Project Description

Interview with

WAWAWOW

Interviewer – Brianna Denmeade

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Sydney’s psych-junk outfit WAWAWOW have a name to suit the magic – it’s half jam, half Tetris. Carved out of the itches of four frustrated instrumentalists, the group evolved from a like-this-but-weirder attitude to something eccentrically rectangular, with a sound described as a futuristic Thee Oh Sees for kids that keep their shirt on.

With a bent, frenzied view of the psych-rock genre, WAWAWOW combine jittery synth with sporadic B-52s style vocals and absurdly indulgent guitars. The four-piece alternate between rhythmic refrain and fuzzy overkill, using pudgy effects to create a “cheeky, trippy, and delightfully screwy” feel, like if Charles Mingus covered The Strokes. Blacklights, glowing drumsticks and triggered rope lights add to the band’s praised live show, with a non-stop monolithic performance that has been electrifying Sydney audiences throughout 2017.

WAWAWOW are throwing out a “big, eccentric sound that Sydney will surely be hearing a lot more from.” Dig it now and dig it fast.

Brianna Denmeade caught up with the band recently to catch up with the release of their new single “Sabre The Toothtiger” and much more.

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WAWAWOW
‘SABRE THE TOOTHTIGER’ 
Out Now
STREAM ON SPOTIFY 

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WAWAWOW

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WAWAWOW have recently released the track ‘Sabre the Toothtiger’. Can you tell readers what the song is about and a bit about the title?

We pride ourselves and enjoy writing songs that you feel more in your gut than in your brain, so the meaning is often lost behind the instrumentation and noise. Lyrically it’s about the struggles musical collaboration, midlife crises and frustration with “beer belly momentum” as time passes and goals are missed. The title “Sabre the Toothtiger” has zero relationship to anything at all.

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I have read that you are a band that cannot really be boxed-in or genre-defined. ‘Sabre the Toothtiger’ sounds like a mix between synth, rock and futuristic; what influences your sound?

We have a lot of trouble defining what we do and whether it should really be a genre at all. Generally we subscribe to the “more-is-more” approach – we love excess, both aesthetically and musically. Broadly we relate to Devo and B-52s, as well as the some of the current crazier psych stuff like Ty Segall. Anything that makes you raise an eyebrow.

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How do each of you contribute to the WAWAWOW unique sound?

Shaun brings the the tight and technical drums, Jessi brings the groove with haunting melodic riffs on guitar, Hayden brings the squeaks, squeals and solos on lead guitar while Wade fills out the bottom end and makes wacky digital sounds on synth. Collaboratively we have hundreds of hours of live rehearsal recordings that we slowly pick through and assemble songs out of.

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With the release of the recent track when can fans expect an LP or album drop?

We’re currently working on our debut album, which we’re really excited about because it’s going to be one non-stop circus with recurring melodies and themes throughout. We’re thrilled to have Simon Carter from the Cops on board to mix which we’re which will hopefully be released late this year or early next year or maybe in 10 years.

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You guys are from Sydney, have you had a good reception from your audiences there?

We definitely feel welcome within the Sydney scene. From a live music perspective, the Psych/Experimental scene seems quite strong in Sydney, and we’ve had the pleasure of playing with some phenomenal local talent the last couple of years. Depending on the venue, and how ‘off-chops’ the crowd are, we’re always quite surprised by the variety of people attempting to nod along to our noise.

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What has been one of your most memorable gigs so far as a band?

I think one of our most memorable gigs so far has been playing the Psyfari Jamboree festival. Such a diverse range of people and passions, and a really wild and open space for people to just enjoy themselves however they like. Naturally, this suited us, and playing just as the sun went down on opening night and having the crowd in their best spirits was an awesome experience.

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WAWAWOW

WAWAWOW “SABRE THE TOOTHTIGER” SINGLE LAUNCH
WITH LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AND WARTT GUNN
SAT 28 APR | TOWN HALL HOTEL, NEWTOWN NSW

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If people want to come and watch you perform live in the near future where can they catch you guys and how can they get tickets?

After the single launch in Newtown this Saturday Apr 28th, we’ll be doing a couple more support slots in May at Waywards, with Black Stone from the Sun (WA) on Saturday 12th and Slow Turismo (ACT) on the 26th. Best thing to do is follow us on Facebook or Songkick which will give you all the event info and ticket links.

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WAWAWOW have had support gigs with US band The Growlers andPerth band Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. What is it like performing alongside well-known Australian bands?

We’re all huge fans of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, their riff heavy but ultra-tight take on the psychedelic genre is something we definitely aspire to in many ways, so to be asked to support them was a bit of a fanband moment. Watching them sound check “Gurzle” to an empty room made it all worth it.

