Wax Mekanix exclusive interview
1- Hello and welcome to Metal Music Midwest, first off, thanks for taking the time to do the interview, could you give our readers a brief description of the group? Where is the band from?
Hi! I’m from the USA. The historic city of Philadelphia is home for me and my crew.
2- "Mobocracy Deluxe" is the is your new album, how long did it take to organize this special release?
‘Mobocracy Deluxe’ is a collection of tracks from my 2020 album ‘Mobocracy’ and 2021 split, ‘Blunt’.
In early 2022, Electric Talon Records came to me about a CD release that would bring together my tunes from these two releases along with a few interesting and rare extras for those in my audience that like having a physical recording in their hands.
With the excellent help of rock and metal PR firm The Metallist, we are gearing up for an October 28th release.
3- What musical influences inspire your compositions?
Like many similar artists, this is a very long list, but I’ll try to focus on some of the most meaningful inspirations.
I’ve been making records for decades and find that large and small things inspire and influence me. Althought they span two separate, and sonically different releases, one of the main reasons that the songs on ‘Mobocracy Deluxe’ are together is that they were written in one continuous timeframe when the world, and more specifically, America, was going through some unique social, poltitcal, and economic shifting. So that vibe of change and turmoil set the thematic landscape and fueled the aggressive, heavy, snarling, pounding, foreboding, mysterious character of what I was after.
Once that notion of styistic direction was coalescing in my mind, I found myself drawing on those influences that feel like part of my creative DNA. The first to show up were the most obvious...Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Kiss, AC/DC, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Sweet, Steve Miller Band, Cheap Trick, and Johnny Cash.
Some not-so-obvious influences are flamenco guitarist Ottmar Libert, Simon and Garfunkle, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Japanese Kodo drummers, Leadbelly, middle eastern music, chain gangs of rural southern America, Native American music, and Hank Williams.
Since my approach to making records is to follow the songs and trust that they will reveal where they want to go, I make a conscious effort to not force them into any preconcieved shape or form. It’s a method that works well for the way I do things and requires referencing influences that are broad, varied, and sometimes disparate.
4- The new album title is "Mobocracy Deluxe", can you give us details about the content?
When I was thinking of a title in 2020 for the songs that would become ‘Mobocracy’, it didn’t take long for me to land on that single word. The songs I was writing and recording were not tame and had a seriously contentious collective attitude. By definition, mobocracy is, ‘rule or domintation by the masses’. I find few opinions that would not agree that this described the mood that permeated the atmosphere in most parts of the world starting around 2016. I’d argue that it continues today. So, once I arrived at that word, I never looked back.
Although dramatically different sonically, the tracks on ‘Blunt’ come from the same creative source and share thematic connective tissue with the songs on ‘Mobocracy’. What was unique was that they felt like they needed to be organic, tribal, thunderous, mysterious, and exotic without being timid. No snarling distorted electric guitars for them. Bringing all of them together as one release seemed obvious when reflecting on what was going on with my thinking at that time.
The extras are there to give my audience an idea of what didn’t make either record, and to illustrate how I put things together. Honestly, I really enjoy demos, alternate mixes, and outtakes of my favorite artists, so I wanted to offer the same experience for those interested in what I do. These extras don’t constitute everything from the ‘Mobocracy’ and ‘Blunt’ sessions, but it’s a fun look into how I approach my work.
Frankly, because releasing music in short bursts is the convention these days, it made sense to break the songs of ‘Mobocracy Deluxe’ into two releases. In the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, they would have been in one release like a double album. In the final analysis, having two releases gave them their own space to be what they were meant to be.
Overall, ‘Deluxe’ feels like a good place to put a ‘period’ before moving on to the records I’m preparing for upcoing releases.
5- Have you performed any shows in your area? If so, how receptive and supportive are the people to your music?
Throughout the pandemic and up until now, my only live performing has been busking. By it’s nature, it’s not scheduled, advertised, or preconcieved. Whenever the mood hits me, regardles of the city or town that I’m in, I take my acoustic guitar, open the case in front of me, and start playing original and cover tunes for anyone within earshot.
This is a live-without-a-net activity, and elicits a full range of reactions. In general, most have been relatively positive and supportive, so I’ve been pleased by that. It feels like a musical commando mission that is unlike any other musical experience. It sharpens my abilities, toughens my skin, bolsters my confidence, and let’s me know immediately if something I’m doing works or not. I have always been an athlete, so busking feels a bit like a sporting event in some ways.
The most invigorating part is that the ‘audience’ is not there specifically to see me. If anything, I’m invading their space by requiring they acknowledge what I’m doing. Some people don’t want to be bothered or invest the effort into interacting, while others are very encouraging.
It’s a rough and rowdy way to scratch that performing itch that drives me to get into the right mental and physical posture to do it. It’s not for the faint of heart, but is one of the best ways that any songwirter/musician can test their determinaton and commitment to their work. Any city or town in the world has street performers doing this everyday.
6- Are there any upcoming shows or tours you can tell us about?
I’m currently in rehersals with my band of two guitars, bass, and drums for US gigs in early 2023. We are hoping to deliver a strident, edgy, heavy, stripped-down set of songs from ‘Mobocracy Deluxe’, along with unreleased songs that I’m recording now. It’s certainly going to be a staright-ahead rock offering that I’m eager to unleash on audiences.
7- Thanks for your participation, finally, what is the best way to get a hold of you, in case someone wants to book or promote you? Any final words?
Thanks so much for inviting me. I know that there are thousands of songs released daily via the internet, so know that I really appreciate your interest in what I’m doing.
Access to all things Wax is at linktr.ee/waxmekanix.
Google me, or hit any of the social platforms and I’ll pop up.
To mark the release of this collection, me and my American fimmaking pal, Alex Wagoner, put together a new video for, ‘Freak Boutique’, so check it out here: youtube.com-video here
‘Mobocracy Deluxe’ can be had from Electric Talon Records at https://bit.ly/3D1yDiW
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