RÜFÜS DU SOL at L.A. film premiere
Photo: Michael Drummond
Must Watch: RÜFÜS DU SOL's Epic Joshua Tree Concert For No One
The camera pans across a deep red earth covered with towering rock formations and a seemingly endless vastness. Fittingly trippy instrumental electronic music fills this otherworldly, lonely space. Soon, the light begins to fade and the earth-tone colors shift as Tyrone Lindqvist's haunting voice—singing emotive SOLACE cut "Eyes"—orients us.
We are here on earth, in the hazy, dreamy desert landscape of Joshua Tree, Calif., where RÜFÜS DU SOL recorded their latest project, their debut feature film and accompanying live album. The trippy opening cut is a brand-new, unreleased song aptly entitled "Valley of the Yuccas." Both the 44-minute film and live album, which share the name of "RÜFÜS DU SOL: Live from Joshua Tree," will be released globally on March 6. [Update: You can now enjoy the full film via YouTube, shared below.]
At the film's world premiere at the intimate Vista Theatre in Los Angeles, 400 friends and fans of the band got the first look. Lindqvist and bandmates Jon George and James Hunt were also there themselves to help kick things off and offer some extra cheering in the back of the movie theater. More fun screenings, in select major cities globally, will be announced soon. The album is also available for pre-order here.
The project includes music from 2016's Bloom, 2014's Atlas and of course, 2018's GRAMMY-nominated SOLACE. The second song, "Eyes," was written by the Aussie trio in Joshua Tree and somehow feels brand new sung out to the open desert sunset landscape where it was born. In another too-perfect moment, after "New Sky" set to the fading pink and orange sky, the guys bring us Atlas' "Desert Night" as the darkness settles in. The eight-song show ends, in gradual darkness, with "No Place."
The visuals of the live set are stunning; in addition to the gorgeous natural landscape and RÜFÜS' rich sounds, the stage design and lighting are epic in their own right. Dozens of flashing light poles surround the trio as they each play on individual little stages nestled together amongst the rocks, with their respective music equipment resting on sleek, clear stands. The entrancing lights pulsate and flash to the music and somehow expand the space even more.
"There were about 80 light poles and the light installation idea came from our creative director, Katzki, drawing lines on a photograph of the site," the band told us. "The design was translated from our live show with Matt Smith from Colourblind designing and Dave Fairless operating day of. Danny, our manager and Derek, from our management team, physically installed and straightened them one by one in the searing heat risking death by rattlesnakes."
The stunning film is presented by Mixmag and Rose Avenue Records, the band's label. Alexander George, a.k.a. Katzki, Jon's brother and RÜFÜS creative director/longtime visual collaborator, directed and produced it. He also directed the videos for "No Place" and "Like An Animal," to name a few.
"We went on a writing trip in Joshua Tree back when we were finishing SOLACE. While we were out there we stayed up one night until the sun rose and this creeping light came over the valley into our room. There were these wild rock formations about 100 feet above where we were writing so we climbed up to take in the sunrise. We brought a speaker with us and 'Time' by the Pachanga Boys came on," the group added.
"Watching dawn break with this epic 15-minute journey playing out, we started joking about putting together a sunrise set in the desert where we would play to no one. Everything kind of took off after that. For almost two years we workshopped ideas and locations and finally, we put time aside to shoot in September last year."
You can catch the boys live as they embark on another world tour, including shows at CRSSD in San Diego, Corona Capital in Guadalajara and two nights at Red Rocks in Colorado. You can still participate in their fundraiser to support Australian brushfire relief, which could win you tickets to the sold-out CRSSD fest.