Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with Wax Witches

Alex Hall doing the singing fun times
Alex Hall is terrible at grammar. I don't think I've ever edited more in an interview than this one. That being said, he rocks as a musician. I bought his cassette on Burger Records basically on a whim. I was picking up the "What Have We Wrought" compilation, which was a benefit for Mike Atta, when I saw that I might as well just pick up another cassette if I was already going to pay for shipping. I chose the Wax Witches cassette because I thought that the artwork was reminiscent of early Pettibon artwork that he did for 80s hardcore groups and that iconic Sonic Youth "Goo" album cover. The white and black. The frenzied words to the side. I picked it up.

I received it yesterday in the mail and popped it into my cassette deck and really enjoyed myself. It shows a mastery of 80s hardcore, as well as recognition for pop-rock song structure and a passion for all things fun. Behind the energy of the album, the listener can hear a lot of passion for music that may be considered more or less on the outskirts of a typical radio listener. There isn't the bubblegum baroque layering here from indie rock nor is there the outside production that comes from mainstream punk bands. This cassette is an homage to the authenticity of 80s punk and DIY spirit. I think that's what hooked me. I think I was hooked because I saw that it was real in terms of appreciation and in terms of a mastery of the style. In any event, it was a blast to listen to and I carried my cassette walkman around with me today just so I could keep listening.

You can check out the Wax Witches Facebook page HERE or listen to Alex's stuff on bandcamp HERE.
This is what he said.

Jordan: Who is Wax Witches? When did you start making music? What inspired you to write music?

Alex: Wax Witches is my alter ago. I started making music like 4 years ago. I was inspired to make music because there isn't any music scene where I'm from (The Gold Coast, Australia ) and I was really into punk and garage music but never got to see any bands that I listened to live. I decided to make my own band so I could play the music I liked listening to. 

Jordan: How would you characterize your music?

Alex: Space punk. 

Jordan: What is the songwriting process like behind the songs that you make? How many songs do you make? How long does a song take?

Alex: On my last album, I wrote, recorded and mixed the whole album. I usually just sit in my room for way too long and write and record songs. I write songs pretty quickly. I think I wrote and recorded my first 2 WW EPs in like 3 days.

Jordan: How did you release the new album? What was it like working with Burger? How did you decide on doing a cassette there?

Alex: My friend started a label here in Australia called "JERKO" and he released the album on CD here, which was super cool because not everyone has a cassette player. Contrarily, working with burger was like a dream come true. I've always been a big fan of them. They have released great music and are such nice cool guys. I released my first two EPs on cassette through Weiner records which is their new contractual recording label. After those two EPs, they said I should do a Burger cassette so I started working on an album.

Jordan: What's the artwork on the album? Did you draw that? Kind of looks like Pettibon a little bit, but I really dig it. It's why I originally looked at the album.

Alex: That's a drawing I did of myself being gangster. I'm a real big Pettibon fans so that's a compliment haha! 

Jordan: What musicians from Australia do you really like? Any bands you especially enjoy playing with?

Alex: There are a bunch of cool bands here like Straight Arrows, Gooch Palms, Step-panther, Royal headache, andTwerps. If you haven't heard of them you should check them out!

Jordan: How often do you play shows? Where do you generally play?

Alex: I play in another band [editors note: Bleeding Knees Club] and we tour a bunch. We have toured the UK and USA and all over Australia. I have only played two shows as Wax Witches so far. I'm trying to get a solid band together so we can fuck up peoples faces when we play live.

Jordan: Any plans to come stateside or around the world?

Alex: Yeah man! We were going to come over at the end of March but my drummer had better things to do and quit. But I want to get over there ASAP. I just have to save enough money.

Jordan: What's in the future?

Alex: Im gonna do some shows here in Australia, then try get to the USA! 

Jordan: Anything else you'd like to say?

Alex: Narrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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