Space Wax | Interview | “Intergalactic Grooves”

Uncategorized June 19, 2024

Space Wax | Interview | “Intergalactic Grooves”

Space Wax, a San Diego-born trio, has crafted a sound that is both explosive and deeply improvisational.

Their debut album, ‘Intergalactic Caravan Party,’ burst onto the scene with a vibrant party vibe that perfectly complemented the local music landscape, paving the way for their more introspective follow-up, ‘II.’ Fueled by the undeniable chemistry between band members, their sound is anchored by the rhythmic backbone of the drummer and bassist, elevated to cosmic heights by innovative guitar work and pedal mastery. Despite the five-year journey to create ‘II,’ which included pandemic-induced delays and DIY recording sessions, the band emerged with a record that captures their resilience and evolving musicianship. Currently, they are channeling their improvisational roots into a new four-song EP, promising a return to the infectious spontaneity that initially captivated their fans’ imaginations.

“Improvisation is the essence of this band”

What would you say is the overall vision of the band?

Jonny: I would say that the vision or mission of the band is to have fun and write music that feels right. Hopefully, by trying to be the most authentic versions of ourselves, other people will pick up on this and enjoy what we’re doing.

Would you mind speaking about your background and what led to the formation of Space Wax?

Space Wax formed around 2012, and it was basically completely accidental. Jordan and I had been playing in other bands together for years, and we met Skooter through some mutual friends. I don’t recall the exact circumstances of how we decided to jam together, but the three of us got together at our jam room one day, and it was magical. I don’t know what any of us expected to happen that day, but I’m fairly certain we definitely were not anticipating what did happen. We had an immediate musical chemistry that was undeniable. When we all play together, we bring out the best parts of what we do on our respective instruments. We actually set up a video camera the day we first jammed just to capture anything cool that might happen. I would say that close to 75% of the riffs on our first LP came from that initial jam session.

How much time and effort went into the creation of your latest album?

Our second LP, ‘II,’ on Glory or Death Records, was definitely a labor of love. This record was basically five years in the making. After our first record, we started writing a lot of songs off that momentum. Our songwriting quickly began to morph and progress, and we were getting tighter and more solid as a band. We spent nearly three years working on the songs that would become our second LP. Then, unfortunately, COVID hit and slowed everything down for everyone. Things got put on hold, but eventually, we hooked up with our good friend David Martinez, who was going to school for audio recording. He was able to use us as one of his student projects, and we took advantage of this opportunity.

David had limited access to certain studios, so we had to juggle our schedules with studio availability. Ultimately, it took close to two years for the whole process to be completed. Then there were the supply chain issues, which slowed down vinyl manufacturing. Once we delivered the album, it took close to another year before it actually came out. Despite all the hiccups, we’re very proud of this release. This album wasn’t received quite as well as our first one, but to us, it represents the determination and resolve of three friends unwilling to give up in the face of multiple adversities. This album showcases a different side of our songwriting, and we’re extremely proud of that.

Can you share some further words about the recording process?

We recorded the album at Studio West in San Diego. We were fortunate to have access to the “big room,” which is normally reserved for bigger, more expensive projects. We had access to all the best recording gear imaginable, and it really boosted our confidence while recording. Spending time in the studio was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. David worked so hard for us, and we’re really stoked about how everything came out.

How would you compare it with ‘Intergalactic Caravan Party’?

As I previously stated, ‘II’ is our serious album. ‘Intergalactic Caravan Party’ was written from the perspective of three friends pouring their excitement and raw enthusiasm into this new creation. We came out of the gates hot and with a full-blown party vibe. The San Diego scene at the time was just a perfect storm for us to enter with the music and live show we had going. I like to think of ‘Intergalactic Caravan Party’ as our “big bang” record, while ‘II’ represents gravity and planet formation taking shape.

It took many years for a follow-up; are you planning something new anytime soon?

Yes, in fact, we are working on a new, four-song EP right now. Most of the songs are written, and we’re just starting to work on lyrics and getting the songs tight. I would say that the new songs are more of a return to the sound of the first LP, but with sprinklings of the sounds from ‘II.’ We got sidetracked again off and on over the last two years with various personal issues, but when we finally got back into jamming routinely again, the songs just started to write themselves like back in that first jam session so many years ago.

Tell us about your amps, effects, and pedals.

My setup has evolved and has now come full circle. I started out with just my ’70s Electro-Harmonix Small Stone pedal as my only effect, running through my Peavey Mark 6 head and matching 2×15 cab. Then I started adding more pedals to experiment with, which was fun and served its purpose for the second LP. But now I’m back to just the Small Stone and a digital fuzz. I like keeping it simple on the bass side of things. In my opinion, what gives Space Wax its unique sound is Jordan’s guitar playing. Skoot and I have our place, no doubt, but Jordan’s intuitive approach to writing over what Skoot and I do rhythmically is kind of the special sauce of the Wax. Jordan is the pedal lord, though. He’s always experimenting with new, cool-sounding pedals. Two of the main pedals in his arsenal are his Fender Blender and wah. Jordan plays through a 50-watt Laney and an Orange 4×12.

How important is improvisation for you?

Improvisation is the essence of this band. Most of the music we write always comes from jamming with no pre-planned intent. We just get warmed up, locked in, and the riffs flow.

What’s next for you? Are you planning some gigs?

Right now, we’re just concentrating on this new EP and hopefully playing some shows here and there as they become available.

Are any of you involved in any other bands or do you have any active side projects going on at this point?

Yes, we do! Actually, all three of us have side projects. I have my one-man punk rock band project, with which I’ve released two full-lengths and a few EPs, and I play occasional shows. Anyone interested can check out my Instagram. I have been working on mixing Jordan’s first solo project, which is a really cool instrumental synth experience. Skooter is currently working on his first solo record as well. I’m going to be recording his record for him once he has all the songs together. His songs are like if Marty Robbins and Mad magazine had a kid together! All the info for these solo releases will be available through our @spacewaxband Instagram when they drop.

Let’s end this interview with some of your favorite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?

All of our musical interests are so diverse and ever-evolving. It’s hard to name favorite albums, but I would say that Butthole Surfers, Ween, Dead Kennedys, ZZ Top, and Judas Priest are bands you may catch us listening to on any given day. Personally, I think one of my favorite modern bands that really blew me away when I first heard them over five years ago is Drab Majesty. In my opinion, they are the perfect amalgamation of everything I love about ’80s music.

Thank you. The last word is yours.

We just would like to sincerely thank anyone who has ever listened to or bought our music or came to see us play live. Your enthusiasm for what we do keeps us fired up to keep going. Special thanks to Buddy and everyone over at Glory or Death Records for being diehard champions of Space Wax since day one. Extra special thanks to you for the interview! It’s a weird and treacherous time, so cherish your friends and family, make amends if you need to, and tell people you love them.

Klemen Breznikar

Space Wax Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp / YouTube
Glory or Death Records Facebook / Instagram / TwitterBigCartelBandcamp

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