RÜFÜS @ Madame Jo Jo’s, London. And Interview

December 11, 2013 7:33 pm

Madame Jo Jo’s, when I first heard that the next act I would be reviewing and interviewing were to be playing at this venue I couldn’t help but wonder about what kind of spectacle I would be witnessing. Infamous for it’s burlesque nights, I wondered how exactly I would go about reviewing and interviewing a group of burlesque dancers. I know nothing of burlesque dancing apart from the fact that someone I used to go to school with now does it. It got to the point where I began to frantically search the void of the inter-web and search for anything that would enlighten me as to what I should expect on the evening. What I found washed a great wave of relief right on over me.

RÜFÜSRÜFÜS are an Australian indie-dance group hailing from Sydney and consisting of Jon George, Tyrone Lindqvist and James Hunt. These three have had an exceptionally busy time of it these last eighteen months, what with their  debut album Atlas being released last August and debuting at number 1 back in their homeland. Instantly my curiosity was aroused and after checking out the album not only could I understand why it had done so well over there but I also found myself curious as to why it hadn’t even seemed to register over here.

Combining a mellow electronic haze with incredibly catchy beats, these guys seemed to have mastered their trade already. The quality of this group is confirmed when you realise they’ve only been going since 2010. This must surely be impressive by anyone’s standards. Before the show I was lucky enough to catch a brief fifteen minutes or so with the guys for an interview (a transcript of which you can find below). Only a few questions in and I was struck by how laid back these boys where, especially considering the world now appeared to be their oyster.

Having nearly come to the end of a short tour, these boys don’t seem to be short of options now. The vibes they can produce on stage are hard to come by in newer bands and if I hadn’t already known how long they’d been going at it I would have assumed they possessed a lot more experience than they do. I had decided on this occasion not to take up the offer of a plus one with my invitation and found that this decision worked well in my favour given the fact that I could just sit in a dark corner and absorb everything they gave out. I have heard people complain that electronic music has a tendency to sound fairly generic. I now have an answer for those people, RÜFÜS.

This is a band that do not settle for less. You won’t be finding any filler tracks on Atlas, nor will they disappoint live. Now, I know what you all are thinking at this point. “Yeah yeah, we’ve heard it all before, you think they’re great blah blah blah.” Well let me tell you something my little darlings. You need this band in your lives. I don’t care what kind of music dominates your audio nerves, to resist this amazing electronic concoction would be to miss out big time! This is a band you can expect big things from in the future, very big things. RÜFÜS are the kind of band that resemble one piece of an incredibly complex puzzle, miss them out and it will screw you up big time.

But hey, why take my word for it? Go and download Atlas now and I guarantee you won’t regret it. The levels of production in both their studio recordings and live performances surpasses that of some of the bigger bands floating around the musicverse today. “But Ryan I only like rock and heavy metal, I won’t be into this kind of electronic dance music”. To that I say so what? I’m well into my rock and heavy metal but these guys invalidate the argument of genre A vs genre B. They simply just make good music, period. If you ever get the opportunity to see RÜFÜS live you should absolutely take it. No questions asked.

RÜFÜS Interview:

RÜFÜS

RJM: So you guys have had a pretty big eighteen months then with the new album and touring, what are you planning next?

Well I guess the big thing right now is that we’re starting to tour of the back of this album. We’ve been lucky enough to sign a deal internationally so we can release it internationally, so for the next year or so there’s just going to be a lot of touring which is exciting as it’s the first time all three of us have been to Europe so we’ve been seeing London, Berlin so it’s a pretty exciting time.

RJM: I can imagine. Where else are you going on this tour?

This is just a short two week tour at the moment, just doing some showcases. So we’re just about to go to Berlin tomorrow and we went to Paris last night and we’ve already done London a few times and then we’ll go back and doing a couple of touring festivals in Australia and then come back and do a European and American tour in the first half of next year.

RJM: So I noticed the album debuted at No.1 back in Australia, that must make you pretty proud right?

Yeah it’s pretty surreal. It’s amazing and mind blowing, no one expected that.

RJM: I gave it a bit of a listen and can see why it made it to No.1, did you expect it to do well?

RÜFÜS

Not really, we wrote the album and hadn’t signed a deal for it when we started so we basically just made it ourselves, built our own studio or two. Actually one down the south coast of Australia on this little farm house property, we set up there and wrote for three or four weeks. Then we did the same process in emptied out water tank and made that into a studio. So basically we did the whole process of making the album and then it got to the last little stages where we were trying to get someone on board and ended up going with this pretty indie smaller label where it’s sort of run by three guys and so the whole release was managed by Danny and that smaller label.

The whole process was so insular so there were no real outside influences of people telling us how it’s going to go and we had no idea as we were literally were just doing this for the first time between management, so it was a massive surprise. It was hard to know how it was going to go, I guess with marketing as well and how much budget there is behind pushing something. Yeah, I guess six months ago we or I definitely didn’t see that happening.

RJM: Sounds like you took a bit of a risk then.

Yeah It was a cool little gamble.

RJM: So do you have any venues out there that you’d personally like to play maybe in a couple of years time?

Well in Sydney, my favourite venue is the Enmore (theatre), I’m pretty sure it’s these guys favourite as well. It’s been a bit of a dream to have a headline show there and it looks like we probably are going to be doing that mid next year in Australia. But for other places in the world I think big festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury.

RJM: All the big names.

Yeah, that’s what you dream about or what we’ve been dreaming about while making music small time over the last few years and now that that’s even a remote possibility is amazing so hopefully one day we can just do it. Iconic super venues around the world like The Greek and Brixton and stuff which I’ve got in the back of my mind if we can play somewhere like that, even just supporting. And to be honest we haven’t really been to that many venues around the world other than in Australia, like we’ve been to a couple. Y’know we went and saw Peace the other night at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and that venue was sick. So seeing that we were like “This is pretty cool”. I’m sure there’s hundreds just like that in London alone.

RÜFÜS

RJM: Writing the album, was that quite difficult for your first time or did you find it came quite naturally?

I think we knew we wanted to do an album, after the first EP, that was probably more stuffing around. The second one we took a little more seriously, we went into a studio that wasn’t our own and mixed on desks there and I think we got a bit more serious about it and things were going okay, we were touring a bit more and then I guess we were finding our sound and we knew what we wanted to do for a bigger body of work. So we were just excited to find the time and really driven to make that a reality. That’s what we were all working towards. Making our first album. We just had to knuckle down and do it, which was fun and also exhausting at the same time. We spent a good nine months, maybe even ten months writing and producing and we were sitting on tracks towards the end for like two months then coming back and taking notes because we didn’t really want a song on there that we were sick of. We learnt that from our first two EP’s. Anything that we didn’t love after a couple of months had to be cut. It had to make a standard.

RJM: So in terms of the future, maybe a second album? Are you looking that far ahead or are you more sort of focusing on the here and now?

No we’re definitely looking ahead, as far as sounds and influences go it’s totally up in the air but we’re constantly writing new things. But one thing we’ve been talking about that’s a bit more concrete, and we’ve been talking about it for a while is the possibility of moving somewhere else and writing the album in different locations. We’ve been talking about maybe moving to Berlin at the end of next year roughly. We’re actually going there for like five days, we’re doing a little show tomorrow but we’re going to spend five extra days just to see what the vibe is because we’ve all heard amazing things.

 

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