Band: Xavier Rudd & the United Nations
Date: Saturday, May 16 at 11:30 a.m.
Stage: Hangout Stage
Initially, Xavier Rudd performed as a one-man band, surrounding himself onstage with a plethora of instruments and losing himself in a spontaneous creative process. In recent years, he decided to form a band that brings together people from different cultures and with different histories for the purpose of celebrating a shared spiritual connection.
“People have been connecting through music since the beginning of time,” Rudd said. “I wanted to highlight that concept of ‘one people.’”
As far as seeking out the talent for his conceptual band, Rudd explained it truly was an organic process. He held no auditions. He simply “put it out there to the universe,” Rudd said, and musicians came forward to join him in his vision. The United Nations’ multicultural lineup includes musicians from Rudd’s native country of Australia, but also South Africa, Samoa, Germany, Ireland and Papua New Guinea.
As someone accustomed to performing solo, Rudd admitted he faced challenges playing with a full band. He had to develop a minimalist view in order to provide an abundance of “musical real estate” for all members on stage. As the United Nations grew as a band, Rudd said, he was pleased to see his vision take form. The camaraderie between the members added to Rudd’s concept of human unity.
“It’s really just a beautiful family,” Rudd said. “It’s a great team of people to travel with and share music with. Everybody is good at what they do and very humble and very cool. It’s a lot of laughs and a lot of respect between each other. That makes any family work well.”
In order for the widest audience possible to experience this project, the United Nations went into the studio. Stephen Marley encouraged Rudd to work with Errol Brown, a Jamaica-based mixer best known as the front man for soul outfit Hot Chocolate of “You Sexy Thing” fame. It turned out to be a wise choice.
Each year, Hangout Fest features one or two bands that seem to perfectly compliment the beach environment. Xavier Rudd & the United Nations is one of those bands. Their multicultural sound and stage presence is sure to appeal to a multitude of festival-goers. Rudd promised their set will not disappoint. They plan to provide a set of music that will be “a good boogie” filled with “good vibrations.”