The WAX is a rock electronic band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Drawing on a wide variety of influences and experience, the four piece band explores new twists on conventional rock through the addition of electronic instruments. Currently in the midst of a CD Release for the LP titled Waiting Room, the WAX have been relentlessly performing across the Maritimes and Central Canada. Since the release of Waiting Room in 2012, the band has received increased attention from the music world including a feature in the US/International magazine "Under the Radar," while simlutaneously receiving radio airplay and exposure from various college and local radio stations Canada wide. They are also featured in William D MacGillivray's recent movie "Hard Drive" coming out in 2014 (http://harddrivethemovie.com/blog)
Quebec City native Phyl La Ferriere formed The Wax after an internship through his audio engineering course sent him to work with Halifax indie/jam/electronica/rockers The Jimmy Swift Band. In 2011 he met co-writer and synth player James Spray. After winning the Emerging Artist Recording Grant through Tourism Nova Scotia, the pair spearheaded their very first full length record "Waiting Room" with old mates and collaborators Adam McLellan (Snug), Jim Arsenault (TWRP/Slumbercat) and Jeff Mayhew.
Less than a year later, they'd complete the formation with Doug Scurfield (Drums) and Etienne Girard (Bass). Unlike the title theme from their 1st record, the band has been doing very little waiting. With over 50 shows played inside a 6 month period in cities from NS, NB, PEI, QC, and ON, including a semi final performance at Indie Week in Toronto, Canada. The WAX has only just started making its contributions to the cutting edge world of electronic music.
THE MEMBERS OF HALIFAX band the Wax are working hard to become rock stars with their electronically-infused tunes, but they might become film stars along the way, too.
-Stephen Cook, Chronical Herald
"Who says rock shows and raves can't meet halfway?
The Wax is aiming to bring the best of rock and electronic together, creating a sound that's intense, with lots of different sounds. It may be an unlikely marriage, but The Wax pull it off."
- Jon Macneill, HERE NB
"Phyl La Ferriere’s eerily haunting vocals complimented the fast fingers of keyboardist James Spray to create a sound reflecting a more aggressive Radiohead. The boys of The Wax loved to dance and the close-knit audience seemed to thrive off of La Ferriere’s energy"
- Cory Beetham, GUFF magazine
"the WAX WAITING ROOM: Pop meets electronic with a lot of polish and judiciously used guitar effects."
"Saw these guys live and picked up the album.
they've got a fantastic, full sound. The album is a good showcase of the WAX's abilities as the band cruises through some really great up-tempo tracks and some mellow cuts toward the album's end. The band has mastered catchy riffs and the vocalist displays a wide range from high-pitched wails to softer moments. Highlights on the album are "Rift" and "Eon Highway", two great electronic tracks that raise the blood pressure and are certainly danceable. "Militant" and "N.Y.K." are a bit slower, but extremely catchy. This is a great release debut release for the group and hopeful" - Warwick (iTunes)
-March 2013 : WON GOLD in the Coast's Best of Music readers' survey in the best artist to be blown away by category
-December 2012: Featuring in the movie "Hard Drive" by William D. MacGillivray (http://harddrivethemovie.com/blog)
-October 2012: reach the semi-finals at the Indie Week Music Festival in Toronto, Canada.
-October 2012: Songs on rotation with 7 different college radio stations across Canada
-September 2012: Selected by Under the Radar Magazine (US/International) for their October Edition
-Fall 2012: Selected to support Maritimes's show "Sportsland" with songs "Rift" and "Waiting Room"
-September 2012: Release of 1st LP "Waiting Room" (215 000 views of our Facebook release campaign)
-July 2012: Folly Fest on Canada Day
-April-July 2012: Pre-CD-Release Tour (22 shows across the Maritimes, Qc and Ontario)
-Dec.2011: opened for Matt Mays in Halifax
-March 2011: Awarded of the emerging artist recording grant by tourism Nova Scotia
-Nov.2010: Tour ontario/Qc with heavyweight The Jimmy Swift band
-Aug 2010: Open for super band Crash Karma in Halifax
Phyl La Ferriere - Guitar, Vocal, Fx
James Spray - Vocal, piano/synth, back vocal
Doug Scurfield - Drums
Etienne Girard - Bass
Lost Societies EP (2010)
Waiting Room (Fall 2012)
Wax works hard on new projects
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THE MEMBERS OF HALIFAX band the Wax are working hard to become rock stars with their electronically-...THE MEMBERS OF HALIFAX band the Wax are working hard to become rock stars with their electronically-infused tunes, but they might become film stars along the way, too.
