Xavier Rudd embraces new territory on foot to happiness
XAVIER Rudd grew up in the bush as a kid and still likes to run around in the wide open space, among his crazy life as a world-wide musical sensation.
As he geared up for a gig in Rockhampton, the 37-year-old grew explained how he grew up as a quiet kid on Victoria's south-west coast. It's something he had to adapt to when entering the music industry more than 10 years ago.
"I love the travelling part but I've had to get used to the people," he said, speaking to Pulse ahead of his August 18 show at Rockhampton.
"I spent a lot of time growing up on my own in the bush and not really in the city. That I found a bit overwhelming and it took me a few years to deal with that.
"I was a bit shy at first, but it's all good now."
Xavier's far from shy now, a renowned Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose newly formed band The United Nations will tour Australia in August, September and October to celebrate the release of Flag - the second single from their acclaimed debut album, Nanna.
He's relishing the chance to be able to play with such a diverse group of people.
"It's a beautiful band and a really special group of people," he said.
"I don't know how long it will last with a few elders in the band.
"We may only come through places once so I am really enjoying it for what it is."
Being accompanied by the nine-piece band is new territory for Xavier, who's been a solo artist for most of his career.
The band backs him up on guitar, bass, drums, percussion, keys, horns, flute, saxophone and vocals.
They combine the diverse cultures of Australia, indigenous Australia, South Africa, Samoa, Germany and Papua New Guinea.
"I've always liked making a lot of sound but I guess it's a challenge of what I did as a soloist," he said.
"I think it's about five instruments at once I can play but I never count them.
"Now, with this band, it's totally different and I have to make room for everyone now."
Xavier's favourite instruments are the didgeridoo and the slide guitar.
"I like the way the didgeridoos and slide guitars work. All notes flow into each other with a slide and that works with a didge.
"I've been playing it (didgeridoo) for about 25 years now."
Music is all Xavier knows, other jobs he's tried not as stimulating.
"I am not qualified as anything, I don't even know if I'm a qualified musician," he said.
"I have done a whole bunch of other things in life. I love working with wood and I probably would have been a builder or something.
"I had my own furniture business as a kid, selling recycled wood. I did all right and made a few bucks."
Xavier was chatting to us from his northern New South Wales home where he loves to retreat to in his down time.
Although it's precious time off, relaxing isn't always the case.
"I am always outside, I think I have ADD," he laughed. "I don't have a TV but I can't keep still so I lose interest in those things pretty quick.
"I run a lot on tour and it's a good way to check places out. I got lost in Johannesburg once in an area someone told me not to go.
"One guy ended up running with me for 10km actually. He was wearing a long pair of pants and boots. He was amazing."
For the Rockhampton show, Xavier said fans would be in for a treat.
"I like that the people are straight up and real and Rocky is groovy," he said.
"I don't think we will come to Rocky again so it will be a once-off. I think everyone's going to love it."
IF YOU GO
Rockhampton: Xavier Rudd will perform at the Pilbeam Theatre on Tuesday, August 18, from 7pm. Tickets are $60 and can be bought over the phone on 4927 4111.