Rufus Wainwright says he and father Loudon “almost killed each other”

"I wish I was speaking figuratively but it was pretty hairy at times"

Rufus Wainwright has spoken of his relationship with his father Loudon Wainwright III, remembering times that they “almost killed each other”.

Rufus released new song ‘Damsel In Distress’ – a tribute to Joni Mitchell – last week, alongside announcing new album ‘Unfollow The Rules’.

As well as speaking about the new album in an interview with the Independent, Rufus discussed his relationship with his father, and the struggles they’ve had over the years.

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“We had periods where we almost killed each other,” the singer began. “I wish I was speaking figuratively but it was pretty hairy at times.”

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright

Rufus then goes on to state that having a child has given him a different understanding of his relationship with his father, saying that he now understands “what it’s like when your kid refutes you, or doesn’t want to give you a hug, or is lost in their own world”.

“It’s frightening as a parent,” he continues. “[My father and I] were hanging out not too long ago, just a couple of years ago, we went for this walk and then at the end of the walk I said: ‘You know dad, being a dad now myself, I’m aware of how wonderful it is when a child voluntarily hugs their parent. Yeah, so I’m going to do that to you now.’6 And I gave him a big hug and a kiss, and I think it was a good move.”

The singer goes on to say that he remains “blown away by my father’s ability to resurrect himself from some fairly dark places.

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“It’s funny being in England because he lived here for 10 years [after he and McGarrigle divorced in 1976] and I think he was fairly depressed, and I didn’t see him that much. But he managed to pull himself out of it, and with this book as well, I think it shows he’s an example of a sturdy individual.

“He’s still Loudon. You got to understand, Loudon is one of the great WASP-y father figures of all time. He has firmly implanted his persona in this male, white, heterosexual zone.”

Rufus’ new album ‘Unfollow The Rules’ is his first pop album since 2012’s ‘Out of the Game’, and will come out on April 24.

Speaking about the album, Wainwright said that he would like ‘Unfollow The Rules’ “to symbolise a coming together of all the aspects of my life which have made me a seasoned artist”.

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