RÜFÜS have come back from a world tour spanning three continents. From snowball fights in Europe to surviving the dustbowl of the Coachella music festival; the group is about to embark on a nation tour across multiple states. Jon George found some time to talk about the success from their latest album Bloom and what he looks forward to for RÜFÜS’s upcoming national tour.
How does it feel to be back in Australia, after coming back from an international tour?
It feels good. It feels good to be back in Australia I guess because we’ve been away for a fair while. So I am just trying to get as many good coffees in as I can, enjoy the weather. We are rehearsing in Adelaide at the moment, with our new lighting show. It’s really exciting just putting all that together. So we’re pretty excited, just to do all these; the biggest shows we have done in Australia.
When you are touring nationally and in Australia, is there a sense of familiarity or homeliness?
Yes for sure, it always feels really nice to be back and play a few big, live shows in Australia. The crowds are so welcoming here and it really feels like home. We have been touring here for five years at least so it does feel like home even in different states. We are trying to put on the biggest shows that we have done right now, so we are really pumped to see all the action and play new songs to people.
Does first show you play in Australia feel like a massive homecoming?
For sure it does, we have the first show in Adelaide on Friday night and in Perth the next night. Both are really nice venues, so it feels like a good homecoming.
What are you looking forward to your gig at Perth’s Red Hill Auditorium?
I haven’t been there, but I have seen photos. It seems like a spectacular setting with the city in the background and I know it’s a bit isolated but it just looks like a beautiful place to play and a decent size, big auditorium and Perth has always been really good to us, so the crowd will be really good. We are super stoked so I am always looking forward to Perth shows.
On your international tour you stopped off in various locations across Europe, America and Canada. Is there a stop on your tour that stood out? Are the audiences different depending on where you go?
I think a lot of that has to do with the different levels of exposure we have in different places. In America it feels like it was to play in Australia two and a half years ago, it has this general buzz and excitement. People were discovering us for the first time and really jumping on board. In Australia we are already established in people’s minds and they’re just coming to see one of their favourite bands. In Germany, we are less known to the general population and its more about how people have heard about us. In Germany in particular our track ‘like an animal’ on Vodafone commercial there and we have also had a lot of little one-offs and successes. We have had different remixes from artists, it just shows the different types of crowds.
It’s definitely like starting fresh, you have got to work for it in a way because people can just come and check you out out of curiosity, so you still have a lot of winning over compared to Australia where we may have won over crowds in previous tours. For us it’s just playing and enjoying what we are doing on stage, looking at each other and enjoying jamming together, so it’s not too hard; it’s just different.
You guys performed at the Coachella Music Festival, in some ways it’s a musical festival that’s touted as being unlike any other. What was it like to be a part of the huge line-up? What was the atmosphere like? Any highlights from the festival?
It’s pretty amazing. I went there as a punter four or five years ago with a bunch of friends on an American trip, and it was always a bucket list thing for us and the band and when we finally got the opportunity to play at the festival it really did feel quite surreal. We got to see lots of good acts, take in all this new music; LCD Soundsystem and others. We saw heaps of stuff over the two weekends of the show, so you get to cover a fair bit of music. So it’s really just an exciting and fun experience. When we played the show, we were just really lucky for the buzz over there and the amount of crowds we were getting, so it’s really cool.
Did you wear any of the traditional Coachella garb?
We were just wearing what we usually wear; we wore bandanas because it just gets so dusty there. You’re just breathing in pure dust so we had accessories which we normally wouldn’t wear.
Are there any interesting stories from your international tour?
We did have some people who were following us around to different shows, driving extreme lengths of distances to come and see the shows. I can’t think of anything too crazy, I guess just playing pranks on each other just to lighten the mood of the tour. Leaving people behind, when they go to the toilet at truck stops, I know it was snowing a fair bit of the tour in Europe; so we were just always ganging up on one person and throwing a hundred snowballs.
Your album bloom reached number one in the Aria charts in July. What aspect of the record do you believe resonated most with listeners and made it so popular?
I just think we have been getting more and more attention and we just keep putting out song by song. We released “You were right”, “Like an Animal” and “Innerbloom” before the album was released. All three are very different in their own respects in particularly “Innerbloom”, so we had people who maybe liked one song who may have been very interested to buy the record and people who like a different type of our music like with the long indulgence of “Innerbloom” were just really just excited to see what would happen on the album too, so they have worked in our favour.
When performing live sets of your album Bloom. Does it give you guys a chance to experiment with the material you have on the record?
We have just been focused on playing because we haven’t played a lot of the songs off the album and we have been writing sort of all of last year. When it came to this year, it was more about just starting to work out how we were going to play all those songs. Working out different interludes and bridges and having fun with jamming different parts out. We did have to have a bit of fun and creativity with that aspect and some of the material that didn’t make it on the album we were able to put into those bridges or remodel the start of songs and our older songs with things that didn’t make the album so we have a good opportunity to do that.
Is there any feeling of achievement for knocking Adele off the top spot?
Less about Adele for us and just really stoked that that amount of people were buying the album and once you have finished writing the album. Probably the next best thing is that it reaches as many ears as possible, and that’s what it signifies, so we were stoked about what the case about album was.
Any plans for another album after the tour?
After this one, probably not for a little bit; for sure, we’ll be touring for a while and then we’ll get back into the studio when we are feeling ready. That process is usually pretty normal, you get stoked with touring were you do that for a year and then you are really excited about going back into the studio, so there is no doubt that will it happen again.