Words with Rufus

There’s zero doubt Sydney’s fave electro-trio Rufus killed it in 2015.  Touring around the world, selling out most of their Australian tour and coming in at number 12 on triple j’s Hottest 100 with ARIA-winning You Were Right is evidence enough of their fabness. WildnFree was lucky to speak with singer/guitarist Tyrone Lindqvist to find out all about new album Bloom, ARIA wins and fugly unknown sea creatures found thanks to Google.

What’s going on Tyrone?! You’ve had a massive year!
We’re spent! It’s been a rollercoaster of great things and good times over the past year.

Tell me about your Best Dance Release ARIA win for You Were Right, congratulations!
We definitely didn’t see that coming full stop, we had some great competition. It’s a small market in Australia, all the nominees are close friends of ours. No matter who won, it was going to be a celebration. It was special and we were lost for words. There’s a camaraderie that exists here in Australia between dance acts, there’s only so many cities to travel to, so you tend to bump into people and get close. You egg each other on and support each other. It’s a really great community.

You had a massive pretty much sold-out Australian tour last year, how was that?
It was really cool, we’d been in the studio for almost a year, so we were so hungry to get back out and play songs. We were a little worried about the fact people didn’t know the new tracks, but everyone was really engaged and gave the new stuff the time of day. It was epic.

What’s it like seeing sold out crowds enjoying your music so much?
Before a set, we usually spend 20 mins relaxing, doing a little meditation to get ourselves grounded in the room. When you walk out with so many people in front of you, on your side ready to go, and hearing them sing the first words to your song, its like a giant shot of adrenaline and joy. It’s genuinely an addiction, the dopamine you put out during an experience like that, you crave it sometimes.

You’ve spent 2015 touring overseas a lot in Europe, the US, Canada, Singapore, how was it?
Going to The States was super exciting but we were still finishing the record! We ended up recording vocals in a hotel in Montreal, then mixing it in other hotels, all while doing live shows. It was a topsy turvy whirlwind experience, but it was great.

You wrote a lot of Bloom in Berlin, which seems to be the place to be making music these days. Tell me more!
I encourage anyone to go to Berlin, if you want to go there and make music, do it. It feels really free and everyone in the city seems to be doing what they love to do. We stayed for two months to write most of the album. A lot of our favourite acts are based there, so we wanted to soak up whatever they’re soaking up. We stayed in a little Air BnB place, a Brady Bunch style house set up with a makeshift studio, nothing high end at all.

Did it have a Brady-style den?

No! But the hallway had a swing, and the owner of the place was a lovely Earth Mother type with crazy artworks everywhere. Her only rule was everyone had to swing on the swing. She had great music playing, it had such a cool vibe in which to write songs.

You gave your songs working titles based on sea creatures! Huh?

On the first album, we didn’t know what to call the songs, so we choose working titles. We called it Atlas because we’d named songs after cities in alphabetical order; Albury, Berlin, Carribean. So what were were going to do this time? We decided on sea creatures! We went on a Google hunt for each letter and found some strange creatures. We found a Xanthareel for X, look it up, it’s a very concerning-looking creature. This was the working title for Like An Animal!

(Note: WildnFree duly looked up Xanthareel, and found an example of one in the below picture. Fugly)


I’ve been listening to the new album and I think my favourite track is Brighter. You had a gospel choir helping you out on it? 

Yes, plus they sung on Say A Prayer To Me. They were so awesome, they brought an energy I could never create. Put four people in a room who just live and breathe singing, and they bring an amazing vibe.

Hypnotise has an amazing female vocal, who is this? It’s such a pretty track. 

It’s (keys player Jon George) Jon’s girlfriend, Dena Amy! After we wrote the song, we thought it would be perfect as a duet. Dena was there at the time and did a demo take, and we just fell in love with it. It’s so honest and doesn’t sound she’s performing. If you’re that in love with someone, you’re so with them, why would you perform? You would just be super relaxed, open your heart and sing. She really brought that.

Enjoy the gorgeous pastel paint drenched video for Like An Animal before picking up your own copy of the surreal and dreamy Bloom right here. No Xanthareels were harmed in the making of the vid:

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