It’s been a huge year for Aussie punk band WAAX from the massive positive response to their hit single ‘Labrador’, to playing huge festivals and shows all around Australia, to producing a debut album with the help of Bernard Fanning, you’d be crazy to think WAAX are going anywhere but up.
WAAX’s front woman Maz De Vita spent some time chatting with Tayla Sudall about the upcoming show at Best Night Ever on the Gold Coast, the enormous year that the band has had and the band’s debut album release co-produced by Bernard Fanning, scheduled to be released in 2019!
Maz De Vita: Hello Maz speaking
Rabbit Radio: Hey Maz, it’s Tayla from Rabbit Radio how ya going?
MDV: Hey good! How are you?
RR: I’m good thank you! What are you up too?
MDV: Ahh nothing much, just we’ve got the Super Nintendo out so we’re playing a bit of Super Mario –laughs-
RR: Hell yeah
MDV: Yeah just chillin’ after a days work, what about yourself?
RR: Yeah nice and about the same, just getting ready to chat with you really –laughs- that’s been about it
RR: So yeah we were gonna have a chat today because you guys are on such a massive, epic roll right now, and you guys are gearing up to play at Best Night Ever in a couple of weeks, it’s like a mini-festival on the Gold Coast, you guys excited?
MDV: Yeah we’re super keen like, all of our friends are playing as well, and we have never played NightQuarter before so that’s gonna be interesting and fun so, we’ve heard good things so, it should be good
RR: Yeah sick! And yeah, like you said, you guys are friends with most of the people on the line up, is there anyone that you’re excited to be working alongside for that show?
MDV: Well we’ve played gigs with everyone except Gooch Palms and I’m really excited to see them and play a show with them. We’ve seen them before but yeah, never been on the same line up so it’s gonna be cool and we’re gonna do… we’ve got some surprises in store but yeah, that’s about all I can say at this point –laughs-
RR: So mysterious, that’s cool –laughs- and you guys were also on the line up for the Good Things Festival which was just on the weekend, how was that?
MDV: It was pretty insane! I really didn’t expect so many people to rock up but they did and the shows were really big and yeah it was an interesting one because our drummer was away, he was off with his partner, they were having a baby, and so we got Mikey from Violent Soho to fill in on drums, so it was really fun and cool to do something like that, and yeah it was crazy, it was a really well run festival. Everybody was nice, made lots of new friends, yeah I’m really hoping that it sticks around for next year
RR: Yeah I’m hoping so as well because it’s nice to see those kind of one-day festivals like Soundwave and Big Day Out kind of making a comeback
RR: Yeah it’s really cool! So yeah, like you said ah Mikey from Violent Soho filled in for you guys, is that who’s gonna be filling at Best Night Ever as well?
MDV: No, Tom will be back for that one, so yeah it’s gonna be back to normal again. It’s kind of weird not having him but it’ll um, I’m sure he’s more excited than us ‘cause he’s just been so ready to play a show, but like, obviously had an infant on the way so yeah, I think he’s just excited to get back on the stage
RR: Yeah that’ll be cool, was it hard kind of getting Mikey set up to play Good Things with you guys?
MDV: Not really, we just had a couple of rehearsals together, he was pretty fast learning all the songs and we played a Violent Soho cover as well which was really good, which was kind of surreal, ‘cause we’ve all been fans of the band and now they’re our mates and now they’re like… playing with us, in our band, on stage, it’s pretty surreal but yeah it was pretty simple, Mikey is just a legend so yeah
RR: That’s cool, and like you said… it’s like, you used to be fans of them and now they’re your friends – do you guys ever find yourself getting kind of star struck with any of the bands you’ve played with? I mean, the line up for Good Things was just full of iconic bands, what’s it like playing alongside some of those bands like The Offspring and Dropkick Murphies?
