A Chat with Xavier Rudd // Storm Boy Album

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.

xavier-rudd-storm-boy-the-salty-dreamers

 

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.

Xavier-Rudd-StormBoyAlbumCover.jpg

 

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:

AUGUST 2–

UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA, ACT

AUGUST 3–

UNI HALL WOLLONGONG, NSW

AUGUST 4–

ENMORE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW

AUGUST 5–

CIVIC THEATRE, NEWCASTLE, NSW

AUGUST 10–

NIGHT QUARTER, GOLD COAST, QLD

AUGUST 11–

THE TIVOLI, BRISBANE, QLD

AUGUST 17–

ODEON THEATRE, HOBART, TAS

AUGUST 18–

THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE, SA

AUGUST 24–

THE FORUM, MELBOURNE, VIC

AUGUST 25–

COSTA HALL, GEELONG, VIC

Tickets on sale from

April 20 

 

 

This interview was originally featured on Summersite

 

 

 

 

Life in Canggu // Crille Rask

Crille Rask, more commonly known as Raskal; is a photographer, creative director and Rhythm ambassador. A man with a serious sense of style and a warm relaxed nature.  You can find him thriving in the creative hub and that is Canggu, Bali.

IMG_7671.JPG

// Why do you choose to base yourself in Canggu, and why do you think so many creatives are drawn to this place?

Hmm… To be honest I’m not sure. I wasn’t planning to move to Bali at the time but I kinda got sucked into the flow of things and stayed. I didn’t really have a choice at the time- it just sort of took care of itself. Bali, and Canggu itself can be an amazing place, but it also swallows up a lot of creatives on a daily basis. It’s so easy to get lost in distraction and flakiness; there’s just something in the air. Also really hard to focus and be efficient, but if you manage to its one of the most amazing places to be based as the whole world swings by all the time with new opportunity.

IMG_7710.JPG

 // How does this lifestyle shape,  and inspire your creative process?

Hehe… to be honest I think I was a lot more productive and creative when I was living in Sweden. There’s nothing like a dark Swedish winter that sort of forces you to do stuff or you lose your mind from lack of sunlight and sleep. But to stick to the Bali side of things, I really believe it’s the laid back happy go lucky culture that the Balinese Hindus have that is so happy and free. You can always joke, smile and sing- no matter what.  No one tells you that you can’t do something, they just do it without any presumption of failure; they learn that it’s that simple. Mental barriers could take the planet down and it obviously is, but I will stay away from politics. So this whole ‘attitude’ is in the air and if you are open to it, then Bali provides you with a lot of opportunity, especially time.

IMG_7694.JPG
IMG_7696.JPG

// The Rhythm family has become a major part of your life; how did you meet Neal and get involved?

Yeah I’ve been involved with the Rhythm family now for almost 8 years. Haha gosh time flies. I started off working with a bit of marketing, to then looking after the whole European continent. Loved the job but everything has its time. After five years I was sort of ready to do something new- the office part was never my strength. Rhythm then offered me to stay in the family as an ambassador and keep creating content and spread the love. Very happy and thankful for their support and love- it’s become a big happy chunk of what my life looks like today.  Ahh.. Neal! He’s the best! There are few men on this planet that I respect and like as much as him. He’s a bit like a human life rocket scientist; he has a perfect, beautiful family, surfs like a god, shapes like a demon, and last but not least he has the biggest heart. Haha what a legend.  I think I met Neal the first time I was in Portugal at a sales meeting; we shared way too many drinks, laughs and good wobbles.

IMG_7706.JPG

// In the years that you've lived here as an expat, how has Canggu changed with the commercialisation and capitalism surrounding Bali?

Canggu has definitely fallen into the hands of tourism but at the speed of light. Sadly, like every other epic place on this planet, humanity has its way of never knowing when it’s enough. First time I came to surf in Canggu about ten years ago there was nothing but pure village beauty, and I would never have thought it would become what it is today. But yeah, it’s bound to happen. It’s an amazing place and you’ve just got to appreciate it for what it is today, not sit and complain of what it has become, otherwise you’ll become bitter and there’s no point in that. I love the place. Let’s just hope they don’t take it that little step too far into the concrete jungle.

