Psychedelic wizards, Rufflefeather helped us reach musical nirvana in this trippy interview

Music has long been a bountiful fountain of spiritual comfort for artists and fans alike. The healing elixir that sonic organisation has to offer is vast and endless. Those who have managed to tap into music’s boundless potential reap the rewards, namely an escape, a means of connection and a medium for enjoyment like no other. Northern Beaches lads, Rufflefeather are one such entity, who’ve experienced this joy and, after their recent single Sixation, they plan on spreading it. We were lucky enough to chat with the psych kings to gain a little insight into their musical connection.


Rufflefeather are no strangers to musical enlightenment. We had a chat with them, where they let us in on the secrets of their psychedelic powers

HAPPY: How did Rufflefeather form? And what are the key influences to your sound?

Zane: It was a loose Jam at a party where there was an electric drum kit and an acoustic guitar. Sullo and I had been hanging out for years but for some reason we’d never played together. That jam was the genesis of Rufflefeather. I remember saying to Sullo that we should start a band. Some key influences for me personally are bands that are heavily guitar oriented. My dad introduced me to Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and a bunch of great music when I was about 10. And I played guitar long before I started singing, so there is definitely an emphasis on good guitar riffs and interplay.

Jonny: I met Zane in 2010 and started jamming before travelling to South America for 6 months. When I returned I started jamming with Zane again who had been jamming with Sullo, that’s kind of how it formed for me. I could write a giant list of bands that influence me but there are just too many to mention. The bands influencing me at this present moment would have to be Causa SuiSacri Monti, Bad Bad Not Good, The Biff Merchants and Chastity Belt, (love those chicks!). I’m also massively influenced by my talented band mates!

Sullo: For Rufflefeather as a whole, we are influenced by the way we feel and our environment we are exposed to. Our experiences, emotions, and lives affect our sound.

HAPPY: Why is music important to you? Do you try to put across a message in your music?

Zane: Music has always captivated me more than anything else. It’s magic. The fact that some invisible and intangible force can have such a profound effect on human emotion is ridiculously amazing and yeah, I do write with that intent. I love things that make people question… well, everything! Music is a great way for me to express my truth, and have it be an invitation to see where I’m coming from.

Jack: Music to me is a timeless journey of sonic exploration in a state of heightened connectivity. It’s as necessary as breathing.

Jonny: Music is kind of like a drug for me, I need it all the time. I’m always craving new music and spend endless hours searching online for new inspiring songs from all genres. I don’t really try to get any message across when writing, its more about the vibe we create together as a band.

Sullo: Music is of sound, sound is vibration, and vibration is everything. The message: wake up.

HAPPY: You definitely bear the hallmarks of great 70’s rock, but what is it about your sound that modernises it?

Zane: I think it’s the amalgamation of all of our influences. We love the 70’s stuff but I also have been equally obsessed with lots of other music over the years. But I think it’s mainly due to our striving for originality. Even though we have all these influences, we don’t want to sound like any one of them. We want to find our own sound. But who doesn’t?!

Jack: It’s so much more than something that can be pigeonholed by a specific decade but, rather, is inspired by the whole musical spectrum that influences everyone individually and is collectively brought to the forefront.

Jonny: I think the fact that we have so many influences including older 60’s and 70’s rock, 90’s grunge, right up to modern Jazz and Hip Hop that help us create something that is modern yet resembles music from the past.

Sullo: Sure we have a 70’s vibe, although with technology these days, sound quality will modernise anything. We’re just doing what feels natural, I guess, and what sounds good to us.

HAPPY: Sixation is a fantastic single, what was the inspiration behind it?

Zane: Cheers! Sixation is an ode to the confusion and anxiety that are the symptoms of a hyper active imagination. For a long time, I was the victim of the elaborate inner narrative that runs parallel to life’s actual happenings. I’m sure many can relate to that. And I think it’s something that many people don’t question so they just cop it. I’m pretty free of the ole’ mind fear these days, but it’s a good riff and it needed some badass subject matter. Hopefully it’ll help some paranoid humans out of the fear pit.

Jonny: Zane’s demons being unleashed! Haha

Sullo: Murphy’s Law on steroids in your mind.

HAPPY: You’re a part of a great music scene in Australia. What bands to you like to play with and at what venues?

Zane: Isn’t it just? Smaal Cats are rad. Shamanic also rad. Ocean Alley before they blew up haha. Moonshine in Manly is a goody!

Jack: So is Frankie’s in the city!

Jonny: When we’re playing locally my favourite venue would have to be Moonshine, we have a good relationship with one of the sound guys there and always seem to pack the place out. If we’re in the city I like playing places like Frankie’s and GoodGod which I think is closed down now… So many of the good venues seem to be slowly disappearing in Sydney, which is a bummer as there are so many good bands coming out of here. It’s always a good night playing with the boys from Shamanic, they really know how to rock out, Colour Cage always blow my mind too!

Sullo: We just played at Frankie’s for the first time and I think it’s my new favourite!

HAPPY: For all the gear head musos out there, what are your favourite pieces of gear?

Zane: I love my Egnater Tweaker 88. Tone city! I’ve got a few delay pedals on my board and they are all so cool in their own they way that all get to stay… (Roland Space EchoWay Huge Aqua Puss and TC Electronic Alter Ego) and a Diamond phaser. Maton Mastersound… Yep, suffice to say, I’m stoked on my gear.

Jack: Warwick Streamer bass, FX pedals. Sullo’s kick drum…

Jonny: My Fender Jaguar and the Golden Gordo!

Sullo: My earplugs! But in terms of playing gear, my 8″/ 14″ Danny Carey Sonor Signature Snare is a beaut!

HAPPY: What do you plan on achieving in music? What does musical success mean to you?

Zane: I just want to keep writing and performing. I would love to earn a living from playing music. That is musical success to me because It’s so rewarding already… yeah, that would be fucking awesome.

Jack: I love listening to the songs and jams as much as I love playing them. Musical success to me means never losing sight of this, and being able to do what I love with these guys. Oh, and playing stadiums around the world would also be pretty epic.

Jonny: I just want to write cool songs with my bros and enjoy the moment. If I could play music for a living that’d be awesome, I’d really like to achieve that. Music brings me so much happiness and can’t really be measured by success. If we make it as a band, I’ll be stoked but if we don’t, I’ll still be just as stoked. I’m really lucky to be apart of the Feather and feel we’ve already achieved heaps and will continue to for a long time to come.

Sullo: I plan on achieving happiness in life and bringing it to others. I do that by playing music, connecting with people, and having sex. I’m already doing two of those things so any sex I get is just a bonus ;). If we can create something that people truly crave and want to hear AND doesn’t just repeat over and over to get stuck in their head, I will be happy. We are all apart of something infinitely enormous and we know that it’s all about its experience. If I’m having a good experience, it’s a success to me.

HAPPY: What’s next for the band? Any exciting projects in the works?

Zane: Yep! We’re doing an Album!

Jack: And eating Kettle chilli chips…

Jonny: We are in the process of recording demos for a new album that we hope to finish recording before the end of the year, then I guess we’ll get out there and play some shows!

Sullo: The Waking Dream is on its way.