Australian natives, RÜFÜS, or RÜFÜS DU SOL (as copyright laws suggest they be known as in the U.S.), are an act to be reckoned with as they fuse an energetic live setup with intricate electronic components that radiate a universal feeling to their audience. With a sold out show their first night in LA and a second show added for a packed house at Bardot on a Monday, it’s safe to say that America is catching the drift as well. We got the chance to talk to RÜFÜS in between their crazy schedule at SXSW and got some insight into what it’s like leaving Australia, how they came to be, and what it’s like to have their debut LP signed to Columbia Records.
GDD: So what’s up!
RÜFÜS: I’m just walking around Austin, Texas right now actually.
GDD: You guys are in town for SXSW, how’s that goin?
RÜFÜS: We played a show last night for SoundCloud and we’ve got a show everyday for the next few days; three shows on Saturday actually.
GDD: OOF! That’s a lot. What’s it been like in the States so far? Both times I saw you guys you opened with saying that playing in front of such an intimate crowd isn’t very characteristic of what it’s like back home.
RÜFÜS: It’s been pretty fun actually because you’re getting sort of these new and honest reactions from everybody who haven’t really heard all of our material. So it’s been pretty cool in that way. You know, in Australia, we’ve been playing really big shows, in front of thousands of people, and it’s really humbling to have another round at it in front of a different audience and catching that intimate vibe again while forming all these new connections with people.
GDD: So you just had your album come out in Australia, and Columbia is working on distributing it stateside. With most of your set coming from your debut LP, what’s it like playing all this unknown material to the audience?
RÜFÜS: Yeah, I guess it is strange in a way, but it’s pretty easy to forget that. I think just after the shows or half way through you remember that a lot of people haven’t heard this song, and it’s cool in the way that we get all these raw and honest reactions where people are really feelin’ it.
GDD: How did you go about putting together your set for the tour? I’ve had the chance to listen to your new album, and it’s basically just one giant song that blends together all these different components.
RÜFÜS: The way that we wrote this album is, your right, pretty much this journey that we were really happy with and then we sort of had to think again, for a live atmosphere, what sort of vibe we wanted to be setting and about the journey we wanted to present to the crowd. It’s like re-writing the album in a different way than it could have been in a sense.
GDD: Was anyone fighting to get a particular song in a set?
RÜFÜS: I really like the track that we open with, Modest Life, it really just feels like a celebratory start and it sets the tone perfectly for what we want to accomplish in the show. We’ve got that cool pitched down vocal in the chorus that we do in real time and it’s really fun to begin that way.
GDD: What has the reaction been like so far from the crowds?
RÜFÜS: I think we’re something that people don’t really expect us to be with this live setup, and we bring this new feeling to what they expected, so it’s certainly pretty cool the way we’re able to do that.
GDD: So how did you guys all get together?
RÜFÜS: Tyrone, the lead singer, went to school with my little brother and I’ve known him for a long time and it was pretty chance the way we were able to write one of our first songs together. We didn’t have any money to go out, but our friends were on their way, and we just decided to stay in and write because we realized we had respect for a lot of the same artists like Booka Shade, Trentemøller, and The Chemical Brothers. We got James our drummer involved pretty soon after; he went to school with Tyrone and my little brother. So that’s sort of how we all know each other. Now we all write pretty equally in the studio together and everyone’s production chops are really similar so we’re able to work pretty efficiently.
GDD: So where do all these ideas come from for songs? A lot of your lyrics are pretty simple yet profound observations of day-to-day life.
RÜFÜS: I think for about a month straight we went down to the beach each day just trying to write poetry and about the things that we cared about without getting too emotional, and trying to keep things light. I think it sort of goes with the music in a way that a lot of it could be played if your getting ready to go out on a Saturday night or even just chillin’ on a Sunday.
GDD: I’ve played it in both situations and can safely say, I agree.
RÜFÜS: Right on haha, that’s what we had in mind. It’s not just music for partying it’s music for the different situations life has to offer.
GDD: So how is everything going with the name change?
RÜFÜS: Good, haha. It’s pretty strange to have to remember to add DU SOL at the end every time in America. It still has the similarity to RÜFÜS with the all caps but it makes it seem a kind of like a foreign destination with DU SOL at the end of it, and it sticks with that whole aesthetic.
GDD: Any information on what’s going on with your album release?
RÜFÜS: I think it’s coming out here in a couple months, and that’s kind of what were here for is to make some noise for that I guess. That’s coming out on Columbia, which is pretty huge for us, there are only a tiny handful of Australian acts that have been signed to Columbia before.
RÜFÜS: Yeah it’s pretty full on actually, in the first week I’ll still be a bit nervous because it’s a lot of late shows here in America. So were trying to find sleep when we can and trying to be healthy, and it’s a mixture of complete exhaustion and absolute exhilaration, so it’s a fine balance for me but we’ll live it up the whole time.
GDD: Anywhere you’re most excited for?
RÜFÜS: I was really excited to get to LA and it’s safe to say my expectations were exceeded when I got there with that sold out show the first night and that second show at Bardot were both really fun. I’m looking forward to New York and Miami for WMC, actually, I’m really looking forward to that.
GDD: With Sweat It Out!
RÜFÜS: Yeah I think that’s why were most excited: to be with all our friends in a totally different part of the country showing everybody what Australia has to offer.
Thanks again to the RÜFÜS guys for sitting down and talking with us, and for their other worldly performance down in Miami at The Pickle with the Sweat crew. Best of luck on the journey you’re about to embark on and we’re looking forward to hearing about your successes.