Rufio, which had blasted out of an Inland Empire-based garage to resounding success via three full-lengths and high-profile tours, continued to perform internationally after that Glass House show, even extending their farewells to fans abroad for one last hurrah in South America. But after that run, it was, as the title of one Rufio song states, just a memory—for the most part.
“Everybody just wanted different things at the time, we all didn’t know what we wanted in general,” vocalist/guitarist Scott Sellers recalls. “And since [Rufio] started straight out of high school, we all wanted to see what it was like to live without being in a band.”
The split (an amicable one, according to Sellers) found the original members of Rufio heading in various directions. Bassist Jon Berry landed with Runner Runner and drummer Mike Jimenez stepped up to the foreground to front rock act Science Fiction Theater, while Sellers and guitarist Clark Domae picked up jobs and lived their lives with a bit more normalcy. But such normalcy wasn’t in exactly the cards for Sellers.
“For me, it was kind of depressing,” he says of his time away from the band. “All I wanted to do is just play and be out and do shows, meet people, write songs.”
Rufio did perform a few shows during its off time, including a slot opening for recently-reunited punk act Face to Face (also originally from the Inland Empire). But the band’s activity was, for the most part, largely silent.
So, it’s fairly fitting that a refreshed Rufio would announce its return to—as their most recent album title proclaims—the comfort of home, some three years later by coming full circle with a headlining slot at The Glass House this week. So, what got the band back in action in the first place?
“Just out of nowhere, we decided, let’s do this again,” says Sellers. “It’s not some big comeback or something like that, it’s more like, I miss it, let’s play.”
It’s important to note that Rufio isn’t your garden variety Inland Empire-based punk band. Launched a decade ago, the act first established themselves in the independent punk scene via releases including their 2001 debut, Perhaps, I Suppose…, which was the inaugural release for notable indie label The Militia Group (and would go on to become one of the label’s most successful releases).
The band’s next album, MCMLXXXV, was released on established punk label Nitro Records (headed by Offspring frontman Bryan “Dexter” Holland) and produced by Nick Raskulinecz, best known for his work with bands like Rush and the Foo Fighters. Furthermore, Rufio toured domestically and internationally, gaining fans across time zones and oceans.
Now re-launched and reinvigorated with two new members—bassist Taylor Albaugh (a Rufio fan-turned-member, says Sellers) and drummer Terry Stirling—Rufio’s marking its new permanency by readying another album. With some songs penned by Sellers during his three years off from the band, the currently untitled full-length is still in the works, self-produced by the band and set for a late spring release on The Militia Group.
Sellers started the band as a 17-year-old. Now 27, he’s acknowledging that things have definitely changed—but he’s feeling rather optimistic. “It feels for us like it’s a new, fresh start,” he says. “It’s just a different vibe now. It’s a cool, new start and it just brings back that spark that we had when we first started.”
Rufio w/Panima and Dose of Adolescence at The Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Sat, 7PM. $15.