Interview: New sun rises for Xavier Rudd


Follow The Sun Tour
Xavier Rudd

Victorian surf/roots musician Xavier Rudd has long been known for his progressive politics and championing of Aboriginal and environmental issues. Green Left Weekly’s Mat Ward caught up with the multi-instrumentalist before his Australasian tour for “Follow The Sun”, the lead single off his forthcoming new album.

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Tell us about the new album.

Each song has its own flavour on this record. “Follow The Sun” was the last track I recorded and the only one I tracked in Australia. I did it at [studios] 301 in Byron [Bay] one afternoon. Things flowed easily, like the flavour of the tune.

I recorded this album on my own again after doing a couple with some other players. I still haven't decided which songs will make the record or not, but they are all different and interesting, I think.

You go up to the Kimberley a couple of times a year. It looks like Woodside Petroleum is winning in its battle to establish a gas hub there. What needs to be done to turn the tide?

The issue extends to the whole country and the continued ruthless devastation of country and culture. International awareness is helpful. I wouldn't say Woodside is winning, but, as always, it’s an uphill battle, to say the least.

What in your opinion is the most pressing Aboriginal issue?

A proper, well-planned Aboriginal education system compulsory for every Australian child, involving local communities to restore pride and respect of culture in every little nook and cranny of this big land.

You've posted speeches by Aboriginal activist and historian Gary Foley on your campaigning website The Movement Tell us about that.

I don't know uncle Gary personally, but his presence and delivery of speech is deadly!

Tell us about your support for direct action marine conservation society Sea Shepherd and what you think of Julia Gillard's stance towards it.

[Gillard is] another ultra-conservative Australian politician. Australia's lack of acknowledgment of Japan’s illegal whaling practices in its own backyard is appalling.

[Rudd's tour hits Melbourne on March 21; Sydney March 23; Brisbane March 25; Adelaide March 30; Perth April 5; Auckland April 13; Wellington April 14.]