After the massive success of their sophomore studio album ‘Bloom’, Rufus Du Sol quickly became one of the most sought after live acts not just in Australia but all over the world. With a massive following in America and Europe, the Sydney trio have been non-stop travelling and delivering energetic live shows that master a level of emotion and euphoric vibes. For their third studio album ‘Solace’ they have channeled a deeper emotional undertone that has been mixed with an experimental deep-house influence. This short but sweet record has been ultimately made to be heard and experienced live with this collection having a real festival vibe to it. The beats are bigger, the drops are lower and the energy is higher. Luckily for their Australian fans they are returning home at the beginning of 2019 for a massive run of shows. And with shows already selling out and second dates being announced, this is going to be one show you do not want to miss out on.
I recently chatted to keyboardist Jon George about the deep vulnerability of the new record, how touring has shaped their new sound and what fans can expect from their massive new production. Check it out;
TB: For this new record you go towards a slight moody house sound whilst still delivering some big euphoric and experimental hooks. What inspired you to go down this route? Would you say it’s a little DIY?
JG: I guess we were just inspired by what we were listening to and what we were experiencing at the time. We had been touring for a couple years off the back of ‘Bloom’ and being able to have these experiences all over the world and getting to hear all this different type of music at festivals and shows. We were really keen to get into the studio and experiment with those ideas that we were having. So we got really experimental and bought new synthesisers, toys and a new drum set up. And we just spent a lot of time trying to hone in our production and create these textures and landscapes that we could dive into. I think it’s also pretty evident that we were all going through a fair bit emotionally so it was really therapeutic to release that energy.
TB: Whilst you guys are an electronic band there are a lot of vulnerable and emotionally honest moments on the new record. So what would you say is the most vulnerable moment for you personally on ‘Solace’.
JG: That’s a good question! I think for me ‘Underwater’ is one of those songs that was written right in the thick of it. We thought we were doing the right thing by spending a lot of time in the studio because we wanted to create the best record possible but at the same time we were pushing everything and everyone aside in our personal lives. I found that I wasn’t hanging out with my girlfriend as much and we weren’t really looking after ourselves. So we never really found that balance, which is so important. And ‘Underwater’ really explores that feeling of uncertainty so that really resonates with me.
TB: Reflecting on your first album and looking at your new record. What would you say is the biggest thing you have learnt as a band?
JG: We’ve learnt to be as open as possible to each other. We have always been really good at that but we’ve tried to shed a light on feelings and not push them away as such and try to help each other through any emotion that we are going through because we are like brothers. We know each other inside out, so we’ve been there for each other through it all. But we’ve also found that it’s important to look after yourself as it’s the key to it all. I’ve been personally improving myself to be the best I can be through mediation and keeping a positive outlook.
TB: How has your creative process altered and changed from when you first started or has it kind of remained the same?
JG: With each album we’ve definitely pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones which has really worked out for us in terms of the result of everything compared to what we expected. So with this record in particular we threw away all our software and samples that were our “go-to’s” and we bought bunch of new synthesisers and tried to write something completely new and different. We sat in a room and just jammed and approached the whole writing process differently in that way. So that immediately changed things up for ourselves. I guess we also spent a lot of time at the end of this record reflecting on how much work we had put into this record and how much of our personal lives we had continued to push aside. So we wanted to rectify that and even that resolution reflects throughout the whole album. The hope of ‘Treat You Better’ starts the record and we dive into the darker moments of ‘Underwater’ and ‘Solace’ but then end it with the emotional hopefulness of ‘Another Life’.
TB: After the massive success of ‘Bloom’ did you feel there to be a huge weight of expectation and pressure?
JG: I think it’s easy for us to forget about that. We only sort of started to think about it in the promotional run with all of the interviews and reviews with everyone asking if there was any pressure. But it’s only just pressure on ourselves to be better producers than we were last time and to just be better people. We’ve been a band together for 8 years and are constantly on the road so a lot of that growing up has been done together. And we’ve had to create goals on how to push ourselves and how to get uncomfortable to get a better result.
