Rufus Wainright on the new album “Unfollow The Rules” and in friendship with Johnny Mitchell: Rufus Wainright, singer and composer of World Cafe Folk, returned to Los Angeles, w he debuted in 1998 to record his new album. Unfollow the Rules” is also his first pop album in eight years, and during this period, starting with Out of the Game, he was busy with other projects: he wrote two operas. He lives in Laurel Canyon, a place with a very glorious musical history – singer-songwriters such as Crosby Still and Nash, Joni Mitchell – and mentioned in his his documentary about making this new album behind the scenes that he was not allowed to listen to Joni Mitchell in his house when he was young. Rufus Wainright’s new album is called Unfollow the Rules. We are recording this conversation now, on June 8th, and talked about his new album “Unfollow the Rules” a few weeks ago, just before the documentary came out backstage. I found it so interesting that you decided to record Unfollow the Rules in the same studio as the 1998 debut album, and you said you would support your career, so to speak. My husband organized a big festival called “Luminato Festival” and we were told, “This year Joni is 70 years old, we have to do something about it”. “And then we had a concert in Massy Hall with wonderful guests, and she came and sang, which was great because she hasn’t sung on stage in over 12 years. So, this new album, “Unfollow the Rules”, is a pop album. I love Joni Mitchell’s music today and I didn’t mind it at the time, but my mother, the late great Kate McGarrigle, had some doubts about her musical taste. But then, many years later, my husband Jorn [Weisbrodt] became a big fan of Johnny Mitchell, and I was able to accept Johnny’s music because of his passion. On the album, an excerpt of this song “Odio” sings his sister Martha Wainright in the background. Our daughter Viva came in one day and said: “Dad, I don’t want to follow the rules,” and then she left. It’s as if he is the meaning because his pedigree: Rufus is the son of popular singer Ludon Wainright III and the late Kate McGarrigle; his sister is Martha Wainright’s song; his half-sister is singer-songwriter Lucy Wainright Rosh. She says the title comes from what her daughter told her and that she used it to express the need to look at the world in a new way.
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