way I was seeing these places. In Madrid for example, the ambient sound was really amazing. The music mixed with different sounds of action, groan, grunts, cries. All this sound echoing throughout this strange architectural wonderland was one of the most fascinating and sexy things.

 At one point I was standing besides the door of I don’t know how many, doing what, and just the sound through the door was one of the most erotic things I’ve ever experienced. It’s something you can’t capture or create, just have to be part of that world. We did try to get that feel into the album though.

 

 Everyone who follows you on social media saw it, there was no escaping it. Your slogan for this year was “BEST SUMMER EVER” Was it really the best summer ever?

 It has been a very emotional time for me. I suffered a lot of loss this year. I felt like I had nothing anymore. “Best summer ever” was my attempt at healing myself. It sounds like such an easy, superficial thing to say. “Best summer ever.” But there is a secret subtext to it that is more about heartbreak and disaster.

 Most people think that I’m just actually happy. But it’s more about me trying to be happy, trying to liberate myself. The idea that I don’t have restrictions, that I can go anywhere, be free...  And indulge myself in everything that I need and desire, in order to save myself. And… It worked. It has really been a magical summer. And now it’s time to let it go, look to the future.

 

Thanks Casey.

Happy to have been part of the best summer ever. You’re a good friend and a real inspiration.

...


www.fischerspooner.com

/ production by MICHAEL MARSON /

/ ITW by BERT VERMEIRE / photo by RUBEN TOMAS /



 

//TRUE ROMANCE//

JOHN & CARLOS /BY/ BEHIND THE BLINDS

EXCLUSIVE ITW by BRUCE LABRUCE & PORTRAIT by RUBEN TOMAS

 

Some people say Lou Reed wrote his song "Perfect Day" about heroin.

Describe your perfect day ? 

All we need is a beach , a blunt & a burrito.

Do you believe in monogamy, or do you think monogamy is monotony ?

We are monogamous—not because of any belief system, but just because it's what feels right for us.

I think if we found that to be monotonous, we wouldn't still be dating after 4 years.

Do you have any other sexual fetishes ?

Love and Affection.

What are your opinions about narcissism? Do you think that we now live in a narcissistic culture ?

Can narcissism be a good thing ?

It's pretty undeniable that America has produced a narcissistic culture—Especially now that smartphones exist, technology is facilitating a really

self-involved way of living. Can it be a good thing? Maybe in certain creative senses... but narcissism is ultimately pretty boring, I think ...

What are some of your favourite films ?

C : Daisies, Christiane F, Sleepaway Camp, Benny's Video, Scream 4, The Lego Movie...

J : Brüno, Totally Fucked Up, Natural Born Killers, Inland Empire, Tree of Life...

Do you ever have hallucinations or cosmic experiences when you have sex together when you're high ? 

Pot is definitely an aphrodisiac, but the weed in NYC isn't strong enough for cosmic experiences... But you should send us whatever you're smoking dude.

Do you ever have group sex when you're high ?

C : Group sex isn't something we're looking for in general.

J : Besides, an orgy sounds like it'd be terrible stoned. Like, dealing with all those genitals would get so overwhelming and

then you'd all probably just get lazy and go get pizza instead.

What is the girthiest blunt you've ever smoked ?

Shout out Miley Cyrus, she rolls the fattest blunts in America. 

After you use an apple bong, can you still eat the apple ?

C : Yeah but why would you ?

J : Actually I always eat the apple... blame the munchies I guess.

What are your favourite marijuana-themed movies ?

All time best is Smiley Face by Gregg Araki.

Have you ever seen the film Last Summer, directed by Katy Perry's uncle Frank Perry ? It has the best marijuana smoking scene

I've ever seen.  

No but we did watch the Katy Perry documentary really high it was hilarious.

Are you big fashion icons now? Would you ever amble down a catwalk smoking a spliff ? 

We asked to at the VFiles show, honestly. they didn't let us.

Would you ever do marijuana porn ? If so, call me.  

C : The video "420" we made for Purple Magazine is pretty close... 

J : I think the world needs an iconic homo-stoner porn, and Bruce LaBruce is the man to make it!

If you actually approached us with that, it would be hard to turn it down.

How did you get to be so cute ?????

Drink lots of water and dress like shit...

 

 

/ART DIRECTION BY MICHAEL MARSON/ITW BY BRUCE LABRUCE/PORTRAIT BY RUBEN TOMAS/

/Hair by Virginie Carmen Lola & Make Up by Delphine Perrot/

www.raatcity.com/www.brucelabruce.com/www.rubentomas.com