TB: Next year you guys will be heading on your biggest tour of Australia yet and are playing some MASSIVE venues. So what are you guys planning for this tour to take your live show to the next level and really take over these large sold out venues?
JG: It’s so amazing! I can’t believe how many tickets we are seeing being sold, its very cool. but we have been putting a lot of work into the live show. As soon as we finished the record we sat in a rehearsal studio and tried to figure out what the best way to represent the album was as well as include it with the older tracks to create that emotion in between it and create a journey. We spent a lot of time working that out and now we have this really cool adaptable live show where if we are doing two or three nights in a row like we have been doing over here in America that we can change up the setlist and play different songs and covers. We have also been working with this lighting director to design this incredible and visual show. He’s kinda become a fourth member of the band *laughs*.
TB: What new song are you most excited or nervous to perform live?
JG: We’ve been playing shows in America for the past two or three weeks so I would say ‘Another Life’ has been my favourite to play so far. it’s a really unique way to bring the set closer to the end as it has this really cathartic energy and glimmer of hope.
TB: You’ve toured Australia so much over the past couple of years and must have experienced some crazy and weird things. So what has been one of your favourite moments from the road?
JG: Recently there was this big macho dude with his shirt off in the front row just raving the whole time and then towards the end of the set when we played ‘Underwater’ he just broke down and started bawling. I felt really bad for him but then this security guard came up to him and just gave him this massive three minute hug for the last half of the song and it was so amazing to see these two big guys just cuddling and consoling in each other whilst we are playing this really emotional and up beat banger *laughs*.
TB: Well that’s just the proof of the power of music isn’t it?
JG: Yeah definitely! I think that’s one of the biggest things we’ve learnt from these recent run of shows. Just watching the amount of emotion that is coming out of our show with the crowd and the stories we are hearing about how our music has impacted peoples lives. I cant believe it how our music has helped people through whatever it may be; death, loss of a relationship or internal struggle. The weight they put on our music is incredible. At the end of the day we go into the studio to make cathartic music for our own experiences and to explore feelings that we are having so to have people relate and feel so deeply with them is special.
TB: You guys are very active in the vibrant Australian music scene, you’ve even just launched your own label Rose Avenue Records. So with so many great newcomers currently hitting the scene who are some artists that you think people need to discover ASAP?
JG: Well Caspian who is the first release on our label is an incredible producer and he has an album that he’s been working on that we’ve been helping him shape and we’re really excited for that to come out. Otherwise we are just about to announce another signing, they are an amazing Australian band and their body of work is insane. I just cant say who it is yet *laughs*. Otherwise Crooked Colours, Hadyn James and Motez are doing incredible things so if people haven’t heard of them yet then they need to change that!
TB: TB: Let’s play a little game where you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind..
JG: *Laughs* Let’s do it!
TB: The emoji that best describes our new album is…
JG: The high fives in the air!
TB: I was expecting you to say the crying face emoji *laughs*
JG: I didn’t want to go there! *laughs*
TB: Most people think we…
JG: Are one person
TB: Our pre-show pump up song is…
JG: ACDC ‘Thunderstruck’
TB: The messiest member on tour is…
JG: Tyrone for sure! *laughs*
TB: If our band wasn’t called Rufus Du Sol we would be called…
JG: Strawberry Jellyfish *laughs*.
RUFUS DU SOL 2019 DATES
January 1 – Field Day, Sydney
February 14 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne *New Show*
February 15 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne *SOLD OUT*
February 20 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
February 22 – Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth *SOLD OUT*
February 23 – 3 Oceans Winery, Margaret River
February 24 – Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth *New Show*
March 2 – Riverstage, Brisbane *SOLD OUT*
March 3 – Riverstage, Brisbane *New Show*
You can purchase Rufus Du Sol’s new album from Sanity now https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2396792/Solace