For Xavier Rudd, writing music and living his life are one and the same, releasing his new album Storm Boy this Friday the 25th of May, it's expected to be his best yet. Between surfing, camping and getting back to his roots in the great outdoors, he's harmoniously creating and reverberating the things that are going on around him. Multi-instrumentalist (playing the didgeridoo, guitar, harmonica and aztec drum simultaneously) and respected environmentalist, he's not one to miss. I got to chat with him on the phone this week about Storm Boy.
Your new single Walk Away is powerfully uplifting and evokes some seriously heart-warming emotions. What were you doing when the lyrics came to you?
I first started writing the song when I was driving back across Australia, at that point I was in Western Queensland coming from the Kimberley and had a pretty amazing trip across the country. The idea of it comes from being able to walk away from stuff which we all have to do sometimes in our lives, letting go, and just holding our own and being true to ourselves.
Xavier you’re an incredibly spiritual, down to earth human being. What does spirituality mean to you and is it classed by a religion?
I always find that funny to hear because I don’t really see myself as spiritual. I guess my music comes from my love of the earth, I’ve grown up in the bush and I’m always camping. I’ve spent a lot of time on country, you know with my dog, just surfing, and I think about those things, the things that I love. I love the natural world and I care about the future of it. In a way I feel like my music guides me, it’s ahead of me to a degree.
The ocean for many of us is a way of life, and once you start surfing it’s ridiculously hard to stop. Where’s the best session you’ve ever had?
Aw best surf session, I’ve had too many haha! I recently had some incredible waves in Fiji, just perfect and absolutely pumping, but I’ve had that many good surfs I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have a few favourite surf spots, some of them I’ve sworn not to mention to other surfers but Winkipop and Bells Beach where I grew up- I haven’t surfed it for a long time but it’s home. I had so many memorable surfs there as a kid, you know before and after school, there’d just be these perfect waves…
Australia is such a vast, wild country and you’ve spent many moons under this hot desert sun. Is there still somewhere you’d like to connect to and learn from?
Yeah for sure, there’s tonnes of places I haven’t been in Australia, and everywhere I go has its own vibe and I love it, it’s such an intriguing place and the energy is always shifting. I’ve been fairly extensively through the Kimberley and feel like that’s probably the most powerful place I’ve been to and would love to get back. Tassie too, I’d like to see more of Tassie, it’s definitely a special place.
Your new album Storm Boy is set to be on our speakers at the end of this month. After six years since releasing Spirit Bird you must be pretty euphoric to get back out on the world tour!
Yeah I’m pretty excited, I mean I didn’t stop, I was working on a side project called the United Nations in between and have been pretty busy since. Storm Boy is a special record for me, there’s a lot of songs that are 10 years old in there, so I’m excited to get out and for people to hear it, hopefully they’ll dig it. Definitely keen to get out and play it around the world.
Life on the road is sweet but after a while it may take its toll. How do you find being constantly on the move?
It’s tiring no doubt, I heard from someone I can’t remember who it was, that you get paid to travel not to play music. It can get tiring but I’m really lucky, there’s a lot of great artists in this world, great musicians that are really good and don’t have the opportunity to be doing what I’m doing. I’ve had a great career and the opportunities that I’ve had are always super exciting, it would be be kind of disrespectful to be complaining about that aspect of my life as it’s pretty cool.
Your palpable affinity for the natural world and consciousness towards environmentalism and the rights of indigenous Australians is remarkably respected. What are you hoping to inspire with Storm Boy?
Yeah all of those things that you mentioned are close to my heart. I’m not someone to plan things too much, I’ll let them flow and it will come naturally. If the record is able to connect within those circles and help anyone have a conscious awakening or a need to help the environment in any way then that would be amazing- that would be huge. But as I’ve always done just see how it goes, see how it flows and pretty much I’m just stoked to be doing what I do. If that brings positive change in any way to the environment or on a humanitarian level, to people on their own road, then that’s a massive compliment to me.
Catch Xavier's Storm Boy Tour around Oz:
UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA, ACT
UNI HALL WOLLONGONG, NSW
ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW
CIVIC THEATRE, NEWCASTLE, NSW
NIGHT QUARTER, GOLD COAST, QLD
THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE, QLD
ODEON THEATRE, HOBART, TAS
THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE, SA
THE FORUM, MELBOURNE, VIC
COSTA HALL, GEELONG, VIC
Tickets on sale from
This interview was originally featured on Summersite