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Rüfüs du Sol: The Aussie Trio Falls in Love With California 

Wednesday, Aug 3 2016

Tyrone Lindqvist described playing Coachella as a "giant life goal" and "everything we could hope for," but when it came time to go forth and conquer, he froze a little.

"When we walked out on the stage, maybe Ice Cube was playing at the same time," the vocalist-guitarist for Rüfüs du Sol says. "We were like, 'Oh shit, he's bringing out Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre. Oh, no!' "

Well, I saw Rüfüs du Sol — or Rüfüs, as the electronic dance trio are known in their native Australia — play that set, and I was standing among a crowd that didn't care what celeb cameo they might be missing. Rare is the low-energy dance act, but that level of feverish excitement was significant — especially for a band that's yet to make it truly big in America.

"I don't even think a lot of that crowd knew a lot of songs of ours," Lindqvist admits. "They were just there by chance. Maybe they'd heard one song or two, or a friend had told them to go. But for whatever reason the vibe in that tent was so good. Everybody was smiling, like 'Wooh!' That was so infectious."

Having released its third album, Bloom, last summer, Rüfüs has toured the festival circuit, hitting Electric Forest and playing a set with Odessa at Red Rocks, and Lindqvist seems particularly excited to spend some time in California. (Although it's mid-winter in the Southern Hemisphere, I couldn't help but remind him to bring a jacket to Golden Gate Park. It might come off as a paternal-sounding admonition, but apparently I was the first to inform him of what to expect at Outside Lands.) Shortly after the festival, they'll head to Burning Man for the first time, where Lindqvist said he'd do anything — "cook sausages, DJ, I don't care. Just get us there" — for a ticket.

For people who like to expose themselves to as much of a band as possible prior to seeing them live, the best entry point to Rüfüs might be "Innerbloom," the nine-and-a-half-minute closing track from Bloom that bobs and weaves through two discrete sonic climaxes without that forced quiet-phase-before-the-bass-drop that plagues so much EDM. It balances a party vibe against a hanging-around-on-Sunday-afternoon-drinking-beer feel — as Lindqvist puts it — but it was also the product of a day of messing around in the studio.

"We'd written most of the album, so that we were happy with it already," he says. "We were kind of tweaking bits of a lot of songs, making subtle changes. Once you do that for a week, it's not as exciting to come to work. So that day we were like, 'Fuck it, let's just have fun today.' "

The band wrote the chord progression, realized what they had on their hands, and — although "Innerbloom" has no official video — subjected it to their own internal test.

"We have a habit of whenever we write a song, we like to put on a YouTube video, [like] space footage or slo-mo videos or National Geographic," Lindqvist says. "You put those visuals on, and it becomes like a natural film clip. It makes you hear the song in a really different light, it's really stupid but it really does. We put space footage onto "Innerbloom," and the first three minutes — it's like it was made for it, the whole prep, the buildup. It changed the song for me."


About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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