Interview - WAAX

WAAX have entered the new year thriving; welcoming new band members, touring with Kingswood and with their new EP Wild & Weak soon to be released into the world you’re all in for a real tasty treat. The Brisbane-based indie-punks kindly lent us 1/5 of their band, drummer Tom Bloomfield, to delve into their life right now.

“Originally, we just played tiny rooms all over Brisbane to nobody,” he reminisces. “After a couple of years ridden with drama and a few line-up changes we found a couple of champions who decided to give us a shot at being a real band. The learning curve was extreme and we are still figuring it out, but it’s been an awesome experience to turn that shitty pub band into something exciting and ambitious.”

The end of last year was a turning point for WAAX, with major changes to the band’s line-up and to their sound. “Everything has changed, I don’t think you could even say it’s the same band, we just kept the name!” Bloomfield laughs. With some much needed decision making the musicians now feel like they’re on the right track. “The dynamic before didn’t work; now it feels like we are a unit, and we’re all best mates so the way we approach everything is nice and cohesive” he expresses.

Bloomfield describes their new sound as “something spicy, like a really hot burrito; we really like burritos,” which I couldn’t agree with more – please don’t deprive your eardrums from their finger-licking sounds. However, on a more serious note (pun intended) their new EP deals with much more personal matters, as Bloomfield shares with us “Marie [DeVita, vocals] was really getting into delving into her internal struggles and I think that’s what has inspired the record. Really emotive both lyrically and musically.”

With DeVita and Chris Antolak’s creative process down pack, the two work closely together to produce new material for the rest of the band, who then all collaborate further. “I think the real difference with this EP has been attention to detail. We spent literal months figuring out different parts and dynamics, it took a lot more time, and money, than anything we’ve worked on before,” Bloomfield states.

With the record being an outlet in itself, the emotive lyrics and raw energy of the songs mirroring DeVita’s emotional and mental stasis, as Bloomfield furthers “the phone image ties into the songs in that they both serve a purpose – to reach out and ask for help. The order of the songs is basically the order in which Maz went through a mental process, which she explored chronologically, so each song represents a stage of that process.”

Songs from the five-track EP have been in the works for over a year, and Bloomfield enthuses “after recording on and off, finishing the record was the best feeling in the world.” Wild & Weak has taken WAAX on one hell of a trip. The title track itself “Is about getting in a habit of masking problems with reckless pursuits” he adds. Working with Miro Mackie, a producer outside of Brisbane from Kelvin Grove’s Plutonium Studios (owned by The John Steele Singers) has been one of many rewarding experiences that definitely paid off. “Aside from his incredible work ethic and ability, we worked with Miro because he really, really wanted to work with us. That’s been a mantra of ours since the beginning; we are really passionate about what we do so it’s very important that the people on our team are as well,” he explains.

Heading on tour with Kingswood witnessed some true highlights in WAAX’s career, unfortunately Bloomfield missed out on one, as he reveals “The highlight would have to be the final show in Perth where everyone except me joined Maddy Jane and the Kingswood lads on stage for their last song of the tour. I was having a drunken philosophical conversation with a bartender and didn’t know it was happening,” he laughs.

But he says they got to build a strong relationship with the band while playing mini golf before soundcheck, drinking a load of beers and driving over seven thousand kilometres, or as he puts it: “an absolute fuck-tonne!”

With confirmation of their biggest national headline tour to date, more singing rather than screaming from DeVita and Bloomfield’s personal favourite track (which is yet to be released) –  the last song off the EP, as he clarifies “take my word for it, it’s a jam” be sure to not miss one of the biggest acts in Australia’s emerging music scene.

30 June, Rocket Bar, Adelaide
1 July, The Gasometer, Melbourne
7 July, Crowbar, Brisbane
12 July, Beach Road Hotel, Sydney
13 July, Proud Mary’s, Central Coast
14 July, Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
15 July, Rad Bar, Wollongong
29 July, Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Perth
19 August, Shakafest, Miami Tavern, Gold Coast