A New Zealand tour has been confirmed for Australian indie-folk musician, activist and indigenous rights champion, Xavier Rudd.
Xavier Rudd will be the lead act at the 2019 NZ Spirit Festival in Auckland, as well as performing at venues in Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.
The Australian multi-instrumentalist has achieved renown in Australia, Europe and North America over the past 15 years and will be featuring music from his latest album, Storm Boy which celebrates strength, stability and spirituality at their most powerful and fundamental. One specific moment sums up the record for Rudd, an album which he describes as “pondering” and “more personal” than previous efforts. It’s a line where Rudd’s spirituality comes to the fore: “Kookaburra calls just like he knows / And I call a ride back yes I’m home / He’s been with me he’s watched me grow / Through those rainy days and those rocky roads.”
Six years have passed since Rudd’s last solo release, Spirit Bird, and a lot of things have happened in that time. Storm Boy tracks the last five or six years of his journey, his “awakening” and of all the things that “have made sense” along the way.
Most notably, he has fallen in love. “It’s definitely a theme on the record,” agrees Rudd. And if Spirit Bird signaled the beginning of his spiritual self-awakening, Storm Boy arrives at the conclusion. “Life feels strong and solid for me now, and this record is in a different space. It’s a solid space. I feel like I’ve come to the end of that chapter where I’ve learned a bunch of lessons and I’ve been shown a bunch of things spiritually,” says Rudd.
Storm Boy also represents a landmark shift in the ARIA-nominated star’s working process. Produced by Chris Bond (Ben Howard, Tom Speight) and mixed by Tim Palmer (Pearl Jam, Bowie, U2), it is the first time Rudd has ever handed over the reins completely to a producer. A brave move, but one that ultimately served him well. “Everything I wrote just had a sprinkle of magic dust on it,” he says of working with Chris Bond.
Recent years have seen Rudd use his platform to share the benefits of mindfulness, while he is also a committed vegan and has worked with US animal rights charity Peta on more than one occasion, earning the accolade of Australia’s Sexiest Vegetarian.
All of this aside, ultimately it’s about connecting with his fans. “It’s a huge compliment for me when there are people in other countries, in other languages, singing my lyrics and singing my songs,” says Rudd. And, having just completed a massive intercontinental tour over the past year – his biggest one to date – Rudd will bring Storm Boy to life on the stage, captivating a whole new legion of fans along the way.
Hailing from Australia’s surf hotspot Torquay, Rudd kickstarted his career in 2002 with the now classic album To Let, before going on to release seven studio LPs over the next thirteen years: Solace (2004), Food In The Belly (2005), White Moth (2007), Dark Shades Of Blue (2008), Koonyum Sun (2010), Spirit Bird (2012), and his first album with The United Nations, Nanna (2015).
But there’s more to Xavier Rudd than making music: his peace-promoting messages travel beyond the recording studio. As an activist, Rudd champions the rights of indigenous Australians, carrying out work to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture and preserve his own Wurundjeri heritage. He is also a committed environmentalist, having performed at many rallies and demonstrations.
Rudd has also released eight live albums, recorded in Canada, The Netherlands, Brussels, and different parts of Australia. Each live album is an essential snapshot of a moment in his career, documenting his path and commemorating the bond he shares with his fans.
Auckland: March 1-3, NZ Spirit Festival (Tanglewood, Waimauku)
Tauranga: March 4, Totara Street
Wellington: March 5, San Fran
Christchurch: March 6, The Foundry