IMG_7691.JPG
IMG_7663.JPG

// Snow, surf or skate?

The three S’s.  As always the first love was the skate boarding. You can do it everywhere; it’s cheaper and more accessible to anyone no matter what economical background. Then naturally I started snowboarding as that’s what you did in the town I come from. However as I reached my twenties surfing stole me away from everything that I knew. I started travelling to catch waves and pretty much dropped everything I was doing. Nowadays I’m a full Sunday surfer. I try and surf everyday but work and business has found me, even in Bali haha…but yeah surfing is a funny one. Way too many people loose themselves in it I think; sometimes it’s good, and sometimes maybe not for the better. It’s a bit devilish, like a drug. You need to make sure you keep it balanced. A trip to somewhere without your piece of foam is healthy and fun too- this used to be a note to self haha. Nowadays I think I know better, maybe...

IMG_7806.JPG
IMG_7678.JPG

 // The day in the life of a creative is always different- thank the lord. What's your one daily routine?

My one and only true love... Coffee! There’s not much that can keep me from going to my favourite cafe to have a latte and a random chat before I start my day. My favourite cafe in Bali being Canteen- it was one of the first in Canggu and it’s completely free of pretentiousness,  and not to hectic with tourists…most of the time haha.

 // Artist to look out for on your Rhythm-radio Sounds playlist?

My last playlist on the radio sounds is an Asian psychedelic trip. But if I have to mention a favourite on the playlist it’s Mr. Bungle: an old side project from Mike Patton from Faith No More.

IMG_7727.JPG

This interview has been featured on Rhythm

Sunny Smile & Easy Style // Ayok Canggu

I Gede Eka Wira Dharma, more commonly (and conveniently) known as Ayok, is one of Canggu’s finest longboarders. His easy, confident style and sure-footed finesse is absolutely mesmerizing to watch as he dances along the waves of Batu Balong Beach. Growing up in the small village of Canggu, he’s seen the rise of Indonesian surf culture and has become part of a generation where fishing is no longer his family’s main source of income. This is an insight into his story.

ayok canggu

// Surfing has given you so much. How has this sport and the Deus family contributed to shaping your life today?

Surfing for me is something that comes from my soul. It’s an everyday ritual that I will continue for the rest of my life. I don’t care what people think about this sport or myself in general; surfing is purely rhythm and passion. DEUS- those guys are pretty cool. They are my second family. They are more than just a brand; the feeling that I get from meeting these good people is insane. It’s always been about who’s been there for me and how people treat me along the way- I cannot express the amount of love I have for those guys!

canggu_surf_hang_ten

// Back when you were a kid growing up in your home town of Canggu, it was just a small fishing village with one big, beautiful, empty lineup. How has surfing and the tourism industry changed that?

Canggu was one of the best spots a while ago, and I really miss that. I guess there wasn’t more than six people in the water at a time; you can imagine how wonderful that would be! It’s been messed around after people started talking about Canggu and how good it is. So many people in the water, all the waves caught- but not necessarily ridden, no rules, and kooks everywhere. I mean it’s awesome for local business; board rental, restaurants and small warungs on the beach gather a lot of customers. However the people who come should be curious in knowing who and how they are; get to know the local people. If you do something kind you will receive something good back.

deus_surfing_bali

// Can you tell me about the origins of the lobster nets on the longboards?

Before we used to take people surfing, we’d catch lobsters to pay for our school costs, and also for our arak (an alcoholic drink like rum made from rice and molasses) Lobster is delicious. It was a gold before. When we go surfing we put the net out during sunset and pick it up the next morning with big hopes of a catch. Looking back, I miss those moments now.

sunrise_surf_bali

// With the commercialisation and capitalism of Bali, what do you think is the best way to prevent Canggu from becoming like Seminyak or Kuta? Is there a way?