MDV: Yeah it was pretty crazy, we got to meet one of The Offspring guys, we met Noodle and ah, he was really cool and what else? Like… yeah, everyone on the line up was awesome and it was really cool to see a band like Baby Metal as well, we’ve always been talking about wanting to see them play and they were just insane and just some of the stage shows that everyone brought was like, world class, some people had like pyro going on just like big ass rock show vibes, it was really good!
RR: Yeah that’s awesome. And you guys have had a massive year you released your single Labrador and that’s been received super well and you guys have just been playing a massive string of shows and festivals just all around the place, and it looks like that’s going to keep going into next year so what’s been your favourite part of this year so far?
MDV: Probably my favourite part of this year has been Splendour I’m gonna say just because it was such a special gig because we got Bernard Fanning up on stage with us and it was kind of like the moment we officially told the world that we were working on the record together and I dunno, it was just like, a pretty magical time and it was just great to play the festival, they really you know, they look after you there so yeah I think that was my favourite part. I think also just the fact that we finished recording an album has been one of the highlights because up until that point we sort of saw an album as a mythical concept because we’d just been putting out EP’s up until then, so yeah, it was awesome to know that we actually are capable of making an album and yeah, it was very rewarding
RR: Yeah that’s mad! And what was it like working with Bernard Fanning? Was he intimidating or –laughs-
MDV: Nah he’s just super chill! He has a lot of great wisdom when it comes to song writing and we also worked with another producer named Nick Didia so they kind of worked as a duo and they both made Powderfinger records together and Nick was just like… awesome as well so it was kind of like hanging out with a couple of Dad’s and they just have so much wisdom and they’re just super lovely people and yeah, got some good sounds out of it
RR: Yeah sick, and you write really incredible lyrics yourself so what inspires you when you’re writing new music?
MDV: Aw anything really! I think kind of just everyday life really, I mean, I know that’s pretty cliché to say but I was just kind of like, I see it as just like a common human experience and I guess I kind of just like enjoy talking about being pissed off with the world in general. I think anger and very strong emotions, if I feel very strongly, I really feel inclined to write, just like ‘I need to get something out’ and it can be a bit sporadic as well but yeah hopefully that answers your question –laughs-
RR: –laughs- no that’s good! So yeah, in between the hundreds of shows that you guys have been playing throughout the year, I saw that you’re still finding time to hit the studio which is super impressive so will we be seeing some more new releases from you guys before the years out?
MDV: Not this year, we’ll be releasing our first single early next year and then probably another one and then we will be putting our album out so we’re kind of like, gathering everything together at this point and yeah, so next years gonna be the big one!
RR: Yep yep, that albums gonna be sick
MDV: Aw thank you!
RR: So, in your opinion what makes a show really memorable for you guys?
MDV: I think just having a really amazing crowd, just seeing everyone have a good time and being really respectful of each other and singing the words and all that, I guess we kind of just feed off the energy that the crowd gives us and I think yeah, having an amazing crowd is what makes everything worth it.
MDV: We always come away from a show knowing it’s good if the crowd had a good time
RR: Yeah absolutely! And so since you guys are gonna be playing so many shows to round out the year, even a festival on New Years, do you guys have any other plans to celebrate the end of the year or are playing the shows going to be that celebration?
MDV: I think just playing the shows! We’re definitely gonna be busy towards the end of the year just with those two shows and I think we need like, kind of like a break, I think
MDV: After the show I think we’re just gonna rest up and get ready for next year ‘cause it’s already been such a hectic year for us and I just think we need some time to sleep –laughs-
RR: Yeah definitely, it’s been a huge year for you guys, you’re killing it so yeah, definitely deserve a break!
MDV: Aw thank you
RR: –laughs- no worries! Um, well yeah, thank you for taking the time to have a chat and yeah, I’m really keen for the album next year and have a Merry Christmas!
MDV: Merry Christmas, thank you so much for having me!
You can listen to the full interview below!
Words by Tayla Sudall. Picture by Ian Landlaw.