Los Angeles isn’t defined only by its native citizenry, but also feeds on the comings and goings of expats and pilgrims, migrants and day-trippers. For the three members of RÜFÜS DU SOL, home will always be Sydney, Australia, where they grew up and formed the band; and yet for nearly four years, the trio has lived and thrived in LA, immersed in the city’s culture and comforts.
During a visit to The Broad, a contemporary art museum in Downtown LA housed in a modern, wedge-shaped structure, the alternative dance musicians were clearly dazzled by their surroundings. RÜFÜS DU SOL’s Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George, and James Hunt entered this epic three-story building with a white honeycomb exterior, and found a galley space filled with art from the vast collection of the late American businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad. George was soon standing next to Jeff Koons’ famous life-sized porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson and the chimp Bubbles. “That was pretty surreal,” George says after. “I remember seeing that in an art book maybe 20 years ago.”
“I like the way the interior lobby undulates and looks like a living organism. The architectural aesthetic of this building is really interesting. That’s why we were drawn to come here.”— James Hunt
The musicians are sitting in The Broad’s gray cavernous lobby, still taking it all in. “I like the way the interior lobby undulates and looks like a living organism,” says Hunt. “The architectural aesthetic of this building is really interesting. That’s why we were drawn to come here.”
A visit to The Broad is inevitably a special occasion, but the band members are learning to live like locals in their daily lives in the city. Lindqvist is settled in Venice Beach with his wife and two-year-old son, where the famous boardwalk is a frequent destination for their bike rides. For coffee, he’ll often stop at the Blue Bottle, and later for guac there’s always La Cabaña on Rose. Also nearby is RIZE Thai & Sushi Infusion, and Supurba for bread, pastries, and juices.
The band’s life in LA began with the excitement and burnout of making 2018’s Solace, followed by a renewed commitment to health and friendship on the recent album Surrender. “LA is like this beautiful washing machine of glitz and glamour, opportunity and great creativity. And it’s easy to lose yourself in this wonderful city,” says Lindqvist. “This last record has been a very healing one for us where we’ve reconnected as a unit and found structure and stability in this very exciting city.”
George moved into West Hollywood because many of his friends were already there. He and Hunt begin most mornings at Rodeo Athletic, a gym near Beverly and Fairfax. Some days, they take things deeper at Remedy Place on Sunset for an ice bath or time in the hyperbaric chamber. “I like to dabble in elements of wellness to get us feeling super fresh before hitting the studio,” says Hunt, also a workout regular at the local Barry's Bootcamp. Adds George, “We started leaning into looking after ourselves.”
For festive meals in West Hollywood, George hits Jon & Vinny’s for spaghetti bolognese or pizza, or heads next door to Badmaash for Indian food. Hunt resides in Hollywood, in the same building as RÜFÜS DU SOL’s studio, and sometimes wanders over to the nearby trails for hikes. Not far from him is the world-famous Hollywood Bowl, hallowed site of generations of monumental performances.
“For my birthday, Tyrone got me [tickets] to go see John Williams live with an orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl,” Hunt says happily. “He ripped out Star Wars and it was huge. That’s such a spectacular place, just iconic and classic.”
“LA is like this beautiful washing machine of glitz and glamour, opportunity and great creativity. And it’s easy to lose yourself in this wonderful city.”— Tyrone Lindqvist
Together and apart, RÜFÜS DU SOL have explored the city to escape the pressures of their work, or to find inspiration to create. While recording these last two albums in Los Angeles, the band went on “little day-excursions,” says George, to Malibu, or to Griffith Park to explore the Bronson Caves (the site of the old Batman TV show’s Batcave). “We’d go out there with a notepad and pen to write down some ideas, some thought-starters for lyrics.”
While the band only got back on tour in the fall of 2021, Lindqvist, George, and Hunt used their downtime to finally settle in as Angelenos, establishing a routine and a way of life in LA. Says Hunt, “Being allowed to explore that for the last year and a half has made LA definitely feel more like home.” FL