The moment Tyrone Lindqvist (guitar, vocals) of RÜFÜS DU SOL offered me part of his Kit Kat bar, I knew it was going to be a good interview. The obvious first question was....
What's your favourite chocolate bar?
Jon George (keyboard): I enjoy the Tim Tams (classic Aussie)
James Hunt (drums): Bounty is definitely in the top 5
Tyrone: Snickers are delicious but I love all chocolate bars. And did you know that in North America you don't call it a chocolate bar, you call it a candy bar? Like it's not even worthy of being classified as a chocolate bar.
You guys are just three weeks into your 4 month. How was it to start with SXSW? Danny (manager) said it was amazing but relentless, did you guys have a good time?
James: We did, but it was crazy packed with 6 showcases. One day we had 3 shows and we literally had to get a little trolley, put all our gear on it and push it down the side of the road, it was intense.
Jon: A friend described SXSW as a bootcamp for musicians, everyone's there trying to make it. It was really fun and awesome, but definitely a lack of sleep and running around playing a lot of shows.
Were you able to catch any of your favourite artists?
Jon: We saw Kaytranada, which we were pretty hyped up about.
James: Saw Washed Out, Girrafrage, and Chet Faker - they were all really awesome.
What’s the music festival scene like in North America compared to Australia?
James: There's this big camaraderie happening in Australia amongst all the artists. We are all becoming buds because we see the same artists playing the same venues and festivals.
How did you three become buds?
James: Jon and Tyrone know each other through Jon’s little brother who does all our film clips and I went to school with Tyrone and the three of us started making music in Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is one of my favourite places in the world. Do you guys surf while in Byron or is that too cliché Australian?
Tyron: Ya, that's too cliché, James surfs the internet.
How does your music come together?
Jon: Its very collaborative, the three of us just go into a room and start making music.
Tyrone: Someone might bring an initial idea but then we will all work on it. We don’t stick to our roles or instruments on stage when we are making music, we all bring input to every aspect of a song.
James: We always knew we wanted to fuse acoustic with electronic, because at the time, I was doing more electronic stuff while Tyrone was doing lots of recordings and live instrumentation. And when you translate it to live shows, we knew we wanted to be more of a band as opposed to three DJs on stage.
Tyrone: When I was younger, there was a few bands floating around like the Presets and Cut Copy that were translating their live shows using instrumentation and I remember opening up to dance music and electronic music because of that. I said to my friends "no it's not electronic music, they're a band, they play music" and it opened me up to that genre. I hope that fusing acoustic and electronic will open up other people and embrace where music is at these days.
Many people have these preconceptions and judgements about electronic music being guys up on stage pressing buttons, but I think this is the evolution of where music is heading because of the technological advancements. Music is always played with instruments at hand and since we're becoming more technologically savvy, we can make tons of crazy beats; music will keep evolving with this.
James: Couldn't of said it better myself, can you quote me on that?
Tyrone: No quote me, I said that.
I like how you bring in that live aspect to your show because it makes it more fun to watch.
Jon: Ya, and more fun to play, rather then having all the pre-sets and just miming up on stage. Your actually hitting drums and instruments and you can make mistakes.
James: And it makes it fun for the audience because they are rooting for you, because things can go wrong: like when you fall over.
Tyrone: Its more exciting as an audience to watch and not know what's going to happen. The audience is really on your side. For example, this one time, the power cut out on the whole tent and we had to stand around for a couple minutes waiting for everything to reboot. That's just life.
Any crazy fan stories?
Jon: There are these girls from Newcastle in Australia that are really intense. We've been back there a few times and the last time we went one of the girls started messaging James on Facebook and photo-shopped her face into one of his pictures with the caption "soon..."
James: She looked so creepy, like she's about to kill me or something.
Wait kill you or DTF?
James: Haha well, the latter and then the former haha.
Jon: And the same night the girl was trying to get back stage and the bouncer had to kick her out after attempting to prove her worth by doing the worm.
Tyrone: And by the worm, we mean she bellyflopped around on the floor, she was so drunk. Luckily she got out.
What's the most fun about touring and the least fun about touring?
Jon: Well its exhaustion and then excitement. The highs are amazing, but you get so tired.
James: As soon as we finished a show and feel like we nailed it, there is this huge satisfaction and amazing feeling. Tyrone: Its like a sine wave. There's never really a low though, just exhaustion and we are going to be on the road for 4 months and we are only in the third week.
Jon: Touring is relentless because you still have to work in between shows when all you want to do is sleep and it's hard to balance that. Like for example last night before our show in Edmonton, Zoolander came on TV and I thought "Fack, I could just sit here and watch this all night instead of go to this gig. I wonder if anyone would kill me?" But then if you battle that, and it's 100 times worth it.
So trivia time: what's Australia's national animal?
James: Well the Koala is the official animal but the unofficial one is the drop bear. (I had to google this and supposedly the drop bear is a fictitious Australian marsupial. Drop bears are commonly said to be unusually large, vicious, carnivorous marsupials related to koalas (although the koala is not a bear) that inhabit treetops and attack their prey by dropping onto their heads from above).
What's Canada's national animal?
Jon: The grizzly bear?
Tyrone: The maple leaf? I
James: I thought it was the bison, no the moose.
Tyrone: The Elk?
I think it's the beaver.
Jon: The Bieber?
Tyrone: Justin Bieber? So did the national animal change once Justin Bieber became so successful?
What are you guys most excited about for 2014?
Tyrone: We are excited to write again. It' s been a while with all this live playing and touring but its probably a good thing because we'll come together with a lot of fresh ideas.
Jon: We've all been listening to a bunch of different artists which is good because we will come together with different ideas. Everything we've done so far has a pretty set style and we knew where we wanted to take it, but when we go to write our second album we will have a fairly open plate.
So what are some weird facts about you guys?
Jon: James gets really narcoleptic after he's been drinking, he can fall as sleep anywhere.
Tyrone: We have so many photos, like one time we found him on the bathroom floor of a club after its closed.
James: Tyrone is like a little kid, he loves puzzles, toys and chocolate. And he gets really creative with food.
Tyrone: Ya, let me show you something I've invented because we've been getting so many veggie platters on tour. So you take a piece of celery and dip it in the ranch sauce, and then you take a carrot and fit him in the celery, like a blanket. See, they were meant for each other.
So who would win in an arm wrestle?
Tyrone: Jon and James usually arm wrestle and Jon usually wins.
James: Ya right.
Jon: Alright, I'll prove it.
All in all, Ladywood had quite the time watching the boys put on a stellar performance at Commonwealth. Every Australian in Alberta came to support their fellow Aussies and the boys said it was one of the rowdiest crowd they've ever played for. Way to go Calgary - kudos to you!
We are excited to see what's next for these talented fellas and wish them all the best in their journey.
ps. If your still wondering who won the arm wrestle, Jon did take the W again.
pps. All photo credit goes to Phil Crozier - thanks! (website / www.photophilcro.com)
We are a Calgary based music blog that focuses on bringing you the greatest and latest in good music. Run by three effervescent ladies, we just post what we like and hope you like it too! Live, Love and Laugh, and listen to some good tunes while you're at it. Want to hear a tune? Send us a message - we love hearing your sweet honey voices in our inboxes!