RÜFÜS have been making considerable ripples around the world from the peripheries of Sydney’s indie dance music scene since early 2011. RÜFÜS’ combination of live instruments and electronic production create moments of absolute dance floor euphoria. You might not have heard of them yet but that’s all about to change…
How are things in the world of RÜFÜS? Still taking over the world, bit by bit?
Things are great. We’re traveling to places we’ve never been, making new music, seeing some ridiculously awesome up-coming bands and meeting some of the nicest people i’ve ever met. Just started our tour in the U.S and about to play SXSW. So ‘things are coming up Millhouse’.
You’ve developed a massive following since you began things in late 2010, and your likes on Facebook and YouTube hits alone are impressive. What would you say is the biggest drawing factor about RÜFÜS?
I have no idea. Probably better to ask a fan. But when we write music, it feels like we kind of disappear into a place where time doesn’t really exist. It’s Almost as though we go somewhere else, wherever we want and I’m guessing it hopefully does that to some of our listeners.
What inspirations would you say went into creating your sound? There’s elements of indie and electro, and I couldn’t help but compare your sound to The XX, Friendly Fires and even Clean Bandit. Which other bands or artists would you say helped you find your sound?
We basically started out trying to make songs we’d love to listen to and would love to find out there. We’re influenced by a bunch of different acts but our biggest ones are probably Trentemoller, Royksopp, Booka Shade, Chemical Brothers and Foals. We love the deeper sounds and warm tones that come from those acts and often refer to the guitar work in both Foals and Friendly Fires. I think the similarity between all these artists is their ability to balance their influences with a slight pop sensibility that allows whatever their genre is to cross over to a wider audience.
Your homeland, Australia, has really got behind you guys and you’ve sparked a lot of interest, as well as creating this wide and impressive fan base. Where else would you hope to have the same success?
We’re all pretty overwhelmed with the reaction it’s had back home and couldn’t be happier. We’re getting to play some of our favourite venues around Australia which is a dream. But like any artist, we’d love to get our music to as many ears as possible, so it’d be amazing if it got a bit of traction around the rest of the world. Means we’d get to travel more and see more and I’m going to say we all have the hunger for travel.
The album, ‘Atlas’, is released here in the UK in Spring. How was the recording and creating of the album?
It was about a 12 month process that took us from writing most of the demo’s on a property down the south/east coast of Australia to renovating an emptied out water tank situated on a cliff into our own studio to finish writing and mixing the album. It’s odd reflecting upon it really, because it kind of feels like the album wrote itself. We were just there watching it unfold as we tried to make music we loved and making sounds that we’d love to hear out there. When we were down the coast, we’d wake up and play a game of tennis while we listened to one of our favourite albums from start to finish – a different album each day. Then we’d spend the whole day writing a feeling that we agreed on – most of which revolved around summer and the bliss that seems to comes with it. We would always talk during the start of the day so we were on the same page about what we’d hoped to create and from the start of the writing process to the finish, we knew we wanted an album that felt 50% like it was drenched in a washed out sunset with bright, bubbly tones and for the other half to have a slightly deeper, darker tone to it. When we got to the end of the writing process we all had a month without listing to the album, then sat in our studio with a note pad and pen each taking notes on what we wanted to fix. Our notes were pretty much exactly the same and didn’t mention structure, melody or lyric but more minuscule changes like slight volume or EQ’ing on the mix. I think that was a really good sign that we’d made what we set out to make and we were all on the same page about it.
You’ve been pulling a lot of big shows in recently, and performing for some massive crowds. Any particular favourite shows or highlights so far?
My personal favourite would have to be The Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Was one of those shows where we walked out onto the stage and the crowd was just buzzing. We were playing a 50 minute sunset slot with the last 10 minutes in full darkness which has always been my favourite time to catch any act. The venue was delicious – a giant natural amphitheater in the middle of the hinterland 10 minutes away from the beach. You know when you hear people say, “they had the audience in the palm of their hands”? Well for this show, the audience had us in the palm of theirs. The more they got into it the harder we wanted to perform, the more risks we were willing to take. It’s really cool, because it’s almost as if we’re watching an audience play a show for us.ha The show was on the first day of 2014 and coming off stage, someone was like, “have a beer to celebrate”, my reaction was a content “no”. Nothing could make me feel as incredible as the joy that comes from playing shows like that, a beer would just soften my high. Ha.
You’ve had a lot of positive feedback from DJ’s and promoters all around the world, as well as picking up a fair few awards now too. What’s been the most gratifying moment for you guys so far, and have you had kind words from anybody you really look up to yourselves?
I guess the first person who really believed in the record when we were trying to find a label to back it was Australian dance legend Adrian ‘Ajax’ Thomas. I remember him talking to us over a beer and telling us the reactions he had to a couple of the later tracks on the album and that was the first time we’d really heard anyone open up about how the songs made them feel which was pretty flattering. We hadn’t completed the album fully yet, and it felt like the perfect boost of encouragement to help push us to finishing the record. We ended up releasing on his label ‘Sweat it Out’ and couldn’t be happier with our relationship with them.
You’ve also had opportunities to support, and work with some great talents. Who’s been the best to work with and who would you most like to be involved with at the minute, if you could choose anyone?
We’d really love to play alongside Trentemoller or Booka shade. They’re a huge inspiration for us and to share a stage with them would be pretty surreal.
The new single ‘Desert Night’ is one of my top songs of 2014 already, and I can’t wait for the album. The video for the new single is certainly unusual. Talk me through the idea behind it.
It’s directed by our best mate and Jon’s younger brother Katzki. He’s the brains behind every clip we’ve made. As for the Desert Night clip, he came to us with the brief of it being loosely set in an Asian city and we were all like, “I don’t know how this is going work…but go for it”.
Who are you guys listening to, when you’re not performing, and what other Australian acts should we be sure to not miss?
We’ve been listening to some Cashmere Cat, War Paint, Golden Features, Hayden James, Motez, Isaac Tischauer, Boot Action, Cassian, Hot Since 82, Chris Malinchak to name a few. As for acts you should check out I’d highly recommend, Jagwar Ma and Flight facilities.
So with the album out shortly in the UK, rave reviews around the world, huge stage shows and a massive fan base… how could things get any better for RÜFÜS?
Pina Coladas and some sunshine.
To keep up with the band, check them out on Facebook here.
RÜFÜS were speaking to Mojo20′s Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)