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For those who don’t know much about you, what is the story of how WAWAWOW started?

WAWAWOW started with an original band of 4 strangers brought together by a talented singer who was never allowed really the space to explore his own songwriting ideas, seeing as the goddamn instrumentalists were too busy making funny sounds. Those instrumentalists eventually became a three piece, which was still not quite enough noise for us, so we added a second guitarist a couple of years later and here we are.

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Outside of the band what are each of your tastes in music or what genres are each of your favourites?

I would have to say we all enjoy experimental and psychedelic music, but I don’t think that it’s the main influence for any of us. Wade has a leaning towards more hip hop and electronic music, Shaun and Hayden come from a garage-rock context and Jessi originally came from a metal background, but really there’s not a lot we don’t enjoy. Genres are such a difficult thing to define now anyway, with your alt-prog-psych-pop-rock-electroswing bands and what have you.

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Creating music together you must all be quite close. Do you guys ever have disagreements while your creating a song, and if so how do you handle that?

Our strength is definitely our collective lack of ego and our ability to make decisions quickly and fairly, always giving air to new ideas even if only one person supports them. Whenever we disagree creatively, we let the music do the talking – it’s usually obvious after listening what works better. Essentially we’ve all come to an understanding that none of us are going to let the music be uninteresting, and so you build a certain level of trust based on that.

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Have the Sydney lockout laws coming into effect that last few years impacted the Sydney music scene?

We haven’t noticed a huge change, as the lockout laws came into effect right as we played our first gigs, so it is mainly just a movement of gigs away from the lockout areas towards Newtown as well as more warehouse and DIY shows. Of course with DIY gigs comes a whole new set of issues, but if anything, it feels like people are more inclined to come and check out live music that way, and are getting used to being out earlier to catch it.

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WAWAWOW

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Other than Sydney, where would be your dream location to perform during your music career?

Who knows? Anywhere that’ll put up with us is good enough – somewhere outdoors with a big PA system preferably. We’re hoping to do more outdoor festivals this coming summer – you don’t need to know our songs to have fun and festivals are a great place to just let loose.

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Do you guys see much live music yourselves?

We’re pretty active with attending live music, and we always try to watch all the bands on all our bills – some of our favourite bands including Light Entertainment, Matrick Jones and Wartt Gun have just popped up out of nowhere and they are absolute gems in the Sydney scene. When you trust people to put on great bands it’s always something to look forward to.

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Do you have an expected release for a new single?

Our next big project is the upcoming album, where we’ll be working with a few like-minded sound people over the next 6-12 months to try and visualise/realise our ideas for it. Most are impossible or highly improbable, but we’re really going to try and have fun with it – building it up over time in our DIY home studio, rather than try and pack it all into a weekend.

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If you could work in another area of the music industry other than being a performer what would each of you choose?

We all do tons of music for “In Brackets”, which is a podcast hosted by our drummer Shaun. I think for the rest of us, the performance part of music is the part we thoroughly enjoy in addition to our normal day jobs. We all work in creative fields so that itch is scratched in different ways, but performing is a real one off opportunity.

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If you could sum up WAWAWOW in 3 words what would be each of your answers?

Our band name is kind of three words, which are alarmingly accurate. Otherwise, Bent, Cheeky and Excessive!

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Follow WAWAWOW

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  Previous acclaim for 

WAWAWOW:

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WAWAWOW’s interpretation of manic psych pop is nothing short of astonishing.”

‘Fluoro Fitzwilliam’ by WAWAWOW is Rock Lobster Intensified

14 Jul 2017 [quote from AAA’s Facebook]

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“Combine the righteous, face-melting voltage of POND with the batshit zaniness of Tom Cruise appearing on Oprah and you’ll get an inkling for just how weird this four-piece can get.”

5 artists from New South Wales that we’re digging right now

6 Jul 2017

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“There’s so much going on. It’s frantic and frenzied, but it’s also tight and elegantly meshed together.”

Do you like it weird? Immerse yourself in the wacky reality of WAWAWOW, your new favourite freaks 

27 Mar 2017

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“It’s unsexy.”

WAWAWOW’s Shaun Allen Laughs in the face of perfection

18 Jul 2017

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“It’s what I imagine the permanent future sounds like, demented and joyous and unhinged – and completely mashed off its cakehole.”

HEARD: WAWAWOW – ‘Party’

3 Mar 2015

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“The clear standout of the night, WAWAWOW is a trio of noisy nutjobs with a big, eccentric sound that Sydney will surely be hearing a lot more from.”

Introducing: Sydney’s WAWAWOW 

26 Jan 2016

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AMNPLIFY – DB