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Byron Shire
May 19, 2024

Making Music with Mr Rudd

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xavier-bluesfaet-day-4-sunday-wpMaking his way halfway around the globe, Xavier Rudd is one of Australia’s most iconic voices.

I remember seeing him at one of his first Byron gigs, this sweet shoeless surfie boy who shuffled quietly onto stage and took his place behind his guitar and his didge. In a few songs he had the whole place hostage, and he’s been doing that on a world stage ever since. Like his album title Follow the Sun, that’s what Rudd does: he follows his music. The whole process has always been very natural for him.

When it comes to making music, Rudd just turns up. ‘It just sort of happens,’ he says. ‘I have never ever sat down and tried to write a song – it’s something that comes up through me in a strong way. It’s not hard to do; it just happens. Quite often it will be a theme – an emotion or spirit or something – that is really strong, and then I’ll sort of construct the music around that theme. It’s more my voice; I’ll sing, but I can hear it all in my head, and then later on I’ll finish off the lyrics.’

‘I have always let it happen. I respect my music – like I wouldn’t tell my grandmother what to wear to church, my music is the same; it’s an old spirit. I don’t fully understand it, but I don’t let my ego or my mind get in the way; I just host it, and I just let it be what it is. I don’t change it for the sake of what I think it should be.’

When it comes to recording, Rudd takes the same approach.

‘I don’t aim for much, I just record it, and I have a way that I do things, my setup, and the way I run my instruments, and over the years I have built my whole thing. It is what it is and it’s pretty intricate and unique, and when I record or play live that’s what I use. There’s not too much to it – it’s just about capturing it.’

Rudd has just finished a massive six-month world tour promoting Spirit Bird, his latest release. Autonomy is key for this musician, who refuses to sign on the dotted line of any big-wig record deal. He has taken the world on in his own terms. ‘I guess it’s just an organic evolution. I have always been a lucky artist, I feel. I have a lot of support and it blows me away these days, too, when you have been doing it a while. Once you’ve been on the circuit for 10 years plus there is an element of respect. On the last world tour there was a huge amount of respect for me out on the road; it’s a great space to be in and I am thankful for that.’

It’s a family affair when it comes to a Xavier Rudd concert.

‘Everywhere I go all over the world there is a huge age difference in the people at the gig – kids and young people and older people; it feels like a real family vibe, maybe sometimes the whole family will come out.’

Xavier Rudd will be playing this year’s Bluesfest.

For ticketing and program information go to www.bluesfest.com.au.

 

 


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