Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of WAAX

Welcome to the weird, wonderful world of WAAX

Words by Lucas Radbourne

WAAX are Aussie punk juggernauts that are taking the music scene by storm and their new release has a personally chaotic backstory.

WAAX have released their new single ‘Most Hated Girl’ and it picks up on the phenomenal success of their debut LP Big Grief, which shot them to prominence around Australia 12 months before COVID-19 put a halt to live music.
“Most Hated Girl’ was definitely a COVID song that came out of the first lockdown in April of 2020,” says WAAX singer/songwriter Maz DeVita.

What you need to know

  • WAAX are a hugely popular Brisbane punk outfit that have just released a new single
  • They’re currently announcing a wave of new tour dates to boot
  • They’ve racked up more than 10 million streams on Spotify alone

“I was feeling pretty low and pretty hysterical and not very good about myself and I felt that I really needed to write because I hadn’t been writing much at that time because COVID got in the way of my motivation,” DeVita continues.

“A week before that I was staying with my parents through the first lockdown and we were going through the garage and I found a diary from when I was 16. I went through and read it and I was like, ‘Oh, I haven’t really changed that much. I’m pretty much the same fucking person,’ and it was just kind of a potent thing. I hadn’t read anything I’d written as a teenager in so long, so I didn’t even know what to expect. It was just an interesting thing to know that I’m still kind of the same person at the core of it.

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“Fast forward to a week later when I was having this emotional moment and wanting to write a song, that memory popped through and I started writing about that experience and how it doesn’t matter how many years go by you can still be the same person and at the end of the day the way that you see yourself doesn’t actually change too much. When I was younger I felt so socially isolated and I felt that I had this idea that everyone hates me. I guess the one wisdom I’ve taken away over the years is that usually that’s all to do with the way you see yourself and I’m the most hated girl according to me and it’s not to do with anyone else.”WAAX’s new single features a typically chaotic video based about DeVita’s obsession with fantasising about what would happen if she left the band and they looked for her replacement.

“I always fantasised what it would be like if I wasn’t in the band,” laughs DeVita. “If I fake quit the band what would happen? Kind of like faking my own funeral. It’s cool to have actually done that because it’s nice to know that some people care. But then some people legitimately did audition because they sent through a bunch of really well done press packages and all this shit and I was like, ‘I was just looking for funny content, mate.’ We wanted to take that idea into the video – the posters, the social campaign all come together in the video. I knew I wanted to make a big splash because it was our first song in so long and so yeah, it was a really big collaboration.”
‘Most Hated Girl’ is the first single from a new, longer release scheduled for 2022, that once again saw WAAX pair with the dynamic and legendary team of Bernard Fanning and Nick DiDia, who also produced their debut album, Big Grief.“It’s been really nice and homely feeling returning to the studio with them because we worked with them on the last record obviously, so it’s kind of like just getting back in the shed with Dad. We have a really good bond with them and they understand us and I’m not as nervous. Bernie and Nick have just watched us kind of graduate into the next level of making this record and it’s been really nice.”

On ‘Most Hated Girl’ DeVita’s new songwriting partner and WAAX member James Gatling comes to prominence as a new dimension to her songwriting process.

“We work together a lot and we have a really great creative relationship and it’s very free and we both really support each other in what we do and he’s a great guitarist and songwriter in his own right, so yeah we’ve just kind of boosting each other up to be better at what we do.”

WAAX are joining the plethora of Aussie bands planning to return to the road with a string of Queensland shows just announced and plans for more national touring once COVID restrictions ease.

The idea of playing shows again has DeVita and the band hyped, as they can’t wait to be reconnected with fans and what they see as the most important achievement of their career to date.

“They’re very passionate which I love, because I’m passionate about them. Being in a band is not exactly the best financial choice you can make in your late 20s but the reason why we do it is for the community,” she continues.

“If they didn’t exist I don’t even know what I’d be doing. We built this thing up and it’s our job to cultivate and grow it and nurture it and I hope people see our community as a safe space for them to be who they are and express themselves. That’s the space that I hope we’ve created and it’s all really about the community.”