It’s been a hot minute since they grabbed the world’s attention with ‘Wisdom Teeth’ back in 2014, but finally, WAAX have found their moment in the sun. For the past five years, the Brisbane outfit have bubbled just under the breaking point, consistently churning out poignant punk slammers with soaring choruses and a live show that’s seen them become an unexpected highlight for many a devout gig pig. Yet all their prestige, the band are yet to stake their claim as one of hottest acts in the country with a full-length debut
Big Grief, recorded across a number of sessions with fabled producer Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Bruce Springsteen) and none other than Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning, aims to change this. Across twelve tracks, the band battle with the titular concept of grief in all its meanings; penning rousing songs to explore notions of self-doubt, social anxieties, body image, loss and moving on to better things. Despite its anthemic, stomping instrumentals and Maz DeVita’s ear-candy vocal performances, Big Grief is a record that carries a heavy weight; and it’s one which reinforces exactly what WAAX stand for within Australia’s musical landscape. To further understand WAAX’s debut record, we dragged the band from their hectic national promo run to find out more about the records laid the foundation for Big Grief.
Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance
We are obsessed with this record. The sincerity and passion that shines through was really inspiring for us to hear while making Big Grief. It’s raw and soulful and pretty much flawless. Lots of love and respect for this band. We saw them play at the Brightside (Brisbane) and were completely blown away.
Dose Your Dreams - Fucked Up
Guitar-wise, Fucked Up were big time inspiration. The huge sounds that come off this album are so brutal and almost operatic. We really wanted moments of wall of sound with big dynamics and you definitely get that with Fucked Up. Super excited that they’re coming to Australia - and we get to share the stage with them at Yours and Owls later in there year. Mayhem.
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
We just love this record and try to take production inspo from it whenever we can. We were definitely thinking of it a lot while writing our closing track ‘IDKWIFL’. Just everything about this band rules. I’m pretty inspired by Stevie Nicks vocally, and drumming-wise you really can’t go past Mick Fleetwood.
Violent Soho - Hungry Ghost
Pretty close to home with this one - we are lucky to call this band our mates and one of our biggest inspirations. When we first heard Hungry Ghost we were floored and it definitely helped shape us - plus Brisbane; we are lucky to be from a town with so many great guitar music bands.
Julia Jacklin - Don't Let the Kids Win
Julia’s songwriting is unreal. I love how direct and clever it is. We were listening to this record a lot when working on Big Grief. We actually recorded a cover of ‘Pool Party’ because we loved it so much. I’m sure its floating around on the inter webs somewhere.
Big Grief, the debut record from WAAX, arrives on Friday August 23 via Dew Process. Catch the band play live in a town near you this month.