Q and A with Ruby Modine

Ruby Modine -  Model Actor PhilanthropistArtist, singer and philanthropist, Ruby Wylder Modine, has been busy. The daughter of notable actor Matthew Modine (Vision Quest, Full Metal Jacket, Gross Anatomy, Pacific Heights) is so ready to make her move in the biz. Ruby is no stranger to Hollywood. She has done voice overs, modeling, film and music. Her latest single “Trigger Finger” was inspired  by her poem “A City Set Aflame”. The song showcases her talent as a singer/songwriter.

I had the opportunity to interview this fast rising talent last week and discovered the sources of her singing and songwriting inspiration.

Popbuff: First of all, how did you get into singing? Both your parents are actors.

Ruby Modine: I’ve always sang and been in love with it for as long as I can remember. For years I was shy to sing for anyone except my family or close friends, though. My parents have a cassette of me belting out notes and a few tunes when I was about six or seven, not sure (laughs), It’s hysterical to listen to. I got into singing when I began school at Rudolf Steiner, the main focus of a Waldorf school is art therefore I was always painting, singing, acting or dancing. My whole artistic story begins there.

Popbuff: How did you pick your cover versions like, “As Tears Go By” by Rolling Stones and “Plastic Jesus” (one of my fave videos) popularized by Paul Newman?

Ruby Modine: Paul Newman broke my heart when he sang Plastic Jesus, I cried the first time I saw that scene in Cool Hand Luke because it touched me in so many ways. I related to the tone of the scene and how he portrayed the song: The sincerity in his eyes and voice. My grandmother Deloris, my father’s mother, had passed away before I recorded it and my father loved that song so much too, so a piece of me wanted to do that for him and his mother. “Plastic Jesus” was actually my first project I did musically on camera so I always talk about how I would love to record that again at this age. I’m a stronger singer now and have experienced much more up to this point so that I understand the projects I did when younger on a better level…We’ll see though.

“As Tears Go By” is just a great song; I was incredibly heartbroken at that point in time, to be very honest. I was in a dark place which is why I chose that verse of the song. The version that came out is much more haunting. It’s a wonderful thing living with someone who sees you’re going through something and says, “You’ve gotta use this! Cmon” and pushes you to do the best thing when in a rut: Create Something Beautiful. I got into the studio, recorded with Andrew Hollander and pretty much in that same week shot the music video and continued on from that. The momentum was set and it was either I stop or keep going. Such a great time filming at “The Cutting Room” too! I was honored to be able to sing on the stage that so many great artists have!

Popbuff: How is your dad involved with your videos and how is it working with him? I noticed he directed “Plastic Jesus” and “Trigger Finger”.

Ruby Modine:  For my next video, “BANGBANGBANG!”, I will be working with another director (named currently being withheld) which I’m really excited about, however, in the past my father directed this because I really love working with him. He’s a great artist and inspiration to me. I’m glad that he’s directed my videos because the vision he sees in his mind comes out through the camera and then we get what you have seen!

Popbuff: So where are you based? NY or LA? Where do you prefer to live?

Ruby Modine:   I’m so bicoastal (laughs) I’m never really based anywhere! I’m a New Yorker and as of now am living in Venice, CA. I’m so happy to say that work is staying consistent out here with my acting so I don’t have any plans on moving, at least not for a while. I totally love elements of each state, I don’t like one better than the other. In LA I have the beach but in NYC I have thunderstorms! I like to drive but love to walk (laughs). I love different things about each and don’t hate anything about either… Except the water bugs in NYC, oh my God I don’t miss those!

Popbuff: You’ve done film, television, music videos…is there anything else you’d like to do?

Ruby Modine:   Well… I mean I want to do everything under the sun (laughs) but to be specific? I’ve sold a few photos in charity auctions and have had my paintings on display in a few art galleries. I’d really love to be able to continue showing both portfolios, art and photography to the public and doing what I can with my art for charity.

Popbuff: Of all the videos and songs you have done, what is your most memorable or favorite so far?

Ruby Modine:   I have awesome memories from each project I’ve been involved in. There’s something wild that stuck with me from each experience but so far my favorite video shoot would have to be “Trigger Finger”. I was so happy that my good friend Miles Heizer was able to be involved and it was such a funny shoot to be on. Same with my recordings, different reasons for each studio session but my soon to be released song “BANGBANGBANG!” would have to be my favorite so far. I got to work with Kenny Aronoff, Patrick Burkholder, Andy Patch and Chip Rau. Awesome rockers who I cannot wait to work with again!

Popbuff: Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Ruby Modine:   It was a huge dream of mine to be able to sing alongside Amy Winehouseher death was really shattering for me.

Popbuff: Who or what influences your music?

Ruby Modine:  My music is inspired by things that touch or move me, something that sparks inside me and I look into it on a deeper level that makes me want to show how I see that specific thing. It’s not about who it’s about everything. All the elements in my life inspire my music.

Popbuff: How would you describe your music genre?

Ruby Modine:   I don’t really have an answer for this. A lot of the music I’ve recorded was requested of me. I was asked to do “Plastic Jesus” and “As Tears Go By” and Chris Udell asked me to record the demos for “Tell Me a Story” and “Radio”. “Trigger Finger” is the closest to my sound and my new release “BANGBANGBANG!” is wild. I’ve found that the further I go down the road in my career, the more control I have over my sound therefore the next few songs I have coming out: “Endeavor After”, “Texas in July” and “An Exert from November” will show more of what my genre officially is. The music that is coming is more of a rock sound I believe… I don’t know, it’s so hard because I jump from so many different sounds for different occasions and love them all!

Popbuff: Will you be touring this summer? Any plans of performing in Southern California?

Ruby Modine:   No plans for tour as of now and I love to perform whenever I can. Right now I’m in the middle of a lot of acting gigs so am staying focused on that and just recording music as much as possible. I’ll be releasing a lot of music but as for performing live, I’ll do that whenever I can and let you know where and when (laughs)!

Popbuff: What do you do during your downtime?

Ruby Modine:   I always like to try new things so am getting into surfing. My ankle is finally healing from a skateboard accident I had in 2008 so am getting back into that groove with the help of my wonderful friend Daniel Knapp! So stoked on that! I paint, draw, take photos, read, watch movies and hang out with my friends. The most fun night, recently, was bowling for like three hours and then grabbing burritos and hanging on a lifeguard stand down by the Santa Monica Pier during the full moon. (laughs)

Popbuff: What is your dream location to perform a huge concert?

Ruby Modine:  Madison Square Garden!

Popbuff: How do you see yourself 10 years from now? You’ll be 33?

Ruby Modine:  I have no idea (laughs) hopefully farther along on the path with my acting and singing career. I just want happiness and know that I’ve worked as hard as I could to accomplish what I want. I always make sure I’m working hard towards my goals.

Popbuff: Last but not the least, who is your favorite artist?

Ruby Modine:  Too many to tell you! (laughs) If I named one, the list will go on for decades.

Ruby Modine

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