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Interview with Wax Mekanix.

We had the amazing opportunity to have an interview with American musician; Wax Mekanix. He recently released a split-EP with his labelmates: Troll Teeth, called: Blunt. A short review of this EP can be found on my blog here, and you can listen to the single of this Ep here:

we had a chat about his career as a musician so far. About his visions and opinions and it was pure fun. Check out how this talented musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tells you everything you want to hear about his career in music.

1) Introduce yourself shortly:

I’m Wax Mekanix. I’m a solo American musician, songwriter, recording artist, performer, painter, and photographer. I am also an original member of American cult rockers Nitro. Since 2020, Recently, I have released two solo records, ‘Mobocracy’ and “Blunt’, on the Philadelphia label Electric Talon Records.

2) Which genre do you play?

In general, I’m known for high-velocity aggressive hard rock defined by guitars, bass, drum, and vocals. My brand of recordings combines elements of metal, classic rock, folk, pop, world, and industrial sonics.

3) Have you done many gigs already?

I have been a performing musician since the late 1970s.

4) Do you make your own music, or do you play covers?

For more than 40 years, I have been a recording songwriter and performer focusing on my own compositions. I do enjoy performing covers when the situation permits.

5) When playing covers, do you give them a little twist of your own and how do you do that part of the job?

Absolutely! I’m a fan of the notion that good songs are flexible and can be pushed and pulled in different directions, across disparate genres. This isn’t a new concept and is done by brave and adventurous artists that reinvent cover songs as well as their own work. A few artists that do this that I admire, are Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Regardless of what anyone thinks of this approach, Dylan and Young keep their compositions fresh, alive and evolving by never doing a song the same way twice. Although it sometimes distresses some listeners, this is really exciting and inspiring to me. It’s interesting that you have asked this question because I’m currently working on a new release for Electric Talon Records that will do exactly this….reinvent a few well-known covers to include my perspective. I’ll save the details about it for another time after you have listened to the record, but I think it’s a unique way of looking at these few legendary songs in a fresh way. If you’ll have me back again once the re-lease is dropped, I’ll describe all things surrounding it.

6) What has influenced you to start playing the instrument you’re playing?

My earliest memories are of enjoying music, art, literature, and being creative. I was a child of the ’60s and ’70s, so popular American culture was over-flowing with creative ideas on TV, the radio, and in print. I grew up listening to popular music that was just around me. This was mostly, rock, pop, country, and folk. Classic American and British rock of the ’70s that was on local radio really turned my head and inspired me to try my hand at guitar, drums, harmonica, and writing songs in a proper way. Music classes in school were a joy for me and served to give me a place to sing and express myself musically in an encouraging environment. In the mid-’70s, I had friends that also had the same interests as me, and they started gathering to play together in local bands. I was invited to join in these kinds of jams when I was playing drums. I was hooked at that point. This was a unique experience that gave my life a completely different facet and felt natural to me, so I never looked back.

7) Who are the artists that you admire most and did they have any influence on your choices, in both your personal life and the musician’s world?

In general, art has always informed how I view and approach my life. The number of musical artists that I admire is broad and vast. The list is exhaustingly long, for sure. A few very important ones are, The Beatles, Dylan, Neil Young, The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Van Halen, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie,

Robert Johnson. Like many other musicians, I am an accumulation of my influences. My records are an example of how someone with my history and skills can actively and passively take in and fuse wildly different influences. When writing, recording, and performing, I try to relax and let any of those influences flow through me, intermingle, and appear as my specific style and ‘voice’. My visual art influences are painters, photographers, filmmakers, writers and that list is certainly longer!

8) How have you met each other?

Since I’m a solo artist, there is no static band lineup. Typically, I write the songs by myself, with a few exceptions on ‘Mobocracy’ and ‘Blunt’ where I co-wrote with others. I gather different musicians when I’m ready to record/perform live and away we go. For the two recent Electric Talon releases, the crew that has been helping me has had a few of the same musicians, like Philly guitarist/bassist Tom Altman, producers Lectriq and Machine, Crobot vocalist Brandon Yeagley and Crobot guitarist Chris Bishop, and amazing American vocalist M11son. With Nitro, it’s been all original members since 1981. Me on drums, vocalist Dana Confer, guitarist John Hazel, and bassist Brad Gensimore. We grew up near each other, so we were friends before we were bandmates.

