Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wax Idols Interview

Wax Idols are a band that often get categorized as Riot Grrrl, but they're a lot more than that.  The lead songstress Hether Fedewa doesn't like to categorize things by gender.  It makes it hard as a man, who literally will never be able to empathize with a woman (but then we get into a tough area, don't we?)  I personally don't believe in gender.  I believe in individuals, but whatever.  Categories are stupid but it seems like our political system is obsessed with them.  Be you.  Hether would probably agree.

Wax Idols have 2 7 " records and an LP called "No Future."  "No Future" is out on Chicago's very own Hozac Records.  Yeah, they're awesome.  Their newest record, the 7" on Suicide Squeeze called "Schadenfreude" is fucking awesome.  It's already one of my favorite 7"s of a year of very good 7"s.  It actually was the record that truly turned me on to Wax Idols.  It's absolutely fantastic on both sides.  Unfortunately, it's sold out from the website, but you can hear the a-side HERE.  

Hether Fedewa fronts the band from San Francisco, and as she says in the later interview, she has had a lot of help from people around the area.  It's cool to see people from all over the world kind of zone into somewhere, like how she worked with a Chicago label.  Whatever, I think it's cool.  

Jordan:  Who all is in the band and how did you all meet?  Had you just been in the same circles for a while?

Hether:  The current lineup is KEVEN TECON (drums) AMY ROSENOFF (bass) and JENNIFER MUNDY (2nd guitar/vox), in addition to me of course. I met Keven & Amy through our mutual friend Tamaryn. I didn't know Jen at all before she joined the band...she just heard that I was looking for a new guitarist & contacted me! Glad she did.

Jordan:  I heard that you were previously in Hunx & his Punx.  What has the transition from different bands been for everyone in Wax Idols now?

Hether:  I was only in Hunx for like...2 months, as the "lead" guitarist. I played a handful of Bay Area shows and did a short tour with the band GIRLS. Keven & Amy were previously in a band called Veil Veil Vanish & have another project called VOICES. Keven is also playing drums in SOFT MOON right now. I'd say the transitions have just been...natural? I don't know really. Things just happen the way that they happen.

Jordan:  Do you end up having other people in the San Francisco area helping out with your music?

Wax Idols' First LP
Hether:  To a certain extent, yes of course. I mean, my current lineup is fully a part of WAX IDOLS at this point. We are writing & recording together now. They've been with me for a year & a half. Not to mention my producer Monte Vallier who has been fucking incredible to work with. Matt Hartman (Henry's Dress//Coachwhips//Sic Alps) was one of the first people I collaborated with. We covered & recorded a song together by THE LOOT that was on that super limited cassette release I put out a few years ago with my friend William Keihn (Psychic Snerts, infamous SF artist weirdo). Hartman also served as the live drummer for a few shows in the beginning...he's been a real rock for me over the years in many ways. Then a couple girls from that band The Splinters wanted to play in Wax Idols, as well as Paul Keelan who I had already been in a band with before. They played with me for about a year & played on some of NO FUTURE. There are some really talented people here and I am fortunate enough to be friends with some of them so..yeah. I have had help! Haha. 

Jordan:  I really liked the article in MRR with Hether and Lorno from DA!  I thought you had a lot of interesting things to say about women's role in Rock.  What has that been like, being a woman in a music scene often dominated by men?

Hether:  I don't really have anything to say about that. I mean, what is it like being a man in a music scene often dominated by man? Do you ever ask yourself, or other men that question? See my point?  If you read the article - you already know how I feel!

Jordan:  What kind of music, people, or events end up influencing or inspiring some of the ideologies behind the band?

Hether:  Everything in my life has led me to where I am now. As far as specifics...I have very rarely subscribed to the creative visions of others, unless it happens to be a shared one serendipitously. I have my own & they are quite strong. I set my own goals & follow my own whims when it comes to Wax Idols and life in general. That's just how I roll!

Jordan:  What kinds of ideas and songs and thoughts were going into the songs for your first LP?

Hether:  I was dealing heavily with death, loss, sexual frustration (and frustration in general) & heartbreak during the 2 year period of time when I was sort of "compiling" the songs that would eventually be recorded for NO FUTURE. General feelings of discontent & isolation, you know. Fun stuff like that.

Jordan:  How did you end up working with Hozac records?  Was it difficult working with them from San Francisco?

Hether:  I can't remember exactly how we linked up, but no it wasn't very difficult. They're great guys and they are really passionate about music.

Jordan:  How about the suicide squeeze 7"?  I thought that that record sounded completely different from your music before.  What went into that?  How did you end up working with Suicide Squeeze?
The New Wax Idols 7" (I Can't Spell the Name)

Hether:  Dave from SUICIDE SQUEEZE contacted me after he heard GOLD SNEAKERS. He has NU SENSAE signed to his label & they're good friends of mine, I think they turned him on to WAX IDOLS originally. There was no plan of action for that 7"....we just wrote 2 songs and that is what they sound like. If the evolution of a bands catalogue was completely stagnant & repetitive, wouldn't that be boring? What would the point be in being an artist or a human being if you're not constantly in a state of change? Know what I mean? I like to answer questions with questions. 

Jordan:  What is the band working on now?  What can we look forward to in the close future?

Hether:  We're currently writing & recording the next LP which will be released on Slumberland Records sometime this fall. It's pretty insane so far & we've only just begun. I've written some of it alone, some of it in the studio with my producer, some of it with my bandmates & some of it with Mark Burgess (singer//bassist of THE CHAMELEONS UK) who is co-producing the record with Monte Vallier and I. REALLY into that, obviously! Mark is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters & vocalists of all time so his influence & support has been immeasurable.

Wax Idols Live
Jordan:  Do you all have plans to tour any time soon?

Hether:  Yes! We're doing a NORTHWEST TOUR with WHITE LUNG (Vancouver)...really soon! June 8 in Seattle at RENDEVOUZ, June 9th in Portland, June 10th in Oakland, and June 11th in San Francisco at The Knockout. Then we are going to San Diego June 30th (at Soda bar with Colleen Green) and playing a Part Time Punks show at The Echo in LA with Dead Angle. We have a big surprise in store for those shows....stay on your toes Southern Cali! We'll be touring more extensively again after the next LP is released.

Jordan:  Anything else you'd like to say?

Hether:  Is that a trick question?

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