On Saturday night, the Wax launches its new CD Waiting Room at the Seahorse Tavern, but it’s got another shot at notoriety in the works with a nightclub scene in the upcoming William MacGillivray film Hard Drive, where their performance provided more than just background music.
“It was a blast, there was actually a staged fight that broke out during our set, so that made it memorable,” says Wax keyboardist and vocalist James Spray.
“That was so weird, because we had to pretend playing along to our recording that was playing in the monitors, and it was so different for us,” adds guitarist and singer Phyl La Ferriere.
“We had to become actors, basically, and we couldn’t look each other in the eyes or we’d just start laughing.”
Going by the amount of footage captured by the award-winning director of Life Classes and Ron Hynes: The Man of a Thousand Songs, it seems like the Wax gets its fair share of screen time in Hard Drive, a title that also reflects the band’s determination to succeed.
“I think they liked our energy, that’s what Phyl brings to the stage and we all feed off of it, right away,” says Spray. “We get our drive from this guy being at the helm. I don’t know what happens when he gets on stage; it’s like he just drank a pot of coffee or something.”
You can feel that energy on Saturday at the Seahorse with the Wax and their guests the Dead Tenors, Runaway Dawson, Sonny Newman and a post-band DJ set by Wax collaborator Adam McLellan, a.k.a. Snug. Originally from Quebec, La Ferriere credits Nova Scotia’s Jimmy Swift Band with drawing him to the East Coast, curious about the kind of scene that could spawn such a unique hybrid of rock and electronic sounds.
He began recruiting band members online, and the lineup evolved between the recording of Waiting Room at Riverport’s Old Confidence Lodge studio and its current roster.
“When I got this guy, that’s when everything changed,” says La Ferriere, pointing at his classically-trained pal Spray. “Suddenly I had a partner who could help take us as far as we could go.”
So far, the steps are going well. Besides filming Hard Drive last fall, the Wax also made the Indie Week Canada showcase competition semifinals in Toronto — necessitating a drive back there from Montreal after thinking they hadn’t made it in — and received some positive feedback from international delegates at East Coast Music Week interested in helping the band take its music further.
“I always point to Metric. If a band like that can make it in Canada, the Wax is sort of like that,” says La Ferriere. “I’m not a girl singer. I guess maybe that could help, but that’s the best example we can shoot for, and it’s cool that they’ve made it that big for a band from here (Canada).” -by Stephen Cook
Stacks of WAX
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The Wax release a new album of electronic-rock on the city, Friday at the Marquee by Matthew Ritchi...The Wax release a new album of electronic-rock on the city, Friday at the Marquee
by Matthew Ritchie
For recording artist Phyl La Ferriere, Quebec City may be a great place live, but it's not the ideal city to make it as a musician.
"I wouldn't say it's the right place to start a band," La Ferriere says.
So he left home and enrolled at Montreal's Trebas Institute to study audio engineering. But upon graduation, it was time to find an internship. That's when Craig Mercer of the Jimmy Swift Band invited the young engineer to Halifax to help record their new album.
But once La Ferriere landed on the east coast, he soon discovered it was the ideal music scene to settle down and start fresh.
"I just realized there were so many good musicians in Halifax," he says. "I thought it would be the perfect place to start a project."
After receiving an emerging artist grant from Tourism Nova Scotia in March 2011, he met classically trained synth-keyboardist James Spray. Together, the two would form The Wax, an electronic-rock hybrid that blends La Ferriere's love of down-tempo electronica with Peter Gabriel and Metric.
