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.

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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

 

 

 

 

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