9) Where do you get the inspiration for writing your songs?

Literally, from everywhere all the time. I can pinpoint in certain tracks what was the catalyst, for sure. Sometimes it’s other music, other times it can be current events, something a friend says, TV or movies, a book I’m reading, an interaction with a stranger on the street. It’s everywhere. The most important thing I can say about inspiration is that I believe that we all have the capacity to be inspired creatively. Some of us…artists…are open to it more frequently and/or freely. My approach is that I have naturally always been open to inspiration. It’s like breathing for me. Sometimes it’s an active posture, other times, it’s a passive thing. In general, I allow myself to be inspired at any time by all influences.

10) Are you going to festivals or concerts just for fun and enjoy seeing other bands play?

During the pandemic, I have not enjoyed live performances for obvious reasons, and am really eager to see that return soon. It’s just starting to return here in the US. I have a long list of must-see live gigs and I am looking forward to gathering like that again.

11) What if someone invites you to play a gig in another country? Would you consider playing in another country?

Absolutely! In my travels, I have busked in cities and towns around the world. I hope that the end of Covid will be soon so I can see my audience face-to-face. If any promoters are reading this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with an invitation to your country.

12) What is your opinion about today’s music?

I love everything about music today. The internet has enabled audiences and artists of any and all genres to connect in new ways that only encourage more interaction. There are some non-ideal consequences of this new music world, but overall, for me, the idea is to have people connect in a positive way via music. Audiences have a broader choice of artists, and artists have a broader exposure to audiences. There has never been a time where the barriers to this connection have been so diminished. It’s wonderful, in my opinion.

13) What do you think of the older music, bands, musicians, that our parents or even our grandparents grew up with?

I appreciate music history. I hinted above that art is rarely 100% original and without influence. I think any artist is a link in a creative chain. They stand on the shoulders of those who came before them. For this reason, although I may not like some older music, I appreciate its inherent value. This notion also is an important component of my inspiration as an artist. I am open to, and invite in, all kinds of music that I would otherwise not seek out actively. It’s exciting when the music I’ve never consciously looked for, stikes me unexpectedly and inspires me.

14) What’s your opinion about other music genres, other than the ones you are playing or listening to?

The world is a big place with plenty of people who have different tastes. I assume that any genre exists because it has an audience. This simple fact justifies my respect for it. Regardless of genre, quality will reveal itself in any art. This is what I listen for in other styles. I can usually tell if there is some inherent quality. There is plenty of room in the world for all kinds of music. Some I’m going to like and some, I may not. It’s always exciting and inspiring to hear something new that I’ve not heard before.

15) What useful information would you give other starting bands about the life of a musician?

Follow your instincts and do it for the music. Certainly, listen to others and take their experiences and opinions into consideration, but be sure to end up doing what you love for the reasons that you love it. Set your expectations low and your hopes high and you’ll never be disappointed.

16) To wrap it all up: What are your goals and what would you really wanna achieve as a musician?

It may sound like a cliche, but it’s authentic when I say that I want to continue to be inspired to be creative. I’ve never really been romanced by the notion of fame and fortune, so that juvenile idea of how music can define life in that way, was never appealing to me. Specifically, I work toward cultivating my ‘career’ in music to be self-sustaining financially. Even more specific, I hope to continue to write, record, perform, rinse and repeat!

Published by AndyMeeus

I have always been a passionate storyteller and the influence of stories on people and their decisions impresses me. I like to immerse myself in the projects I work on and I fully focus on the research and the creation of the stories that I think are worth writing. I am a curious and enterprising Writer who likes to delve into the news from the music world. Putting that news into a compelling story is what I love to do and will bring to you today. I am currently found on Gigview, where I write the Album reviews from the heavy metal genres. Follow the link to my space on their site to get information about us. Link: https://www.gigview.be/andy-meeus. I am also writing for Musosoup. To go my page there, click following link: https://app.musosoup.com/submit/AndysMusicCorner

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