After 2016 saw them make a name for themselves at major US Festivals including Coachella and Lollapalooza as well as receiving five ARIA nominations down under, RÜFÜS are bringing it home with their Full Bloom Tour.
The tour will be the first time the group has performed in many Aussie locations, including Townsville, and will be the last shows before they lock themselves away to pen their next album. We pulled up stumps with RÜFÜS’ Jon George to find out what to expect at Townsville’s Shamrock Street Party, and what’s next for the trio.
A lot of stops on this tour are new gig locations for you guys and Townsville is one of them – do you have any idea what to expect at the Street Party?
We have no idea what to expect! I’ve never been to Townsville at all, which is the case for a lot of the stops on this tour. So that’s probably what I’m most excited about, getting to see a bit more of Australia. We’ve been touring here for the last six or so years now but have mainly just been hitting the major spots over and over again. So it’s going to be really cool to see a lot more of Australia. All I can think of is the street party you guys put on when the Cowboys won the NRL Grand Final a couple of years ago, so if that’s a Street Party to you guys then I’m down!
For the Townsville locals who haven’t had the chance to see you live before, what should first-time RÜFÜS crowds expect?
When people think about RÜFÜS it’s really two-fold. There’s the studio element and what people hear on records – if people don’t see us live then that’s all they know. But there’s another side and that’s how we reproduce it live, it’s really fun and energetic with drums, vocals, guitars, synths, and just has such a different energy to the recordings and makes it a whole lot more… dancier, or different anyway.
I was reading that this tour will be your last handful of gigs before you bunker down and work on tracks for your next album. Do you already have a few songs ready to go or will all that creativity start after the tour?
Just putting away the time is all we’ve done so far, we’re just excited to get back in the studio. It’s been pretty arduous touring so far, and haven’t really had a break. The week before this tour was the first I’ve had off in a long time. We’re just looking forward to getting in the studio, starting with a fresh palette, and having some fun.
What sort of creative process is there for you guys to put a new track together?
It all happens when we get in there – we just love to feel it out, all three of us write together and just start jamming some ideas down and working from there, going with the flow. We don’t ever really have anything when we go in, it’s always good to start from scratch.
Back when you released the Bloom album, did you have a gut feeling that it would earn a few ARIA nods or were you just creating music that you liked?
I think what we do is make music that we want to hear, and the ARIA nominations and things like that which come after the fact are a nice tip of the hat to what we’re doing. The industry awards we’ve won are nice because it’s a recognition by our peers – but we’re just writing music that we’re vibing in the studio, and I think that’s the best way to approach it. When we’re having the most fun seems to translate pretty well, that’s the music other people seem to love too.
The Full Bloom Tour must be a completely different pace to the massive US Festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, how do they compare?
It was a pretty wild year for us in 2016, and it sort of happened with Coachella where there was a lot more hype for us that we’d never seen before. We were playing to bigger crowds than we had in Australia, the Festivals are just larger with more ground to cover, so was really fun for us playing at some of their iconic venues and Festivals. And I guess the American crowds – a lot of them really get in the moment, free-flowing and lovey-dovey, and love going on a journey with us. We love being able to take people there.
There are a lot of regional stops on this tour – do you think it’s important to get out of those major metro areas and bring bigger acts to the sticks?
I think it’s something we’ve been super passionate about doing which is why we did this tour, there’s more and more stuff happening in regional Australia. I think things like this will pave the way – I know we’re not the first, but definitely think the more acts that do this, the more that other bands will see there’s a possibility and be able to use the precedence of the stages and stuff we’re using, and the people of Australia get to see more live music. Festivals like Groovin the Moo that focus on these areas are so cool and you can really see that the audiences in smaller cities and towns are really appreciative, so we’d love to do more of it.
When you were younger, did you ever think you’d be able to be a full-time muso? Do you have any tips and tricks for others that might just be starting up?
Not when I was a lot younger, but as soon as I figured out what I wanted to do after I left school, I set my mind to it and didn’t stop until I was. I think committing to it is important – if you know you have the ability and the drive to stick it out, that’s half the battle. There will always be people that doubt you or want you to have a second backup plan which was the case with me and my parents, but if you know you’ve got the drive and you can stick it out, then it’s really important to go for it and stay true to the music or the art that you’re creating. It’s something that you love, you’re making it for yourself first and foremost.
RÜFÜS are headlining the Street Party at Shamrock Hotel on Saturday, 25 February, with support from Roland Tings and Lastlings. Click here for tickets.