The revival of Rufus Wainwright

La renaissance de Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright has never been one to follow the rules, leaving more to be guided by his own convictions as to the diktats of the industry. Rebel ? Maybe. But the enfant terrible, admits himself to be settled down.

Rufus Wainwright was particularly brilliant, in February last, when he met with The Journal into a café in Outremont, a stone’s throw of where he spent his childhood. Smiling, affable and visibly relaxed, the singer was miles away from the image of the young man tormented that he has long proposed.

A note that the burst of laugh, a laugh as loud and blunt as the handshake he exchanged with the representative of the Journal, a few weeks before the outbreak of the COVID-19 and its rules of social distancing.

“It is true that we do not expect it of me, attest that there. But now I am more positive, I guess. You can’t spend a lifetime to torment him. “

Rufus Wainwright would he finally made peace with his demons ? He hesitates for a moment before replying.

“I don’t know, let t-it would finally fall. At the time they are tame, a new army arrives and it begins again of more beautiful. I guess it makes me feel just good to be back here in Montreal. The neighborhood has changed a lot, that’s for sure. But it brings me back always to my past. I remember how my mother was happy here. “

Two birds with one stone

The singer, 46-year-old was, in fact, two birds with one stone, landing in the metropolis to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of his mother Kate McGarrigle with a concert-tribute, but also to promote his most recent offering, Unfollow the Rules. This album was first expected earlier this spring, but the pandemic has pushed Rufus Wainwright to postpone its release. It was finally deposited in the bins on Friday.

Return to the source

Two years ago now, almost to the day, the singer went into a studio in Los Angeles, where he now resides, to lay down on disk the first notes of’Unfollow the Rules.

“I wanted this to be done in the same studio [as the one] where I recorded my first album, 20 years earlier “, he says.

“Nowadays, it is possible to record a complete album in our basement thanks to the new technologies. This is interesting. It is very good, even. But it is different. I wanted to go back to that time when we went to Hollywood – an act which was symbolic in itself – to record in a studio. One had to be very focused and channel our energies since we only had a certain amount of time to complete each song. The atmosphere was quite different. And I believe that it can be felt when listening to the album “, he continues.

In interview to the Newspaper, the singer talks aboutUnfollow the Rules as the last paragraph of an important chapter of his career. Not because he has the intention to withdraw. Far from it. About it, Wainwright is reassuring.

New chapter

“If I close a chapter, it is necessarily to start a new one. It is important for me to create different worlds, to reinvent myself constantly, as did my idols, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell or David Bowie “, he says.

We reserve the next chapter ? Only time will tell. But Rufus Wainwright promises something ” completely unexpected “.

“I think it would be fun to do a whole album in French. This is not unexpected in itself, but I would like to get away from my sensibilities as usual, either the folk or the opera. I would like to go in a completely new direction and offer something that would take people by surprise, ” says the singer.

The album Unfollow the Rules is now on the market.

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