QC INTERVIEW: XAVIER RUDD

by eliza czander

Xavier Rudd performed at The Nokia Theater in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and like an idiot, I missed it. Instead, I went to Goldfrapp. Sigh. I was, however, lucky enough to chat with him for a few minutes via cell phone Sunday night, and am now super fucking psyched to see him live at ACL this coming weekend. We talked about his new album, being on the road, all the weird little doodads he somehow turns into instruments. Awesome guy. Read on…

THIS WORLD AS WE KNOW IT BY XAVIER RUDD:

FORTUNE TELLER BY XAVIER RUDD:

Quiet Color: You’ve been touring quite a bit. It seems this summer you have literally been in a different city every day. Are you sick of it? Ready for a break?

Xavier Rudd: Yeah, I’ve been touring for about four months now, and it’s great. Definitely busy though. Could use a break. After Austin I’ll be heading back to Australia, so that’ll be nice. But, I feel extremely lucky to be traveling the world, playing music. Doesn’t really get much better than that.

QC: Yeah, you really are living the dream. I’m sure your family misses you though. Are they all in Australia awaiting your return?

XR: Well my kids are in Canada right now with my mother in law. My wife is in Europe selling her paintings, but yeah, we’ll all be back together soon.

QC: How do you feel about touring in America? How does it compare to Australia or other countries you’ve toured through?

XR: It’s been fun, you know touring is always fun, and I’ll play anywhere really.

QC: Favorite city thus far?

XR: Um, would probably be Portland, Oregon. Most of the cities I go to, I’m just going to play the venue, I don’t get much of a chance to really hang around. But there’s a great energy in Portland. Some really interesting stuff going on there.

QC: The tour is in promotion of your latest album, Darker Shades of Blue. Where does the album’s title come from?

XR: Actually from a painting by my wife called Black Water which is also the title track. I would come home every day and walk in and see her creating this series of paintings reflecting our lives, our journey, and relationship. We really are connected and she inspires me.

QC: And you recorded it in Australia. Did it create a different experience being in your homeland?

XR: It was great, yeah. Byron Bay was where we were and it was really nice just recording and falling asleep under the stars, in the humidity, with my dog. Really nice.

QC: This is your 7th album. do you find that the process of writing, recording an album has gotten easier? have you developed a sort of game plan for how to do it?

XR: Is it my seventh?

QC: It is.

XR: Ha. Yeah, I mean the writing process is never really thought out or prepared for, it just sort of flows through me and develops along the way. The same can go for recording. I try not to get that mentally involved and just to shape it as I go. I have gotten better at approaching the way to go about recording an album, and it’s getting easier now as I get a bigger budget for it.

QC: I hear you practice yoga before every show. Do you follow a particular style?

XR: Iyengar. My yoga teacher is from India and is really amazing. I try to practice before every show, but sometimes just going upside down for a headstand can be helpful.

QC: You’re known for having tons of instruments, some even homemade on stage with you. have you picked up any new ones lately?

XR: I have. I bought a new ’72 Gibson 335 that’s really nice. On the song “Hope That You’ll Stay” I play this new Indian style guitar called a Chatarangee.

NO WOMAN NO CRY BY XAVIER RUDD:

QC: Is it true that you don’t own footwear?

XR: Ha, yeah not really. I’m wearing flip flops right now, and realized I have to wear some sort of shoes in the city, because it would be pretty disgusting to walk the streets barefoot. I never did wear any growing up though, and I get a bit clostraphobic when I have to.

QC: I’m really looking forward to seeing you in Austin. Have you done ACL before?

XR: I haven’t, yeah I’m looking forward to it as well. The lineup looks fantastic.

QC: Will you be able to catch any performances?

XR: Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I’d love to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, their latest record is incredibly pretty. I have to fly back to Australia the following day, so I think I’ll just be in and out. But, if you do see the show, you should try and come say hi.

Oh, I will Xavier. Trust me, I will.

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