CUT OUT TO ENJOY SUCCESS
The members of popular band Rufus are enjoying a victory lap of Australia before heading to the US and to Berlin to work on their second album
Rufus are lapping up their growing fame with a victory tour in a year that started with them landing a song in the Hottest 100. A sign your band has reached levels of recognition acquainted with ascending stardom is when a cardboard cut-out of your frontman attracts more selfie photo requests than the real thing. The members of Rufus were even more impressed when the fake head of singer Tyrone Lindqvist was removed from his body during fan shenanigans.
“When the head was ripped off, (the cut-out) was just a total mess. The girls got into him; they all wanted a piece of the cardboard. You were violated, man,” says his bandmate and keyboardist, Jon George.
“You cannot have been more objectified.”
And how does Lindqvist feel about being the object of such violent fandom?
“I don’t know, you should ask the cardboard me. He’s just a piece of meat, someone pretty to look at,” the singer says.
Lindqvist, George and their mate, drummer James Hunt, were one of the anointed indie dance acts to claim the mainstream last year alongside the all-conquering Flume.
After building an audience with a couple of EPs in the trio’s early years, the band landed at No.1 when they released debut record Atlas last August.
Within six months, they had been snapped up to play the Falls Festival and Big Day Out, had three songs in the Hottest 100 and were heading to the US where they will now be known as Rufus Du Sol.
The name change came as Columbia won the rights to release Atlas in the US and seems designed to avoid the possibility of their moniker being confused with the ’70s American funk band who launched Chaka Khan’s career.
As the band prepared to head off to the US, a victory lap tour of Australia for May and June was announced and the shows quickly started to sell out with extra dates added for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
ALL YOU ARE REALLY TRYING TO DO … IS TO MAKE SONGS YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO
“All this stuff happening at the moment is surreal,” George says. “You say things out loud like you want to travel the world and sustain a living out of music but all you are really trying to do when you are writing for your first record is to make songs you want to listen to.”
Rufus have not only found a fanbase but a community of like-minded artists.
“I do feel people want Australian music to be doing well,” George says. “From our perspective, when we see guys like The Preatures, The Rubens, Thundamentals in airports and gigs, there is such a sense of camaraderie. “You couldn’t fit any more musicians into the Virgin airport lounges.”
When they finish the Worlds Within Worlds tour in late June, they plan to go to Berlin to work on the second album. All three cite the Big Day Out performance on Australia Day in Sydney as their songs were landing in the Hottest 100 as a day they will never forget.
After that, they went for a walk through the crowd. “It’s funny though, because we would hear people talk about us while we were out in the crowd watching other acts and without them knowing it was us,” Lindqvist says.
“And they sounded like they had a sense of ownership and pride. “They sounded like fans who found us without any hype or marketing.” Rufus play a sold out show at Coolangatta Hotel tomorrow night. They play The Tivoli, Brisbane, Saturday (sold out) and Sunday.
Rufus (from left) James Hunt, Jon George and Tyron Lindqvist