Canggu is still the small and lovely place that I know. It’s the place that I was born and have grown up in; my playground filled with beautiful memories. It would be a real shame if capitalism and money makers waste it away like Kuta and other places in Bali. People come here for the small, chill town that it is. We need to filter out what is coming in, and protect it from major development projects and growth like that. It’s much better to promote small local businesses than hotel sky rises. Everyone needs to make money, but they shouldn’t go crazy and get greedy over it. I wish I can call Canggu my home forever- with no risk behind it.

toes_to_the_nose_surfing

// Surf teaching is a pretty rewarding job, let alone good fun. What’s a day in the life of Ayok?

It’s a dream job haha. An amazing lifestyle, hobby and so many girls… Hahaha no no don’t worry my girlfriend is here with me. I normally do about 2-3 two hour sessions of teaching each day, otherwise I’m surfing myself or back working at my homestay. I enjoy it at the moment. Just doing my best!

// One dream wave that you wish to travel to?

Noosa.

ayok_canggu_deus

 

 

This interview is also featured on the Deus Ex Machina blog.

Living Passionately // Monsta Surf founder Cam Greenwood

If you haven’t come across Monsta Surf; get amongst it. These guys are existing to change the way that we live by inspiring a passionate way of life, whilst giving back to those not as fortunate. Through following the Monsta journey and its admirable ethos for the past few years; it’s insanely inspiring to see this brand have such a positive impact on individuals and communities throughout the world. This is the story of Monsta, and the man behind the undeniable magic- Chief wizard Cam Greenwood.

Surfer, photographer, writer, speaker, and absolute legend @camgreenwood

Surfer, photographer, writer, speaker, and absolute legend @camgreenwood

1 / To pursue this dream, you dropped out of a Commerce degree at University. What advice/words of wisdom can you give to the younger gen, or anyone for that matter, about pursuing their career path?

Know your why. So many people know what they do. Or what they want to do. But not many people know why they do it. When you have a deep why behind whatever it is you’re pursuing, your what will become so much stronger because you will be walking with purpose. You will also have more determination to overcome the obstacles along the way if you know why you are doing something. At Monsta, we have a very clear focus of the “why” behind what we do. And that is we exist to encourage passionate living. Our business is simply the platform we use to reach people. As I’ve pursued my dreams, I’ve become so fixed on the purpose behind what we do and it’s developed such a strong confidence for this adventure we’re on, from the valleys to the mountain tops.

@josh.hallam frothing in a Filipino pit. PHOTO @camgreenwood

@josh.hallam frothing in a Filipino pit. PHOTO @camgreenwood

 2 / Your Team released the Live Passionately film late this May (free to watch on Youtube btw!) Can you tell us a bit about the Kickstarter campaign for the production, and a few logistics in making the film happen?

What an amazing adventure that was! Last year, we took some of our ambassadors to the Philippines. We have some really talented crew on our team so we wanted to document the trip. We told the ambassadors they were going on your average surf trip. But what eventuated was not what anyone was expecting at all! We explored the beautiful coastline, climbed volcanoes, surfed some incredible waves but the highlight of the trip was doing water filtration for some of the affected communities of Typhoon Yolanda.

The team didn't know we had this planned and it was super cool to see the profound impact the projects had on not just the communities there but also on our team personally. When we got home from the trip, Jordy Merry was looking through the footage and really believed in the story that was there. He took a massive leap of faith and decided to quit his job in order to produce the film. It definitely wasn't an easy process but we learnt so much along the way. The post production took about 4 months and then we launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the final touches and raise funds and awareness for the locals affected by Typhoon Yolanda, who have become great friends!

The tribe meeting with the locals to install clean drinking water filters.

The tribe meeting with the locals to install clean drinking water filters.

 3 / The Story of Monsta Surf - Live Passionately film is beautifully created, humorous and just down right inspiring. What was the main purpose in creating this film? Giving back being a core value for the Monsta brand and your way of life.

Thank you! At the core of everything we do, we wish to inspire people to live passionately in their own lives. Over the past few years, I have blown away by the response we’ve received as I’ve shared this story to schools and organisations across Australia. We recognised that we had a tribe of people around the world who loved what we were about but may not have had the opportunity to hear how Monsta started, why it exists or hear some of our ambassadors stories. So the purpose was to be able to share our story to inspire people to step into their own stories. It really just evolved from there.

