We spoke with James Hunt from RÜFÜS DU SOL following the release of their smash-hit album Solace (2018), and what we can expect from their headline Oz tour – which is happening right this very moment, across the land! See article’s end for tour dates link.
Setting off and booking themselves an Airbnb in remote California, RÜFÜS DU SOL compiled Solace, their third studio album. Drummer James Hunt says the new record is very much a reflection of where the band was during that time period, both physically and emotionally.
“We moved over to LA a year and a half ago to start writing the record, and it was a pretty exciting time,” he tells us over the phone. “We found an Airbnb, and there was a studio there with all these new synths and toys, and we we’d just been touring for two years straight off the back of Bloom, so we hadn’t really had any time to write until that point. We were super hungry to get into it. We had a lot of ideas– a lot of artists we were listening to, that we were going to reference.”
Whether you picked up on it on your first listen or not, there is prevalent celestial theme running throughout the record – something Hunt tells us was very much a conscious effort.
“We’d have space images and galaxies and stuff on our computers and phones or we’d project images of that onto the walls of the studio,” he explains. “That was definitely a conscious thing from the start. I think also the synthesisers that we purchased inherently have that kind of Bladerunner-y, old, galactic kind of sci-fi aesthetic. I think some of the feelings we were going for were a bit more desolate, in things like a wild galactic synth breakdown and others that had a lot of space – things that sounded kind of bendy and warped. It was definitely an aesthetic that we were trying to go for, that is infused within the record.”
If you’ve ever seen RÜFÜS live, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it comes to their performances: spacey, dancey, out-of-body pop. They’re not stopping that with the Solace tour.
“One thing I really loved with the way we’ve approached our new live shows is that it’s sort of allowed more interpretation of this stuff, so we’re not playing songs always verbatim, and maybe extending different breakdowns,” Hunt says. “We loved the way one of the tracks on the record kind of had this end that crescendoed towards something, and then it’s just space; we wanted to extend it, and take it to somewhere that people wouldn’t see coming. Just in general, [we’re] trying to make each night completely different from the night before – inserting different chants and covers, rearranging the set list – just to keep ourselves on our toes a bit more.”
A few of the Aussie shows have sold-out, which leaves the group feeling very humbled indeed. We can’t wait to see what they bring to their home shores.
“[It’s] pretty amazing to be honest. I guess, because we were in our own little bubble writing and we weren’t in Australia, it was hard to consider or get any sensation of the fanbase; you feel disconnected. Putting your shows on, you’re like, ‘Is it too ambitious?’ so that when there was that response, it was really affirming, it was really nice. We were stoked.”
RÜFÜS DU SOL are playing across Australia throughout February and into early March; see all the dates here.