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Catching Up with Waxflower: Pop Punk from Australia

Catching Up with Waxflower: Pop Punk from Australia

Catching Up with Waxflower: Pop Punk from Australia

Waxflower is on the rise, based out of Australia and ready to take on the world with their super infectious and vibrantly introspective songs.  We Might Be Alright is their latest album now available via the Rude Records compound.  Produced by Stevie Knight (With Confidence, Stand Atlantic), We Might Be Alright by Waxflower is quite a discovery for pop punk fans looking for an exciting new band to enjoy.  The band has opened for the likes of Simple Plan and has been on and off the road with their We Might Be Alright Tour throughout Australia due to the current ongoing pandemic.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with drummer Daniel Seymour to find out more about the current happenings of Waxflower in the age of Covid-19 and beyond…

Where is the band based out of and what was the music scene like prior to the pandemic?
We’re based out of Brisbane, which is in Australia – so all the way in the Southern Hemisphere. And before the pandemic, we had an incredible music scene out of Brisbane. I’m kind if biased as well – we have a bit of hometown pride. But I think we had some incredible bands come out of where we live and the surrounding cities and towns. On a Friday or Saturday night, we would easily have 5,6,7, shows that you could go and see. You could see some great local bands to bands from all around Australia – and international touring bands would be over here quite frequently. So, we had a great scene up until quite recently.

How did you wind up on Rude Records?
Yeah, great question – I ask myself that daily. We got super lucky. We put out a couple of singles back in 2019. We went and recorded four tracks with a produced called Stevie Knight – and Stevie has worked with some incredible bands like With Confidence, Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly just to name a few. So, we went and did some music with him, and we knew that he was one of the best producers in Australia. And that kind of why we went with him. So, we did these 3-4 singles and put out two of them – and over here in Australia we got a pretty good response – and managed to sign on with an Australian booking agent called Select Music – they are one of the premiere booking agents in Australia and it was awesome to have them on our team.

We received good coverage over in Australia, and Rude Records reached out to us and said, “Hey, we really like the songs you guys have put out. What’s coming up for the band and what music are you sitting on and what demos have you got?” We kind of went back and forth with them for the next few months and sent them some songs – and they seemed to enjoy it, which was nice. And from there they said, “Yeah, we want you guys to come on to the label.” And it seemed like the perfect fit for us to be able to try to take the band from where we are in Australia and try to reach bigger and wider and even further away audiences. It was always the goal, and they were perfectly aligned with what we were trying to do there.

You guys have just recently an EP entitled We Might Be Alright. What does that title We Might Be Alright mean to you?
It’s kind of funny, but I think for us at the time, it was quite optimistic. It was about going through certain changes within yourself and growing as a person – and kind of going through the phases of not being happy with who you are or where you are. You could either be quite down about that or you could kind of see that there’s a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel – and I think it’s about recognizing that optimism, but still with a little bit of melancholy and emo about it – We Might Be Alright – things might be okay – you’ve just got to hold on to that hope and optimism about how things will turn out.

Tell me about that single Not Alone – and although you probably didn’t write the lyrics, what does the song convey to you?
It’s an exercise in self-reflection. I think Tristian the lead singer – he was kind of prone to isolating himself when things got tough. And he said it could be quite addictive to be as melancholy or as down as possible – he kind of reveled in that feeling and emotion. It was his recognizing when things were tough – he was going through periods in his life when he wasn’t happy. He didn’t have to withdraw within himself, and he could reach out to the people around him. For a lot of us, we’re very lucky to have incredible support systems and people and family and friends and mates who really care about us. So, it’s about knowing whatever you are going through, there are people around you who can support you.

Select any other song from the We Might Be Alright EP and tell me a little about it and what it means to you.
One of our favorite songs from the EP is the third single we put out – which is a song called Food For Your Garden, and its kind of about the state of acceptance about someone not being in your life. It’s about how a relationship can end and that could really be something you could learn from. You need to learn to live with it, but also take the experiences that you had within that relationship and let it almost be the food for your growth – to let it nourish it and allow you to become a better person or a different person – or kind be introspective on that reflection of yourself – and in that relationship, see who you truly want to be and want makes you happy.

What has it been like to write and release new music in the middle of a pandemic and all this social unrest in the world?
Yeah, it’s been an incredible time – one that I never thought I would experience and one that I think we could hopefully look back on and say regardless of what was going in the world at the time, I think we channeled the best that we could musically and continued to push forward – regardless of the barriers and challenges we had to overcome. And talking about civil unrest as well in the world, I think what we’ve had to overcome is minuet in comparison to other injustices and challenges that people are facing in the world. So, it also provides a bit of context into your own life and your own music – you realize that there’s people out there who are going through much tougher times than yourselves – and you can almost use that to comfort yourself and you can get through whatever you’re having to do.

And for us being able to be aligned and working with Rude Records and to have a great team over here – we’re just so lucky to have that support system of amazing people who continue to help us record and release music – and are constantly there in our corner fighting for us to keep going throughout everything. I think we’ve been so lucky to make the most out of what we have, and we’re always going to be grateful for every single opportunity that we get within however the world is.

Photo Credit: Mitch Lowe

One of the bands you’ve opened for in the past was Simple Plan. Did you get to meet them or hang out with them at all?
We were fortunate enough – and just before the pandemic – Simple Plan were over here touring, and we got to play one of their shows which was incredible. They’re a band that we all grew up listening to. I think if you play any kind of genre of pop punk or alt rock or whatever you want to call it, if you didn’t listen to I’m Just A Kid, then I’m not sure what you were listening to when you were growing up. It was incredible to get to play with them -watch how they perform.

We got to say hi to them real briefly and that was super lovely. Just be able to stand side stage and see the energy and professionalism and excitement they put into their performance still 20 years into their career was really cool – and definitely something that I think we’ll learn from and take hopefully throughout our career. It’s always nice playing with more experienced bands, and especially one with such pedigree like Simple Plan. It’s something you definitely learn from every time you do it.

Are you involved with any other bands outside of Waxflower. I saw a band called Columbus listed on your page…
I also play drums in a band called Columbus – we’re a band over here in Australia. We’re just about to go on tour as well. Things are starting to open up again here in Australia. So yeah, it’s fun getting to balance bands and play two different styles of punk. Columbus is probably leaning more towards the punk side of pop punk and Waxflower is the pop side of pop punk. I really enjoy getting to play both sides and being in both projects. It keeps me very busy.

Would Waxflower and Columbus ever want to tour or do a show together? Or has that already happened?
It hasn’t happened yet, and I would love to do it! Hopefully, we can do it soon in the future. We just need to make a few things with dates and touring lineup, but I think that would be incredible! I would love to do that.

What do you hope the rest of 2021 brings for you, for Waxflower, and the world music scene in general?
I just honestly want people to be creatively fulfilled again. Whether that’s people attending shows or being able to record or write music or to perform – whatever it is that artists enjoy most about being in a band and what fans enjoy most about bands – I want people to be able to be creatively fulfilled within that again. If all those things can start to open up again and we get back to a sense of normality with music and creativity – whatever it is that people want to pursue within music – if we can get there, that would be awesome. And that would be my hope for this year.

And do you have any messages for Waxflower or pop punk fans here in the States?
Sit tight. We’re going to be over there hopefully as soon as things open up. We’re absolutely chomping at the bit to get overseas and tour the US – and obviously with Rude based over in Europe, to Europe and the UK. Keep spinning the tracks – keep letting us know that you’re there and we’ll be over as soon as we can.

Waxflower are Tristan Higginson, Daniel Seymour, Nick Hargens and Jordan Beard.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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