The Cairns Post

Career tree change


- KATHY MCCABE Surrender is out now

You’ve made it in real estate-obsessed Australia when the sale of the childhood home where you recorded your debut album makes the property news. Rufus Du Sol’s Jon George, James Hunt and Tyrone Lindqvist lament they didn’t get a chance to farewell the old water tank they converted into a home studio to make their debut album Atlas almost a decade ago.

George’s waterfront family home in Burraneer in Sydney’s southern suburbs sold for $6.7m in September as the Los Angelesbas­ed trio ramped up the campaign to launch their fourth studio album Surrender.

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


Back in those early days, the former schoolmate­s were like any other fledgling pop aspirants, spending hours in each other’s pockets as they crafted their soaring, yearning anthems.

Fast forward to 2019 as they wound down their world tour for third record Solace – which was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album – and the trio found themselves not quite the best of friends any more. It’s a natural evolution for any band; you get older, priorities shift to partners and families and success affords a lifestyle where you’re not having to 24/7 share a house, a car or a studio.

Just a couple of weeks before Los Angeles was locked down, the bandmates headed out to the famed music muse, the Joshua Tree National Park, the desert locale where everyone from U2 to Arctic Monkeys have found their mojo.

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

“I’m glad we were able to drop all that and work on becoming better friends again because who knows what would have happened otherwise?”


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

No more late night sessions that dragged until 6am and messed with their body clocks.

“Surrender was made because we surrendere­d to this new way of getting music out of ourselves rather than staying up until 6am chasing the dragon as we did with Solace,” George says.

“It was just such an unhealthy way of writing so we had to work out the way to find the gold without torturing ourselves.”

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

Sounds like a simple self-care readjustme­nt but the pop industry has been built on decades of bad practices like all-day and all-night sessions locked away in a studio, subsisting on takeaway food and vats of coffee or energy drinks and whatever other stimulants may keep the creative juices flowing.

“Yeah, the morning ritual sounds a little bougie,” George says, with a laugh.

“But it worked because it opened us up and made us more vulnerable so we would say real shit to each other for the first time in a long time. If someone had something they just wanted to get off their chest, even something that was pissing them off from ages ago, they could and then it was done.”

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

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

Musically, it remains quintessen­tially Rufus, straddling the electronic pop spectrum from darker soundscape­s to euphoric melodic release.

Then there’s the 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 in there, both to capture that sense of new innocence but also of us kind of washing ourselves clean of the past,” George says.

“We had this children’s choir in Melbourne all set up to go but the day before they were booked to sing, Melbourne went down into lockdown again. It’s so sad they couldn’t do it but we donated to their school and ended up going with a choir in Los Angeles.”

It opened us up and made us more vulnerable …


Rufus du Sol’s Australian fans can only watch the recent footage of their return to the live stage in the US with acute FOMO and the hope the band will be able to return here for shows in 2022.

George says he has never felt the level of nerves he did for their initial shows, which included the iconic Red Rocks amphitheat­re in Colorado and the seminal Austin City Limits festival in Texas.

They have three stadium shows in Los Angeles coming up next month. “We have the vision for the Australian tour, the venues we want to do it in and now we just need the government to let us in.”

 ?? ?? Australian electronic group Rufus Du Sol headed to the famed Joshua Tree National Park to create new album Surrender.
Australian electronic group Rufus Du Sol headed to the famed Joshua Tree National Park to create new album Surrender.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia