Xavier Rudd

Glasgow QMU on Saturday 14 October 2006

photos of this show
eGigs caught up with Australian multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd on his latest tour of the UK...

Is this the first time you’ve been to Glasgow?

No, we came here earlier in the year, about March. Then we came back over and did all the festivals. We did T in the Park and a show in Edinburgh, but this is my first time back.

We played in Glasgow in a smaller club. It had a funny name (King Tuts).

How long does this particular tour go on for?

Four weeks, but we’ve been in Europe and the UK for 3 months. I’ve got two weeks to go now.

I dropped my family off (in Australia). They were over here with me – my two kids and my wife. I need to get back to Australia to keep me normal – keep me feeling right. I need it every now and then I can’t be away for too long.

Is there any reason for this being quite a small tour?

Well we’ve been here sporadically. I first came to the UK in November and since then we’ve come back and done four trips to Europe and the UK. This is the last tour here until next summer.

Do you think you have a worldwide appeal?

I get sorta caught up in the moment. We just travel around. I don’t think about it too much, I’m pretty lucky – lots of places people come and see me and seem to know my music. I was surprised when I first came over here in November. I didn’t know how many people would know who I was, but people would come and all the shows would sell out. It blows me away. I’m really lucky like that. The internets good for that too. A lot of my shows get recorded and people put it up on the internet so that’s a really good way of getting known.

What UK festivals did you play over the summer?

We played Oxygen Festival. England was the V ones and we did a few others in Europe.

Obviously V has a very ‘pop’ feel to it. Did you not feel slightly out of place there?

Yeah man. It was pretty apparent. It was like that backstage too. I do a lot of World music festivals and folk festivals and hippy stuff and because my kind of music doesn’t really get categorised I do rock and pop like the V ones. It’s all a bit different but people dug it and it was really cool.

The difference in the atmosphere was quite noticeable. People seemed much more inclined to dance than stand back and just watch. Is that something you notice?

Yeah that was wild. It’s kinda just how it is. That’s how my shows are – it’s an energy exchange. Everyone that comes is involved. It’s not just me – everybody brings their own energy and I’m lucky to have good people come to the gigs and bring good energy. I feel that the energy from the audience channels through me and it effects what I’m doing and then ends up back in the audience. Kinda like a circular motion.

Do you think it’s easier to connect with your audience because you’re a one man band?

I’ve never really toured with a band so it’s hard to say.

Your music seems to have a religious, almost spiritual feel. Is that intentional?

I don’t follow any religion. I guess as religious as I get is the connection with the Aboriginal culture in Australia. My music is just a reflection of how I feel. Its been that way since I’ve been a kid. I’m using it as a reflection of how I feel.

Now more and more people are connecting with it and listening to it, and making assumptions on it. That’s interesting because it’s still just like it was for me. As a kid it was my own little thing – almost like my own little secret.

Do you record live?

Yeah that’s right. I record live. There are a couple of guests that came in to record a track with what I’ve done. The way I record is play everything and sing everything live – do three takes and pick the best one – if there’s a blemish there’s a blemish. Everything goes at once and I feel like I have to do it that way.

Is there much improvisation in your live shows?

There’s a basic structure to the songs but if I come up with something that I think is cool or fun then I might do that. There’s definitely a sense of improvisation to it.

How many instruments can you play simultaneously?

I think about 5. I can do about 5 different things.

We don’t have that many Australian acts over here – certainly not mainstream. We have Jet, The Vines and maybe Rolf Harris. Do you consider yourself to be flying the flag for Australia?

I do fly the Aborigine flag when I play. I think the Scottish people can relate to that with having the British come and take over – that happened in Australia – and there was a lot of oppression for Aborigine people, a lot of racism and a general lack of respect for our government and our education system. The flag represents the spirit of our country.

Do you have any plans for a new album?

Yeah I’ve been thinking about recording in South Africa in next February. I’ve been working on that a lot in my head. I’m pretty keen – I’ve got a lot of stuff.

Many thanks to Xavier for taking his time out to talk to us.

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article by: Scott Johnson

published: 16/10/2006 11:12