En route to climbing a volcano. PHOTO @camgreenwood

En route to climbing a volcano. PHOTO @camgreenwood

 @elliotgray__ @camgreenwood stoked to be alive. PHOTO @seandwyeeer

 @elliotgray__ @camgreenwood stoked to be alive. PHOTO @seandwyeeer

 4 / Tell us about the Monsta Foundation.

The Monsta Foundation exists to remove the chains that hold people back from living a life of passion and purpose. It was founded in 2012 as I travelled to Kenya. I realised there was so much more to my dreams of creating a surf brand. That I could use this brand to also inspire people and make the world a better place along the way. We do water filtration work in South East Asia and Kenya. We also support our friends in the community of Huruma in Kenya. Next year, we will be expanding our work into local communities in Australia which I’m so excited for!

‘I see a tribe of people who are connected by their passion to live without limits, dream without fear and live passionately in every moment. We are a global family and together we strive for the same vision.’ PHOTO & WORDS @camgreenwood

‘I see a tribe of people who are connected by their passion to live without limits, dream without fear and live passionately in every moment. We are a global family and together we strive for the same vision.’ PHOTO & WORDS @camgreenwood

5 / In 2012 you traveled to Kenya with Go Beyond All Borders; evidently it changed your life and many around you. I hear Monsta has an upcoming Awareness Adventure trip for 12 lucky people back in Kenya, where it all began?

 Yeh we sure do. We actually have 14 people coming with Caz (the legend behind Go Beyond All Borders) and I. We held Skype interviews with people from all over the world who wanted to be a part of the adventure. It was super hard narrowing the team down but I believe we have an incredible bunch of world changers coming with us and I can’t wait to get to know them all over the 2 weeks we will spend in Kenya.

Oceanic dreams. PHOTO @camgreenwood

Oceanic dreams. PHOTO @camgreenwood

  Beach bonfires and good vibes. A favourite moment from the  Live Passionately  film. PHOTO     @camgreewood

  Beach bonfires and good vibes. A favourite moment from the Live Passionately film. PHOTO     @camgreewood

6 / In this consumerist society, where companies and brands have a major influence on what we choose to spend our moula on; do you think clothing brands such as Patagonia, OuterKnown and Monsta itself will start to overtake some of the bigger surf labels in the consumer industry, purely because of their positive impact and ethical core values? After all, the products we choose to buy are a reflection of ourselves and the values that we uphold.

I’m dreaming of a revolution in the clothing industry. As we move forward, we wish to be a really positive voice in the manufacturing space and I am constantly learning more about best practices. From the materials we use, to how they are sourced, to how the factories we partner with create a friendly working environment for their employees, we really wish to make the world a better place in everything we do. I like to see the other brands who have a similar ethos to us as our friends. As we disrupt the industry together, I would love to see the bigger brands change and focus on how they can too make the world a better place through their operations. At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for our world and its people. And if companies place less focus on market share and competition and more of a focus on what they’re actually doing and the ‘why’ behind it, I think together we can turn a fairly negatively impacting industry into a powerful force for change.

@brebsy and the crew delivering water filtration systems to a little village in the Phillipines.

@brebsy and the crew delivering water filtration systems to a little village in the Phillipines.

 7 / What can we expect to see from chief Cam Greenwood and the Monsta Tribe in the future? Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be rad.

 Wow. So many dreams! I’m dreaming that our tribe will be a powerful voice in the world. I’m dreaming that we will have a world changing influence. I’m dreaming that we will be able to empower people to find freedom from their battles and live a life of passion and purpose, just as we are so blessed to live. I’m dreaming that our spark will blaze trails with love wherever this adventure takes us. And ultimately, I’m dreaming that with what started as one surfboard in a backyard, turns into millions of lives changed throughout the globe, just by simply existing.

Ready to inspire the world. The beginning of the  Live Passionately  film. PHOTO @seandwyeeer

Ready to inspire the world. The beginning of the Live Passionately film. PHOTO @seandwyeeer

Watch the full film here; it’s not one to miss.

Massive thanks to Cam Greenwood for taking the time to answer this interview, and for all that you do. Yew!

www.monstasurf.com