triple j and Select Music Present...
WAAX 'Big Grief Tour'
Brisbane quintet Waax have been making lots of compelling noise of late. Signing with Australian indie heavyweight Dew Process and featuring heavily on the nation’s airwaves they’ve been winning hearts and selling out national tours in the process. Supporting the likes of big time internationals Wolf Alice, Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro, the band have also been making sizable waves on the festival circuit with standout sets at Splendour In The Grass, Falls Festival, Good Things and Unify Gathering, not to mention a growing collection of local music awards and it’s clear to see the band’s trajectory is on a stratospheric rise.
Big Grief, the debut album for the band debut at 11 on the ARIA charts and was heralded by critics.
Though the visceral nature on which the band’s reputation has been forged is never far from the surface, a different type of weight hangs on the bones of this amazing collection of songs.
As lyricist and vocalist Maz De Vita declares, it’s something that hasn’t been a conscious decision, more purely the fact that the band have never been willing to trade emotion over allegiance to style. “We never write thinking about genre,” she states, “we always just do what sounds right to us. Waax will always at its core look to convey a feeling, no matter what form it comes in.”
Big Grief explores the very definition of the word grief in universal terms; it’s a mourning that as sentient beings in the modern world, with all its technological trappings, we should all be able to relate to. As De Vita again explains, “the whole album is about grief for so many things that I felt when we were writing the record and still do now. The way the world is so volatile at the moment, our environment, I talk about anxiety, mania, cutting ties with old friends and habits, my problems in the past with body image, and it’s almost like a big mourning for all that. It’s definitely an outpouring of grief in every sense of the word. But as much as I explored darker themes for Big Grief, I framed my melodies and vocal very colourfully and lively.”
For a lot of writers, working without ambiguity and putting themselves completely out there for all to see can be an arresting experience, but for De Vita there seems to be no other way. “Honesty is the main thing that I need to have, if it doesn’t feel honest it doesn’t feel worth it. For me it has to be straight from my gut, and I need my whole heart to be in it. I think the rest of the band can feel it too, we can all feel when the song has an element of rawness and realness and that’s probably the most important thing. I can be quite a reserved person day to day, but I guess I harbour a lot of fiery angsty feelings and being able to have an outlet to say the things I want to say, that’s really important.”
WAAX // LION ARTS FACTORY // SATURDAY OCTOBER 10