RÜFÜS forced to change name after legal threats
In the great tradition of Australian bands altering their names to “crack America”, Sydney electronic trio RÜFÜS have been forced to change their name to RÜFÜS DU SOL to assist their future in the US market.
A press release announcing their new moniker – which will only apply in North America – says that the band were regrettably forced to make the change “after months of strongly worded letters and colourful internal debate regarding an existing US trademark on the name Rufus.” While it was not revealed from which party the “strongly worded” letters were coming, the backing band for legendary funk singer Chaka Khan has been performing under the name Rufus since 1972. Then there is Rufus Wainwright and of course, Robin Williams’ nemesis Rufio from the film Hook.
RÜFÜS were recently signed to US label Columbia and will release their J Award-nominated debut ATLAS in America after a visit to SXSW and an extensive tour of the States throughout March and April. The Sydney dance act are just the third Aussie band to be signed to Columbia, following Men At Work in the 1980s and, more recently, The Temper Trap, who somewhat coincidentally began their musical life playing under the name Temper Temper.
Other notable name changes include New Zealand’s Shihad, who famously (and briefly) became known as Pacifier post 9-11 to help “pacify” the US market; and Sydney artist Danimals who adjusted the spelling of his name to Djanimals after a children’s yoghurt brand threatened to “eat his head off” for trading under the same name in 2010.