Joshua Tree, California. The famed desert is now also an important aspect of the RÜFÜS DU SOL story.
Bringing their atmospheric and immersive music to this space has made for a unique live experience – one which the band has cultivated into a live album and film for fans.
Pulling off an event like this may seem huge to some but for RÜFÜS DU SOL, their journey has always been leading them here. Since the release of their debut record Atlas in 2013, the Sydney trio have been building their body of work consistently and matching that energy live.
Their stage production has become more intricate and expansive, with the music itself being given the space to breathe and develop new elements further on from their original recorded form.
“It feels really exciting,” drummer James Hunt tells us.
“it felt like a really natural evolution for us considering most of our output has been via albums, via singles, but we’ve always had a respect for different mediums of content that other acts do try and make music.”
“One thing that has been the most connecting part of what we do, is our live shows. We realised that there wasn’t anything on the internet or out there in the world that really encapsulated what the experience was like. We’ve filmed a song here and there and put it on YouTube, but it definitely felt like the next step to try and showcase what that experience can be in a creative way as well.”
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Watch: RÜFÜS DU SOL – ‘Treat You Better’
It has been a big year for the now twice Grammy-nominated group. With the release of their latest album Solace, RÜFÜS DU SOL have elevated themselves once again. Now mainstays on the international touring circuit, one would think that the rate at which the band has progressed and is progressing, has become part and parcel of the job.
For James, the significance of the last year and a half of releasing music and road life has definitely brought the band closer together. Together, they’re album to weather this crazy storm of album-cycle madness more defined than ever before.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve gotten better at gelling together creatively, and as people.” he explains.
“Learning about people’s boundaries and sense of space. Not being too aggressive with each other when we know someone’s in a weird spot. Getting to know each other as people has inherently helped the writing process become more streamlined. It feels like this year feels like a new era for us, there’s a bunch of life experiences that we’ve all been having.”
“We’re all in a similar spot in embracing and re-emphasising mental health, physical health and self-care. There were times where that was definitely by the wayside but now we’re unified in attacking what we love to do in a healthy way and being on the top of our game. It’s a really exciting time for us, not just in terms of creating the music but as people and as friends.”
Watch: RÜFÜS DU SOL – ‘Solace’
Delving into the how Solace has resonated with fans, James explains how this particular RÜFÜS DU SOL album has landed with him. As a creative, it can be hard to pull your head out of that creative bubble to appreciate the final product objectively, however he finds strong relevance in the music now more than at the time of writing.
“It’s almost begun to land more heavily with me, personally.” he says.
“Some of the things have become more apparent to me now, than when we were writing it. [We were] at the whim of this chaotic rollercoaster that we seem to be on, which is a really good rollercoaster, but it was chaotic – I think that was evident when were writing the record. It’s more relevant to me right now and so I’m connecting more to the record now in hindsight. It’s funny, connecting with your own music and different points in time. It’s very dynamic. It’s a strange perception of experience.”
RÜFÜS DU SOL: Live From Joshua Tree is out now (the full film is now on YouTube, too). Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, James is excited for the direction the band is headed in. Having grown into a major Australian success story in international markets that require a hard graft to break, RÜFÜS DU SOL have landed in the same lane as the Flume’s and the Tame Impala’s, in terms of respect and repute.
Watch: RÜFÜS DU SOL – ‘No Place’
“We started touring internationally properly in 2014, so that’s six years ago now.” James says.
“Even at that point, there was this chatter about Flume, about Tame Impala. These international acts of this decade having a popularity and importance. Over that time, I feel like that interest in this weird thing bubbling in Australia, now I feel like it’s a really strong contender.”
“Just in dialogue I hear people talking to me about how many of their favourite acts are from Australia right now. I’m not sure why that is, I’m not sure if it’s a willingness to experiment or that Australia is a melting pot of a lot of different genres, or the fact that it’s own little cauldron bubbling in this isolated space. But it definitely feels that there’s a lot more respect and more intrigue towards whatever is happening in Australia. I feel really proud of that and stoked to be a part of that.”