The duo hit the studio last summer to record its debut album, Waiting Room, at Riverport's historic Confidence Lodge recording studio. Recorded by Colin Crowell (JSB, Rich Aucoin), La Ferriere took a hands-off approach to the engineering of the album so he could focus on songwriting and arrangement. "I hate doing two things at the same time," he says, laughing.
After laying down the vocals at home in Halifax, the band spent a year mixing and mastering. In that time, the group recruited St. FX jazz-grads Doug Scurfield and Greg Melchin to round out the live band and provide the chops necessary to recreate La Ferriere and Spray's time signature-shifting vignettes.
People took notice, with the group featured in Under the Radar and performing as semi-finalists at Toronto's Indie Week.
With a solidified line-up, La Ferriere says he and Spray are ready to think about the next album and hope to expand their sonic palette. "We're both interested in sound," he says. "That's what brings us together."
Phyl La Ferriere waxes lyrical
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Who says rock shows and raves can't meet halfway? The Wax is aiming to bring the best of rock and...Who says rock shows and raves can't meet halfway?
The Wax is aiming to bring the best of rock and electronic together, creating a sound that's intense, with lots of different sounds.
It may be an unlikely marriage, but The Wax pull it off.
"It can be hard to manage; it seems like rock people like rock, and electronic people like electronic - they don't like each other that much," said frontman Phyl La Ferriere, laughing. "But we're trying to bring the two worlds together." The Quebec City native formed The Wax a few years back when an internship through his audio engineering course sent him to work with Halifax indie/jam/electonrica/rockers The Jimmy Swift Band.
After living in the city for a bit, La Ferriere knew he was in fertile ground to launch his own project.
"In Quebec and Montreal, you ask everyone and they all play hockey, not one person doesn't play hockey, otherwise it's almost weird. Well, here in Halifax, everyone plays music. It's just in the culture," he said when we reached the band late last week.
The Wax are preparing to release their first full-length album, Waiting Room, in August or early September. Produced by Colin Crowell (Rich Aucoin, Jimmy Swift Band), the album displays the group's knack for blending elements of electronica, rock and pop. La Ferriere says he likes the way the record turned out, but can see the band's sound shifting further toward the synthesizer.
"I like having vocals, and I like original ideas, but sometimes we find it hard to find original ideas with just an acoustic guitar. So that's where you have the electronic and synth, you have no limits for sound," he said.
And like any other pulse-driven music, it's best live. "It's not the kind of music you can ignore, not like background or bar music to just drink beer to. It's pretty intense with lots of different sounds."
Fredericton Check out Halifax-based The Wax when they play The Capital, 362 Queen St. in support of Fredericton's The Westerburg Suicides and Coral Bear on Thursday, June 14. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. and is free until 11 p.m., then you're looking at $5.
HEROES BACK IN TOWN
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-"Opening for The Town Heroes was The Wax, a band who wears the likes of The Smiths and Placebo on t...-"Opening for The Town Heroes was The Wax, a band who wears the likes of The Smiths and Placebo on their sleeves and who’s different-yet-familiar sound managed to get the ever-growing crowd tapping along. Playing to a rather intimate audience, Phyl La Ferriere’s eerily haunting vocals complimented the fast fingers of keyboardist James Spray to create a sound reflecting a more aggressive Radiohead. The boys of The Wax loved to dance and the close-knit audience seemed to thrive off of La Ferriere’s energy. Chants and clap along were well received by everyone who made it to the Seahorse early enough to see the show kick off."
by Corey Beetham
-Going Nowhere Slow
-Knock Yourself Out
|May 31, 2013 Friday||10:00 PM||Michael's Bar and Grill||Haifax, NS, CA|
|Jun 1, 2013 Saturday||12:00 PM||St-John marina||St-John's, NS, CA|
|Jun 13, 2013 Thursday||10:00 PM||Shiretown Publican||Hampton, NB, CA|
|Jul 6, 2013 Saturday||10:00 PM||The Seahorse Tavern||Halifax, NS, CA|
|Aug 23, 2013 Friday||11:00 PM||CIRCUS FEST||NB, CA|