• charmrambler

Words with Wax

It seems this post will be a little different to the rest, I don't want you to think I'm turning this little blog into something it's not - I'm just trying to write about what I like, and what I feel is worth listening to. In this case, it's two very lovely local talents that make up the funky duo that is 'Moon Wax'. I'm lucky enough to know these boys, and figured I'd speak to them about who they are and what they're influenced by, in the hopes that you'd be lucky enough to know them in some way, too. I find it so frustrating sometimes when I see people I really love answering questions that don't really relate to why they do what they do. Maybe on some level that's odd, but I wanted to know the things I wonder a lot when watching bands talk on YouTube, the usual stuff with a bit of silliness mixed in.

I think the most obvious question to ask was why the name, such a small yet important thing and Billy's answer really made me laugh. 'Well, we liked the word wax' he replied, as though I'd asked if water was wet - it was such a blunt and sort of shy way of answering that made me appreciate the fact that he's just a boro boy through and through. He went on to say that it changed a few times, from wax on, wax off, to midnight wax and then finally settling on Moon Wax. So, it turns out not everything has a deeper meaning behind it.. sometimes things really are as blunt and simple as just liking a word.

The actual main body of the chat consisted of me questioning them on their own relationship, how they think that's affected the music they create and the way they play together. The boys went on to tell me how they just trust each other completely, and that allows them to be able to explore and discover new sounds in our music. It was really cool to hear them talking about how they can go from creating 90s boom bap one minute, and in the next minute it's straight up P-Funk. Moon Wax are all about the growth of each other's development and style, and it's really refreshing to see the way they leave room for each other to just do their own thing. When asked about their influences, who's a driving force behind them, that sort of thing, the boys had a pretty hefty list. They talk about exploring new genres on spotify and then just working their way around it in the studio, I don't think I can sum it up better than Billy did to be honest - 'I could have been listening to Brazilian music that day, and Robb could have had Nu-Metal on, so we just get into the studio and the ingredients of what we've been listening to just come out of us.' I think that's a really cool way of thinking about it, how their own development is the product of everything they love, plus a little bit of themselves. The boys say that their music is forever changing, they want it to appeal to everybody and explore as many niches as possible.

It's interesting that they're so determined to not fit into a box, but rather to grow and expand, because it seems to be a reflection on who they are as people and the choices they've made this far in life. Robb studied at BIMM London, and I was curious how that perspective changed his approach to music, what he found maybe tedious sometimes and if that helped him know what to avoid doing as an artist. He gave me what I considered to be a really insightful answer, talking about how it definitely helped him to see the bigger picture. Fortunately, he was given the opportunity to attend masterclasses with people such as Jamiroquai, and play alongside Steve Jordan. This insight into what the industry demands definitely helped him to understand what to apply to his own music. 'It definitely showed me what I didn't want to be', answered Robb when talking about BIMM, 'The problem I feel with universities is that they tend to produce the same style of artist over and over, it feels almost like a production line. He then goes on to explain how where that's helpful for session artists, if you're looking to be creative he'd just recommend doing it yourself.

Billy had a very different experience, he went to Leeds College of Music to study Music Practice and Production, but dropped out once he decided it just wasn't the right path for him. I asked him about that experience, and what he'd say to somebody who maybe felt pressured to go down that route of university instead of pursuing their passion. 'You just gotta trust your gut' was his first response, and he went on to say 'I kinda felt that everyone was striving for the same thing but also stuck in a rut. If I had never left uni, Moon Wax wouldn't of happened.' It's really refreshing to see somebody branch out to pursue what they genuinely love, very bold. Billy gave his opinions on people who study music, how he thinks they either go on to network or to become a teacher. For the people struggling with that choice, he said 'Just be yourself and as long as you're surrounded with like-minded people, you're sweet.' I don't think I could sum that up much better to be honest.

It's nice to see decent people make good things happen, and from a personal stand point, Moon Wax's releases 'Sayonara' and 'Girl in green' make me feel really comfy. As though its summer, and you've got a song stuck in your head but you're not mad about it. Then, it comes on again and you realise the version you're remembering absolutely does not live up to the real thing. I've heard some unreleased stuff from them, and I'm sure they'll give me an earful if I say too much - so all I say is that it's brilliant, they're brilliant, and every song I've heard from them is always better than the last. I think, fundamentally, Moon Wax is what music has and should always be - friends, playing together, figuring out what it is they like and exchanging little versions of themselves to create something great. Not playing for anything other than the fact they love it, which is precisely why we should love it too.

I'll link their playlist 'Wax Pix' somewhere in this post, have a listen!

Thanks for reading, and in the words of Moon Wax - Sayonara!

Charl :)

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