He’s always barefoot, he can play more instruments than he has fingers with which to count them, including didgeridoo, guitar, harmonica and Aztec drum. He is a born surfer, a convinced vegetarian and an activist for human rights and for the preservation of the planet. A believer in the idea that “things that are meant to be, will be,” Xavier Rudd has a deep gaze, tattooed arms, and blond hair. He was born in Torquay, Australia to an Aboriginal father and half Irish, half Dutch mother. His music and his optimistic vision of the world intertwine seamlessly and his sound is profoundly influenced by this humanistic point of view. Over the course of recording eight studio albums, this young versatile instrumentalist has excited audiences with his organic sound that has already earned him several awards and mentions. In mid-April, 2017, he returned to Europe with the extraordinary live concert album, recorded in Holland last May 2016 at the historic TivoliVredenburg, the emblematic show of a sold out European tour, and in mid-June takes to the Italian stage again on three dates. Here, he tells us about his inspiration, his grandfather, and his laughs on the beach.
The local music in your country and your origins are important to you. Is that the basis of your own music?
Yes, definitely. As a child I didn’t know how to write songs, I simply invented melodies in which I sang about things that were happening to me. It was a totally unconscious process. And in a way, that is still what I do: I put to music that which I live, no more no less. Writing songs is a part of me, it is essential. Like breathing.
When did you decide you’d be a musician?
I would say when I was about ten, but I’ve always been drawn to music, or rather, that it was the music that found me.
Where or from whom do you get inspiration?
I would say from everything, really. Each of my albums, every song I write comes from within, from what I live through. It’s like a physical, emotional and spiritual travel journal. All my experiences form the journey of my music.
How do you live while you are at home in your village?
I live near the sea; there it’s very quiet. When I’m not on tour I like to live like any other normal person who lives on the beach: I surf and I relax. I don’t particularly like being surrounded by people. I like be outside, to sit by a fire, surf, run, swim. I’m active, I love listening the sounds of the land. I don’t watch TV or anything like that.
You travel so much, is there a place you have a special connection to?
That’s difficult. I find beauty and harmony in so many different places. I think I can always find places that I would like. I really enjoyed South Africa, for example.
What makes you laugh?
Interesting. If you mean what makes me happy, I would be being with my friends around a fire on the beach. It is when we are most at peace and harmony that we really laugh the most.
The release of this live album was very important, it is a very different record than others.
Yes, it’s like a retrospective of my work. The tour in Europe was sold all and we were very electrified. There was a special spark, the energy was enormous and it felt a really strong positive feeling from the crowd. We had the opportunity to record last two nights in Utrecht and I thought it would be a good idea especially for us as a point of reference, documenting where we were.
And plus you have ties to Holland through your grandfather.
I never thought about it, but yes you could say so. There was a very strong energy those nights. When we listened to the recording again, it was as if we had captured a bit of magic, especially the last night, thus I’m so happy to share now what I feel was the best live recording of my career up to this point.
Photos by Arterium
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