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Monday, September 13, 2010

the Xavier Rudd interview


Appearing Tonight in Boston
Wilbur Theatre - 8pm



photos by James Looker

ADVANCING - Nearing the end of his North American tour, award winning and best selling musician Xavier Rudd and Izintaba pull into Boston tonight for a show at the Wilbur Theatre. It's his last date on American soil this year. Rudd and backing band Izintaba have sold out dates across North America, sharing songs from the new album Koonyum Sun.


WORLDWIDE FOLLOWING - Rudd has become known for his extraordinary stage show that finds him performing guitar, didgeridoo and various percussion parts simultaneously—using a unique set-up that literally surrounds him with various instruments, singing from behind a stand holding three didgeridoos of different keys. He has led sold-out tours in Europe, Canada , Australia and the US , both headlining and supporting the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.

What follows is an excerpt of a telephone interview I conducted with Xavier Rudd. One thing that you will likely gather from what is to follow is that Xavier is a spiritual man. He believes in the creative spirit and his voice often carries a childlike enthusiasm when the topic of making music comes up. He is most enthusiastic though when we talk about the people he reaches. He loves Australia and her native Aboriginal people. Perhaps most importantly, Rudd loves his audiences.


Xavier Rudd is a musical ambassador

Ryan Spaulding: Do you have a specific approach to songwriting? How do you go about your craft?

Xavier Rudd: It just happens to me. I don’t think much about it. I don’t really ever prepare. I have never actually ever sat down and tried to write a song. They just, they just sort of come. And they come pretty easy. The songs that are meant to stay. I don’t write them down or anything. They stay in my head.

Ryan: Can you take us through a song – tell us what it’s about and why it’s important to you?

Xavier: You know, every song is important to me and every song is important to me. Every song is special.

Ryan: Is that the case when you are writing? Is there purpose in making your music then or is it a fluid process?

Xavier: The ones I’m meant to play and perform come through. It really happens fast, you know? It might be songs from an emotional experience or something I care it about. The spirit comes through. I don’t really know how it works. It’s an easy process.

Ryan: That’s a beautiful thing.

Xavier:
Yeah, it is. - I’ve never really had a dry spell in my life.

Ryan: That being the case, do you have a lot of new material you could pull out if you need to?

Xavier: I’ve got a lot of songs. I tend to focused on what I’m doing now. I’m always sort of moving forward. I don’t go backwards too much. Once an album is mastered I listen to it maybe once or twice after and then I’m done with it.


Ryan: Do you find that when you perform songs that they are evolving or changing with each time you play them? Do the songs ever grow?

Xavier: Yeah it does. Once we take it to the live stage, the song changes… it grows again. Once we go to a live situation it always changes. The rudiment is the same - but the song definitely grows.

Ryan: Do you have an easy go of it playing with other musicians or does your style and your specific instrumentation make collaboration difficult?

Xavier: This album, Koonyum Son, I recorded with an African rhythm section. I still do the same thing with them that I do (when solo). I haven’t cut down on much. We still play around a bit and explore the space.

Ryan: You play a different kind of live performance, Xavier. Do you find that as time as goes on, your music has become more appreciated? Are your audiences growing?

Xavier:
Yeah they are. People have been coming out all over the world. The listeners are good fun-loving people. And they have been coming out, Smiling and lovely.

Ryan:
You play the Aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo. Was that one of the first instruments you picked up in music or was that something that came in later?

Xavier: I played it a little at a young age. It was just a thing though. It was then more a meditational thing or a cultural thing. It was never really part of my music – until later. The didgeridoo, to play that thing fast takes years. It takes a good 20 years to play the thing right. You have to expand your diaphragm so much to play.

Ryan:
I’ve tried and it’s not a simple thing to do at all. My hat’s off to you. I’m going to let you go but we all look forward to seeing you in Boston. Thanks much for speaking with.

Xavier: Cheers and nice talking with you brother!

Xavier Rudd

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1 comment:

Await Rescue said...

No one grooves harder than Xavier Rudd (proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxaAfK6XhmU)

And of course this man has never had a musical dry spell...

You could leave him alone in a room with only a tray of lunch meats and no recording equipment, and he would somehow emerge a few days later with a double-album of incredible tunes.