QUICK CHAT W/ RÜFÜS
Ahead of their hotly anticipated sophomore album, Bloom, we had a chat to James Hunt of Rüfüs to discuss the album, what’s changed over the past few years and what we can expect from them in coming months.
Hey James, how’s it going?
Good man, how you doing?
Not too bad thanks, just looking forward to the release of Bloom next week. How’s it feel finally getting to release it?
Ah yeah, I think we’re itching to kind of get it out in the world, because we’ve been sitting on it so long. We only finished it really a month and a half ago. We were on tour and in our hotel room in Montreal, laying down our final vocal takes so we have only been getting our head around the whole thing as a unit, or as a whole recently anyway. But I kinda want to let it free, out into the world.
Yeah, that’s fair. We’ve seen fair bit of it on the tours recently which has been really good. How’s it feel with the scale of shows recently? I remember seeing you nearly three years ago doing tiny shows, and now you’re on the line up for Coachella, is that exciting for you, or a bit nerve wracking?
It’s super exciting. Some of the shows we’ve been playing have been crazy, recently the Falls shows we’ve been doing, they were just a little bit mind blowing, the scale of the crowd we were playing to. We were looking to each other like, ‘what the fuck’ . But, I think we are excited about Coachella – it’s an institution in itself, so you know it reaches this level of excitement, not even nerves or anything. It’s just pretty exhilarating feeling.
So ‘Innerbloom’ in particular from the singles you’ve released so far has a whole new sound to it in that it’s a lot bigger than other material. Do you think that coming back for your second album has given you the chance to expand your sound more?
Yeah definitely and I think in the process of expanding our sound was just trial and error. We were trying so many different things and mixing elements and I think we started to get an idea of what was working together and what wasn’t and also what we were responding to. ‘Innerbloom’ was something that for me, was like the heart of the record and takes us back to a lot of the sort of artists and producers we were looking to at the start, who had that warm ‘analogue-ey, warbly-ness’ to the aesthetic of the song. That epic broodiness, like almost cinematic-ness or something about the feeling of the song. I was pretty stoked that we absorbed that and it blurted out into this nine minute song and it’s crazy the response to that, in that it’s a pretty indulgent song.
What are some of the producers you were looking to when you came to Innerbloom then?
A big influence was David August, who’s a producer out of Berlin, and George Fitzgerald who’s an English dude who’s based out of Berlin. Even Nicholas Jaar, they were huge influences on what we wanted. Even Caribou as well; we listened to a lot of Caribou, yeah, there was a whole range of stuff. We had a playlist we added to as we were away writing and we continued to reference that and getting the vibes from the songs we were kind of obsessed with.
So you recorded the album in Berlin, how was that? Was it difficult to jump to a whole other place to write it?
It wasn’t really difficult, but we were actually very glad we could do that, we actually played a show there a year before and we had a few days off there and we had the best time ever and we were just really in love with that place because it’s such a creative hub. We had spoken about writing overseas somewhere for the last year or something before we started the writing process and we just sort of put our finger onto Berlin on a map and just thought ‘let’s just go there and do it’. It was kinda cool being out of our comfort zone, that cliché, it’s kinda true, when you’re in that foreign place, and it was getting into winter so we were kinda just holed away in our little DIY studio, just writing. It was cool being separated that way in a little bubble almost from the outside world. We’d almost forgotten about Australia, not forgotten about, but it wasn’t really in our minds. There wasn’t as much of this second album pressure or trying to meet any expectations, we were just locked away doing what we wanted to do and having fun, staying up until 7am just writing heaps of songs and just smashing song ideas out.
So would you say that Bloom has a distinctly different sound to Atlas, in the same way Atlas was separate to the EP’s in a way?
Yeah, I think it does, I think that’s also the push and pull of writing music is that, toeing the line with consistency but also bringing something new to the table. I think that, for me, there are a lot of newer shades and newer influences that have pushed the sound or texture of the aesthetic a little bit further, but I think that the heart of it we are still doing the same thing we’ve done on Atlas, and then the EP’s but trying to push the ways that we do that and the feelings of the songs.
What do you think is the best way to enjoy Bloom?
Best way to enjoy Bloom? I would say if you get one of those huge like, sort of bubbles that are human sized, that’s air proof and then you go into it and get submerged underwater somehow and have water all around you and jellyfish and a stingray maybe and then you just listen to it and have a really good time.
That sounds like an amazing way to enjoy it.
It also sounds significantly impossible with like the bubble would just come up, but anyway, I hadn’t really thought that one through.
What’s on for 2016 then, more touring, or are you going to disappear for a little while?
Um no, 2016 will be a pretty crazy one or us. There will be a lot of shows, a lot of touring, a lot of flying away and coming home, that whole process. But I think it was that process that inspired Bloom, almost scenically in that there is that push and pull in a sense of going out to do this, then coming back, the instability of that, but also the fun of it and the exhilaration of it. I think we’re all ready to that and have a lot of fun with it and play to more people, play some of the newer stuff. I think it will be really cool.
So your album is definitely one of the more hotly anticipated albums 2016 for Australian artists, are there any artists in particular you are looking forward to hearing from?
Hayden James is a friend of ours from Sydney, we love his output in electronic music and I’m pretty excited to see what he does next, considering how successful his last song was. Also I’ve listend to that Flume album teaser and that sounds pretty sick, so I’m pretty excited to hear more from that. Roland Tings as well, I’m a big fan of his, also a guy called Harvey Sutherland who’s from Melbourne I’m pretty sure, I’m pretty obsessed with what he’s doing at the moment, so more Harvey Sutherland would be not a bad thing.
That’s everything for today, thanks so much for the interview, and look forward to hearing Bloom in full, and hopefully seeing you on the road again soon.
Thanks so much dude.
Bloom will be released worldwide on the 22nd of January.
By Ayden Measham-Pywell.