Rufus Du Sol explains how being healthy helped make a better album

As the world came to a halt last year, Australian electronic music stars Rufus Du Sol traveled to the California desert to regroup.

You’ve made it in an Australia obsessed with real estate when the sale of the childhood home where you recorded your first album made property news.

Jon George, James Hunt and Tyrone Lindqvist of Rufus Du Sol lament that they didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to the old water tank they turned into a home studio to make their debut album Atlas there. is almost ten years old.

George’s waterfront family home in Burraneer, a southern Sydney suburb, sold for $ 6.7 million in September as the Los Angeles-based trio stepped up the campaign to launch their fourth Surrender studio album.

“My parents sent me the articles about it; It’s hilarious. I love that is how they announced the house; ‘Stay where Rufus made their album,’ says George.

Back then, the old classmates were like every other budding pop aspirant, spending hours in each other’s pockets as they created their fiery, fiery hymns.

Fast forward to 2019 as they wrapped up their world tour for third record Solace – which was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Dance / Electronic Album – and the trio no longer found themselves quite the best of friends.

It is a natural evolution for any group; as you age, priorities shift to partners and families, and success offers a lifestyle where you don’t have to share a house, van or studio 24/7.

Just weeks before the Los Angeles lockdown, the band members traveled to famous music muse Joshua Tree National Park, the desert place where everyone from U2 to Arctic Monkeys found their mojo. .

“It’s natural to start developing new friendships. You find new partners. And other things come up to your ego and everyone starts to develop that individualism, ”says George.

“I’m glad we were able to let it all go and work on being best friends again, because who knows what would have happened otherwise?”

The album title reflected Rufus’ new mantra. Cut off from the world in the desert, they reshaped their whole approach to “work”.

No more late-night sessions that dragged on until 6 a.m. and disrupted their biological clocks.

“The surrender was made because we surrendered to this new way of getting music out of ourselves rather than staying up until 6 in the morning chasing the dragon like we did with Solace.” , said George.

“It was such an unhealthy way of writing that we had to find a way to find the gold without torturing ourselves.”

Each morning began with rituals – meditation, gym and sauna – then in the studio for about eight to 10 hours, then a good night’s sleep.

It sounds like a simple readjustment of personal grooming, but the pop industry has been built on decades of bad practices like all day and night sessions locked in a studio, subsisting on take out and dinner. vats of coffee or energy drinks and other stimulants. can keep creative juices flowing and eyes open.

“Yes, the morning ritual is a bit of a candle,” said George, laughing.

“But it worked because it opened us up and made us more vulnerable, so we were saying real shit to each other for the first time in a long time. If anyone had something they just wanted to get rid of their chest, even something that had pissed them off for ages, they could and it was done.

Solace was a darker musical affair, the lyrics heavily weighted by Lindqvist’s emotional turmoil after a breakup.

Three years later, Surrender is a much more romantic record in the wake of the singer of Rufus du Sol marrying his partner Malorie and welcoming their son Ziggy.

Musically, it remains typically Rufus, astride the spectrum of electronic pop, darker soundscapes with a euphoric melodic exit.

With the addition of a children’s choir on the single Next To Me.

“Obviously, with Tyrone becoming a new father, during the process of making the record, we started talking about having a children’s choir there both to capture that feeling of new innocence but also to wash us down in. sort of from the past, ”said George. .

“We had this children’s choir in Melbourne ready to go, but the day before they booked to sing, Melbourne was blocked again. It’s so sad that they couldn’t do it, but we donated to their school and ended up going with a choir to Los Angeles, which was such a great experience to see them sing.

Australian fans of Rufus du Sol can only watch recent footage of their return to the US stage with a high-pitched FOMO as tens of thousands of punters worshiping, some with tears in their eyes as they danced in new.

George said he never felt the level of nerves he felt for their first shows, which included the iconic Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado and the flagship Austin City Limits festival in Texas.

They have three big shows at a stadium in Los Angeles next month, with their fellow Australian Flight Facilities as one of the opening acts.

Like all music fans on the planet, George says he’ll never take another gig for granted again after the pandemic shutdowns.

“We have the vision for the Australian tour, the places we want to do it in and now we just need the government to let us in.”

The surrender is out now.

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