Making Friends With is our series that sees us get to know DJs in some of their favourite hangouts
Rüfüs Du Sol are an electronic three-piece from Australia. Early pioneers of an electronic renaissance that's now sweeping their home country in full force, their blend of emotional electronica has conjured comparisons with The Presets, Cut Copy and Empire Of The Sun. Previous albums Atlas and Bloom have seen their popularity spread far beyond the Antipodes.
Their enigmatic live show has seen them perform at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around the globe and their third studio album, Solace, looks like it might just be the big breakthrough that sends the band stratospheric.
We caught up with the band during a brief stopover in the UK. When discussing where we should meet, they informed us that they used to spend a lot of time on Brick Lane, shopping in Rough Trade Records and sampling the local curries.
Meeting on a sunny afternoon, we joined Tyrone, James and Jon for a browse through the shelves of Rough Trade East, before going round the corner to the Brick Lane Brassiere for what we've been told is the hottest curry in the city.
MoS: OK, so this isn't even on the menu, it's meant to be the hottest curry on Brick Lane. How does it smell?
Tyrone: hmm, it smells pretty hot!
Should I take a spoonful?
Tyrone: Do it!
I’m genuinely so anxious about this.
Jon: It looks like it’s going to be fucking hot.
Let’s do it – 3, 2, 1. Go!
James: Oh my god, that’s so hot dude. That’s so, so hot.
At the start, I thought it wasn’t that bad, but it feels like it’s getting worse.
James: It gets so hot, that’s spicy dude.
Tyrone: I feel like, this might be of those things that doesn’t work on me.
Tyrone: I think I might be alright.
James: Dude no, that’s spicy as fuck. It’s stinging the back of my eyeballs!
Tyrone: That’s really strange, I feel pretty good.
Jon: I’ve got the sweats down here dude.
***everyone takes a minute***
How're we feeling?
James: It feels pretty good, I feel cleansed. I feel spiritually cleansed. That was a cathartic experience.
Jon: It’s not too bad. I was bracing myself for the afterburn, but it’s actually alright.
Tyrone: It's so weird, I just didn't get it at all.
I don’t want to sound too cocky, but I think I could’ve gone hotter.
So Ty, you grew up kind of off-grid, is that right?
Tyrone: Yeah, in a town called Lightning Ridge, it’s nine hours from Sydney, about eight hours inland from any kind of ocean. My parents were opal miners. It’s the only place in the world you can get black opals. My dad is from Sweden and he was looking into going to South America to search for gold and he read about the most expensive gemstone, which is the black opal. He flipped a coin and ended up coming to Lightning Ridge. It’s a really strange town. There are about 50 nationalities, I guess it was sort of like a gold rush or people coming to search for these stones. So there’s a really strange mix of things there. All of the machinery looks like it’s from Mad Max. You can’t go in as a big company and mine, it’s all individuals and you can only do a certain amount per person. So I grew up there. It was really fun.
It sounds like a very unique place to grow up.
Tyrone: The school was really interesting too. It had a really good primary school, but everything after that was a bit of a dud. Pretty much everyone in my year had kids by 16, that or they were in prison. I was sent to boarding school at 12, which is how I met James and Jon.
Have you guys been to visit?
James: No, but I really need to. We have to do a show out there.
It sounds like the perfect setting for a music video.
James: Ty did make a music video there, for a school project, right?
Tyrone: Yeah! For a school project. It was with this rock/metal band I was in playing at the time. It’s actually Jon’s best friend’s older brother. That’s kind of where we first met. I was 13 or 14 and I would see him in the house with my friend's younger brother. We’d kind of pass each other that way – one of us would be playing GTA or Tony Hawk or whatever. Then we started hanging out.
Where you the singer in that band too?
Tyrone: Yeah, but not by choice. There was three of us and they didn’t want to sing. I didn’t either, but I thought, 'I’ll do it for now'. We were playing System of a Down, Nirvana, Blink-182, all the classics. Then we went all Korn / Nu-Metally. Korn were actually my first concert when I was about 14. Well, that’s actually cheating. A few years earlier my mum got me tickets to see Robbie Williams with my Dad. I really didn’t want to go, I was in a huff about it. Then I got there and it was this incredible show, it was the best sounding show, it blew me away. It was the most amount of boobs I’ve ever seen too haha.
I was hoping you could clear up a bit of confusion I had about your name. Is it Rüfüs in Australia and Rüfüs Du Sol everywhere else?
James: It was Rüfüs, then we couldn’t use that name in the US. So we came up with Rüfüs Du Sol for international releases and gigs. We liked it so much that we're actually Rüfüs Du Sol everywhere now.
Was it like a Blink-182 scenario?
James: Yeah I think it was a similar scenario to that actually. So we started as Rüfüs eight or nine years ago. For us, Rüfüs felt like it could be this foreign exotic place or person. Then 'Du Sol' felt like an ode to the sun, it could be of any nationality, not tied to one specific location.
I thought it might have been named after a person, or a pet or something.
James: We used to say we were named after Tyrone's grandfather, who had a soap company named Rüfüs.
Jon: We used to make up lots of stories about it, as nobody knew where the hell the name came from.
What was the most outlandish story you got away with?
Tyrone: We used to say we were named after this island, that doesn’t exist anymore just off the coast of Sweden. It was around when the Vikings were kicking about. It was called Rüfüs and it eventually sank, like Atlantis.
Jon: We also said there was a homeless guy who hung around outside the studio, with a three-legged dog called Rüfüs and we named the band in honour of him.
Tyrone: My favourite is still the soap company. It was so specific. We went into minute detail about it too. We said we use the same logo as was printed on the soap. It went under though, the soap company. It wasn’t good soap. It was like the soap in Fight Club, a bath-tub operation.
Your new album Solace is out now. You recorded it in LA, but I wanted to ask - what is your recommended listening location for the album?
James: We've actually got a funny story about Ty listening to the album.
Tyrone: Haha! Yeah, that's a good story. We were on tour and I was in my hotel room. The album had just come through from mastering. I was very excited so I immediately put it on my headphones. I started dancing around my room singing along. I had it on so loud that I mustn't have heard the maid knocking on my door. Who knows how long she was stood there watching me dance around on my own, singing along to my own music.
Haha! You heard it here first - recommended listening environment: headphones, hotel room, spectators optional!