It’s no secret — it’s been a bumpy path for WAAX thus far — line-up changes and sordid relationships may have laced their early days. Marie DeVita (vocals), Tom Bloomfield (drums) and Ewan Birtwell (guitar) stood strong with enlisted new compadres in Chris Antolak (guitar) and Tom Griffin (bass). A year on, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is, in fact, the original configuration.
An early reputation as ‘a live band to be reckoned with’ dictated their path as a punk-infused rock band with the “utterly terrifying” DeVita fronting — becoming not only one to watch, but also somewhat of a spokesperson for angsty youngsters with something to get off their chest. They relate to DeVita, her words, her songs, her restlessness and her realness. They rapidly inhaled early singles like gospels of sorts.
Debut ‘WisdomTeeth’ forced down the doors and immediately demanded attention, earning WAAX a spot on the triple j Unearthed stage at BIGSOUND. The furious ‘I For An Eye’ came next and was added to triple j rotation-proper while the band played shows, LOTS of shows. WAAX have performed on a number of supporting slots with Aussie staples such as Kingswood, The Delta Riggs, Ecca Vandal, Emperors and Stonefield and internationals like Guitarwolf(Japan), UPSET (ex- Vivian Girls, Best Coast and Hole members) and Canadian upcoming punk buddies White Lung.
As a band practically built for the festival stage, they were enlisted for Maroochy Music & Visual Arts Festival, Festival of the Sun and The Blurst of Times. All of this happened in addition to sold out headline shows under their own esteem while mowing down every room in their path. Among all the action on the road, the core three found a chance to record and release a surprise debut EP – Holy Sick – a bold move from an emerging name that somehow worked.
That was then. Flip to now — late 2016 — to find a wiser WAAX; a band that hunkered down to find their own voice and have begun to share it. Their forthcoming second EP is completed, and its first single – ‘This Everything’ – was a success in the blogsphere and on Australian community radio, snaring a coveted playlist addition on FBi and a spot on triple j.
Opening with a fanfare of caustic guitars, second single ‘Same Same’ heralds an expanded melodic, more danceable approach — while retaining the acerbic attitude and vicious hardihood that WAAX have made their trademarks. Thematically, it’s a natural successor to ‘This Everything’, set in a self-critical mindset struggling with destructive habits that don’t seem to yield. If the adage is that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, frontwoman Marie DeVita finds herself trapped in a pattern where “I pace, I backtrack, until I walk the same path“.
‘Same Same’ was serviced early on a whim — a fateful move that secured the song its global exclusive first play on triple j’s Home and Hosed and an instant addition to the triple j playlist the following day. This instant support seems a fitting way to round out what has been a landmark year for WAAX featuring a critically acclaimed headline tour and notable supports such as Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), L7 (US) and Ecca Vandal now under their belts, momentum is building ever faster in the leadup to WAAX’s second EP.