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A Dirty Dozen with WAXWORM – June 2021

| 29 June 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “WaxWorm is a “dark electro-chaos” project born out of a collaboration between two music producers: Arthur Brown (based in Sydney, Australia) and Duncan Evans (based in Leeds, UK – solo artist, creator of Moonlow, and former member of A Forest of Stars). Mea Kulpa is the product of several collaborative sessions between its creators (some in-person and some conducted remotely) which began in 2008. The project was shelved and revisited several times, and was finally completed in 2021. The album is an expression of and a reaction to the fear, loneliness and dejection that can arise in all of us as we navigate the uncertainties and contradictions of human existence. Accordingly, the record is sometimes unsettling and disturbing, but it also brings catharsis and consolation. Mea Kulpa is an immersive electronic sound collage that juxtaposes bleakness and anguish with warmth and redemption.” We get the duo to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Duncan: WaxWorm is a new two-piece project (Duncan Evans and Arthur Brown) which is influenced by industrial, electronic dance music and metal. Our new album, Mea Kulpa, will be released on Trepanation recordings in July 2021. I don’t know if there is anything specific that would only be noticed by ultra-perceptive fans, but I hope that the music unfolds and reveals its layers more and more with repeat listens.

Arthur: We used a lot of sounds from weird places. And although they’ve been electronically altered quite a bit, I’d be curious if anyone can pick them out. I’ve got a test… What did we use to create the crackle at the beginning of the “Mutus Liber” track?

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Duncan: I remember becoming interested in music when listening to my parents’ cassettes during long car journeys as a child. At first I wanted be a rock guitarist (which I am). It was a lot later that I got into electronic music and started to want to create that too. I like playing live, but there is also something really gratifying about being able to craft electonic sounds from nothing and to be able to layer those up to create sonic textures.

Arthur: I come from a somewhat musical family so I was introduced quite early on to music and playing instruments. When I first learned about noise (genre) and soundscapes as a musical concept was when I tried to pursue more musical production skills.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Duncan: I think getting into Nine Inch Nails was probably a good bridge for me into the world of electronic music. The first NIN record has a lot of very electro-influenced, quite poppy and dancy tracks on there, but it was still palatable to someone who was used to rock music. From there I started to open up to the world of electronica.

Arthur: The Offspring’s album SMASH changed 9-year-old Arthur into a whole other creature. If I hadn’t heard that album, I honestly do not know what I’d be listening to now. But it was DJ Hidden who made me fall in love with electronic music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Duncan: I listen to and am influenced by a great deal of different styles and artists, but I would probably list the following as key influences on WaxWorm: Scorn, Nine Inch Nails, Covenant, Tangerine Dream, and Lustmord.

Arthur: Duncan’s nailed it here. I’ll add DJ Hidden, Whitehouse and Anaal Nathrakh.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Duncan: I would personally like to collaborate with Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten. I don’t know what he would be like to work with, but I think he has done a great deal to push music and art forwards in various areas.

Arthur: Barney from Napalm Death. Just so I could hug him. Haha. But seriously I think vocally he’d be great to do some vocals on a track. Think of the song “Morale” with noisy techno!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Duncan: WaxWorm borrows parts of industrial, electro and metal to create something that is noisy and chaotic but also has groove. We haven’t had many comparisons yet, as the record hasn’t been release, but I look forward to hearing what people think of it!

Arthur: Yeah what Duncan said. Think weird, open your mind and experience the journey.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Duncan: Well, this project was originally started when myself and Arthur lived in a shared house in Leeds, UK. Arthur did some great cooking, and I would often be found playing the guitar. We would both be getting the drinks in fairly regularly back then. Arthur has since moved back to Sydney, Australia, so we haven’t actually seen each other face-to-face for several years now. Hopefully that might be rectified one day!

Arthur: We definitely got the drinks in. It has been a long time, hopefully we’ll have another adventure before we get too grey. Those curries won’t cook themselves.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Duncan: I don’t really get starstruck, to be honest, but I was happy to have a little chat with Steve Ignorant (from Crass) outside a show not too long before the pandemic hit. I miss meeting people at shows.

Arthur: I think you have to go outside and meet people to get starstruck so I don’t have much chance. Let’s just say I’ve not met any of my heroes so not had the opportunity to make a fool of myself. It would definitely go that way though. I’m cringing just imagining it.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Duncan: I really do enjoy playing live, although that’s not something we have plans to do with WaxWorm. The second best element is probably being in the studio creating new material and starting to hear your ideas take shape and become reality. It’s also really nice to finally release the music and to feel that sense of completion. I would probably be a writer if music wasn’t my main creative outlet.

Arthur: Complete creative license to make ridiculous noise. Who wouldn’t love that? If I couldn’t do that, I love gaming so I would want to design games. Board games though, not video games.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Duncan: Well, this is actually our first ever interview as we are only just now releasing music as a band. It has been great to chat to you!

Arthur: Errrr… yes.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Duncan: I suppose the only thing is that we probably should have released this music earlier. We spent years working on the music on-and-off, repeatedly shelving the project and then returning to it. I’m really glad that we’re finally putting it out into the world now.

Arthur: I feel like this is a really deep question. Duncan’s right, we should have stayed focused. But it was a passionate project that ebbed and flowed at different periods of our lives. So I understand why it took us so long.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Duncan: I suppose it would be pretty interesting to see Suicide work on their self-titled album from 1977. I’d love to see how those guys worked together and crafted the sound of that deeply weird but highly influential album.

Arthur: Wow I don’t know how to answer this one. Bowie? Beatles? Nirvana? Deftones? Lustmord? Wilt? Green Day? Regurgitator? *Incoherent ramblings as Arthur decends into madness *




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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