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Music

Five Questions for Xavier Rudd

Posted by Amelia / July 16, 2009

20090716xavier.jpgThe Australian musician Xavier Rudd played Metropolis last night, the latest stop on a North American tour to promote Dark Shades of Blue, released last year. Rudd, who is know for his activism as well as for the songs he writes, is a multi-instrumentalist wonder; he plays his shows seated behind a huge array of different instruments and seemingly plays all of them at once. Midnight Poutine was able to sit down with Rudd for a few brief moments yesterday and talk about his latest album and life on the road.

Midnight Poutine: You've garnered a reputation as an environmental activist; which came first, love of music or love of the earth? Was music something that you came to as a way to express your love of nature?

Xavier Rudd: I wouldn't call myself an environmental activist. I'd call myself an active musician who cares about the earth and writes about the earth. Who has the ability to sometimes join organizations and helps them to grow a little. But my music comes from growing up in strong country, spiritually, in a place where I spent a lot of my time alone camping, sitting by the fire looking at the stars. That's essentially where my music comes from. I think that's why it's attracted earth-bound people.

MP: Do you have any ways of keeping your tour green?

XR: We try. In Australia it's easier. It's much easier because we know the place. I find that coming overseas it's hard, because unless you get a promoter in each town that's passionate about supplying that, or unless you have the budget to employ a team who does that on the road, but I don't have that budget. I wish I did.

MP: How did you become involved with indigenous rights? Can you talk a bit about your involvement with the cause?

XR: Well I have aboriginality on my father's side, and I think that spirit's always been with me. On my musical journey I've been on the connect with different tribes around Australia as well, and those connections are very powerful.

MP: Many people are saying that Dark Shades of Blue is your most serious and pensive album to date. Did you get that sense while you were making the music that's on the record?

XR: I think it's more personal and more intimate. It was more an album where I took some time to reflect on myself, and there had been some changes in my life. My music is a reflection of different times and journeys. Dark shades of blue was a time.

MP: The last few years have been like a whirlwind for you: it seems like you're always touring, and you've released three albums in four years. How do you keep things fresh and keep being creative in the midst of all that?

XR: I just do. I don't have a problem writing music. I always wrote music; it's part of me. I just live, and I feel blessed to be what I am and do what I do. I don't think too much about it, I just do it.

(Photo courtesy of James Looker)

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