Xavier Rudd, An Interview with Jessie Booth
Once dubbed ‘Australian’s sexiest vegetarian’ Aussie musician and fervent vegetarian Xavier Rudd’s career was nearly stymied recently after one of his songs Let Me Be featured in a KFC advertisement as its backing track.
Words By Wal Reid | Interview by Jessie Booth
All good impetus before starting his tour in New Zealand, but the Powerstation crowd were none the wiser and probably couldn’t give a flying fart as Rudd and his band The United Nations took control of the stage, settling their presence with the Auckland crowd and all before playing this weekend’s Wanderlust Festival in Taupo.
It was evident the crowd mostly young ‘hippies’ or enlightened ‘hipsters’, regular festival goers the sort that go to Prana or Womad incorporating the dance moves that resemble an inflatable wind man you see on American car lots. Rudd the consummate performer decked out in recognisable vest & plumed adorned headdress held the front spot, deviating now & then to address the crowd with his observations and mantras, occasionally shaking his blonde mane and holding his gaze over the audience with piercing blue eyes. Noting now & then what a ‘wonderful, great day’ it was in Auckland and eluding to the recent Black Caps cricket win over Australia.
Celebrating the release of his new album Nana, which Rolling Stone described as ‘beautiful celebration of a global sound’ Rudd dived into new single Flag duly giving the floor to new songs Nana & the ethereal Rainbow Serpent before reverting back to crowd favourites Follow the Sun or Come Let Go showing the popularity of artist who has steadily built his reputation as a formidable nomadic musician touring the world including recently to Europe & North America.
I have to say I enjoyed Rudd more last year as a three piece with the sublime South African Bassist Uncle Tio & percussionist Bobbly Alu. Rudd’s music is brilliant but tonight’s performance lacked pathos, more preferring the dynamics of his music in a compact band ensemble. Rudd’s reggae infused music is timely given its Waitangi weekend & Bob Marley’s birthday, let’s hope he continues his strong march with his global musical message, because the world is better off having a voice like his.
Music Nation’s Jessie Booth managed to catch up with him for a chat about the band, touring and future plans.