PULP EXCLUSIVE: WAXFLOWER SHEDS LIGHT ON THE RELEASE OF THEIR LATEST EP ‘WE MIGHT BE ALRIGHT’ AND SINGLE ‘SOAK’
Aussie-based pop-punk quartet, Waxflower, released their latest EP ‘We Might Be Alright’. Masking the album with “playlist-ready” songs, the band did not shy away from pouring out their feelings bottled up from the past year.
Listen to ‘We Might Be Alright’ here
PULP: Firstly, was there a specific place or influence from which the conception of ‘We Might Be Alright’ came from?
‘We Might Be Alright’ became a representation of hope, within darkness. Tristan was dealing with a crippling anxiety and panic disorder when we wrote the EP and a number of the songs focus on the steps he took to overcome this and push onwards. “We Might Be Alright” is about finding hope and light, even when things feel tough and often negative. Whilst he was dealing with really difficult emotions, it was leading to all the amazing experiences we all shared through music; writing, recording, touring, hanging out – they were all the positives within the dark.
PULP: For the most part, it seems like a nice feel-good EP, can you talk about the different inspirations that you had in songwriting?
Musically we’re all inspired by a diverse range of artists. From newer acts like Nothing, Nowhere, Oso Oso & Knuckle Puck, to the bands and artists that we grew up listening to – The Maine, The Summer Set, A Rocket To The Moon & Underoath. With ‘We Might Be Alright’ I feel we blended both to create our sounds. Taking hooks, good vibes and melodies from the pop-rock acts we grew up listening to & then blending them with the darker, more nuanced & emo edge of the artists that we’re drawn to now. Lyrically and thematically we focused on always accentuating the optimism within difficult times – I really hope people can resonate with that.
PULP: Following with the single ‘Soak’, it’s been said that it “steps forward into the embrace of layered synthesisers, and a darker, heavier sonic direction” How did the band transition into more compelling elements in particular with this release?
It was a really natural progression. We’ve always been into acts that incorporate heavier parts & synthesizer layers; Enter Shikari, You Me at Six & Bring Me The Horizon to name a few. With this release we wanted to explore that and see if we could make a song that was still hooky & catchy – yet had a darker side to it. Working with our producer Stevie Knight was awesome, he’s always so eager to experiment and is great at pushing us to try different sounds, ideas & thoughts within the songwriting process.
PULP: Watching the ‘Soak’ music video, there’s something very 90s about it in some way. But hearing just the lyrics, it’s tough to tell whether this sort of vibe is just on an aesthetic level. Is this something that the band is really going for? Why or why not?
With the ‘Soak’ music video we really wanted to push our boundaries with what we could achieve – visually. Nick Hargans our guitarist produces, shoots & edits all our music videos, super talented guy! He worked with our friend Giles Higginson to come up with some really cool concepts that we then pushed to execute. We were definitely inspired by older music videos that you’d see on MTV or late-night TV. Our goal was to really be able to share the story of the lyrical content in a compelling and visually exciting way.
PULP: Did the band find it easy to write songs around a darker idea, or is it always more of what you just feel at the present in such a way that your tracks thread to them?
Tristan is the predominant songwriter in the band & has always pulled inspiration from tough times or struggles that he is going through. For all of us, music is such a positive outlet when we’re not feeling our best. We’ve all always resonated with bands who sing about difficulties within their own mental health, or about issues that they’re dealing with – we’ve found it such a positive way to vent & feel a little less alone in tough times. If we can provide a similar outlet to the people who find our band – then that is extremely rewarding and keeps us writing songs.
PULP: Is there something new that you did this time around that you maybe haven’t done before in the process of ‘Soak? What’s something new that you learned from working on this song, and will we hear more tracks that may be similar to it?
Honestly – we said, “how can we add a breakdown to a pop-rock song”? We joked around about it for a bit & then one day Tristan sent through a demo, with a breakdown in the middle of the track. We all grew up loving heavier bands and this felt like the perfect combination. When we were in the studio, we weren’t sure how to finish the song & Stevie loved the breakdown – so we just added it to the end of the song too.
PULP:: The world may seem like it’s recovering from the pain of experience in it’s last two years, what piece of advice can you share to anyone somehow still stuck at hopelessness right now?
It’s corny to say “stay hopeful, things will be okay” – because sometimes it just doesn’t feel like that at all. If you are still stuck in a place of hopelessness, try to find something that brings you joy; whether that’s time with your friends, exercise, music, food or art. We’ve all found that having an outlet that you’re passionate about, when things feel tough and being able to focus on that, can really be such a positive way of dealing with adversity.