We also speak to vocalist Tristan Higginson about the past, present and future of the band.
We are absolutely delighted to present the video for 'Again', the beautiful new song from Waxflower.
The track is the third that the band have released in 2020 and is probably the most hope-driven of the three. With bubbling electronics, pop-punk sensabilities and a glistening emo heart, as well as a guest appearance from Eat Your Heart Out's Caitlin Henry, it's an anthem for all of those that need reminding that the sun will come out again every single time that it feels like the clouds are here to stay.
Plus the video is a wonderful display of interpretive dance and gold-stained loveliness.
Check it out for yourself below:
Alongside presenting this very special track, we took the opportunity to jump on the phone with vocalist Tristan Higginson to talk about the band's origins, his intentions and how much of a positive effect having it in his life has had...
What were you original intentions when you first put Waxflower together? What role did it originally play in your life?
“It’s quite interesting to look back on it because it feels like we’ve been a band much longer than we actually have. We announced the band mid-last year but we have been cracking on behind the scenes just over too years at this point. When we first formed the band, I reached out to Dan [Seymour], who plays drums now, as he had played in some other bands in the scene when I was playing in some other bands as well and nothing had really happened. He drunkenly told me to send through some demos to him and I sent them off not really thinking anything would come from it. He was instantly on board which was really validating for me because he was in a band that I looked up to.
“From there it really started to snowball. Within a couple of months we had time in the studio with Stevie Knight and then around six months we had already recorded the first batch of songs that we had. I think for me at that point in my life when we were starting out I was in the throes of this panic and anxiety disorder. I was basically having panic attacks every day and I could barely leave the house and I would keep on trying to do things but end up breaking down. So for me, the band forced me to take getting better a little bit more seriously. I didn’t fly when we did our first tour with The Dead Love. I did a 24 hour train from Brisbane to Melbourne, then to Sydney and back again.
“Now it’s a year and a half later and I haven’t had a panic attack in like a year. I feel like I’m in such a better place because the band has pushed me to do what I wanted to do. There’s never been a point in my life where this wasn’t the ultimate goal and the fact that I was able to push through all of that stuff with the help of the guys in the band was really great for me. I haven’t shied away from writing about that stuff now and I think it’s a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t really speak about to people in everyday life. Now seeing people resonate with those songs is gravy on top of everything else.”
It feels like you’ve just been waiting for the right time and the right outlet to write about these things, and now you’ve found it everything feels right…
“Once you get a little bit of uptake, things really do start to snowball from there. That’s what it has been like from my experience. This is the first band I have been in where I’ve been fully happy with the product. These are my favourite songs and I really hope that other people like them. I think the reason that Waxflower works so well is because the other three guys in the band are also so excited about everything that’s happening.”
So let’s talk about the trio of songs you have released this year. How has the writing of ‘Sixteen Floors’, ‘Getting Better’ and ‘Again’ differed to what you were working on at the beginning of the band?
“I think that the first batch of songs was recorded in November 2018. We booked the studio time without having all five songs finished. We were going to use a local producer but then we heard that Stevie had some dates. It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity at the time. At the time I didn’t really know what a Waxflower song was either. I didn’t know what the grand vision was - I don’t think there was one. We just put together some songs that we thought were cool.
“This time around, we have a little bit of experience behind us. We’ve played a fair few shows around Australia and we know what people have been receptive too as well. I think a lot of that stuff has played into the writing process this time around and the space between the recording sessions has really let us put the time into the tracks. They are more fleshed out and cohesive.
“It’s similar thematically, maybe a little bit more hopeful, but musically we’re definitely more of a band now. We know what the aesthetic and feeling is now. I’m really proud of where these songs sit. I think it’s a big step up for us.”
So tell us more specifically about ‘Again’. This track feels like it represents that more hopeful side you mention…
“We recorded these songs in May this year. It was really lucky that restrictions eased to allow us to go and record before they were clamped down again. The fact we’re here talking about this song is actually really lucky.
“I think compared to writing the last stuff, my headspace was an awful lot better. Stylistically, it’s hard to give up the emo side of things, but those veins of hope really have made their way into my writing. I feel like in the past I have really struggled in the in-betweens. I can be really down and then really happy again. I feel as though ‘Again’ is a mantra in that capacity. There are going to be shit times but you’ve proven in the past that you have the capacity to get up again and again.”
It not only serves as that strand of hope for the people who will hear this song. It also serves as a song you can go back to and remember that you felt this way to be able to write it…
“It almost reads like a diary when you visit old songs. It’s a snapshot of that period of time and a lot of this new stuff is a snapshot of the last year which has been really great for me. All I can really do is write what I’m currently going through and use that as a source of truth. No matter how much my brain wants to say, ‘You need to write about how much you hate your life’, I think whatever is going to come out is going to be anchored to my emotion state at some point. It’s good to hear these mixes and go, ‘Oh, it’s not all sad’ and know that it doesn’t always have to be.”
In the past, did you feel like you needed to write in a certain way or be a certain thing? Has Waxflower given you more freedom in that regard?
“I don’t think I ever felt the pressure as I was coming up in that sort of environment. It was just symptoms of growing up on that sort of music. In previous bands we had the full American accent and were just trying to emulate something. Now having a little bit of life experience, it’s assuring to know that I don’t have to achieve someone else’s idea of what good music is.”
How do you feel what Waxflower represents for you changed over the course of the time it has been a part of your life?
“I think within my journey over the last two years and having this band be a vessel for me to have a lot of character development and betterment for my mental health, that’s something we like to talk about. At the end of the day with all of our band dreams, we want to go and tour the UK and the US and spread whatever our message is. I think what it boils down to is that even though I didn’t know it at the time, I can look at these songs and know that this is living proof that things can get better. There were moments where I just thought, ‘I’m probably going to die today’, but looking back this is proof that you can get through that. We just want to be an empathetic shoulder to lean on. We don’t have a huge following, but there are a select few people who have connected with the message so far and it’s really gratifying to see. It would be a disservice to myself to not push that as hard as we could now.”