The Waxbills
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The Waxbills

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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"The Waxbills"

To be an independent band in the current musical climate you have to be 100 per cent dedicated to the cause and be willing to fully commit to such a lifestyle. Sure, there isn’t much money at first, but there will eventually be a difference between touring in a van, freezing your ass off for the rest of your life, and the desire for a long–term existence that can turn into a gas–guzzling tour bus. “This unit shaped and solidified into three musicians who are willing to commit and make music a career and not just a weekend thing,” says Nathan Warriner, guitarist and vocalist for The Waxbills.
Newly formed at the beginning of 2008, The Waxbills are a band that has been several years — and many passport stamps — in the making. In 2002, Warriner met drummer Brandon Ainsley through session work and became aware of each other’s skills, while not long after Warriner would get into touch with bassist Johnny Albers through a mutual friend and form a band. For years though, the members would travel abroad both together and separately trying to realise their musical aspirations.
Soon enough, the many degrees of separation would come together in the form of this power pop rock trio, that’s lead man isn’t afraid of doing what it takes to get music out there. Prior to The Waxbills, the Nathan Warriner Band existed and many of his tracks were made available online for download – a method in which Warriner considers vital for up and coming acts. “The internet is a huge tool for all bands not just indie. Record sales are declining. Kids are buying MP3s. Record labels don’t have as much control as they did say even five or 10 years ago. The internet is a great thing for any band trying to get their name out there at a global level.
“Music downloading is great if it is done correctly and legally,” adds Warriner. “The problem is there are so many ways to get stuff for free. Although, I feel if a music lover really wants to support a band they like then they will drop the money and purchase the song legally. All and all it’s what’s happening so you kind of have to roll with it.”
Coming this fall will be The Waxbills debut full–length album The Way it Goes, and based on Warriner’s previous statement, it’d be a safe bet to assume that much of that album will be available online as well. As for what’ll be found on the album, expect songs that took much time to be conceived. When thinking about the project, Warriner states how pleased he is by the album’s end result and believes that it is truly what the band envisioned prior to laying anything down on tape. Considering that he cites acts like The Who and The Kinks as influences, you’d have to expect some well crafted, energetic rock tracks.
As far as what happens after the release of The Way it Goes, only time can tell. While the band wouldn’t be opposed to hooking up with a major label, they are also well aware that they could do just about anything they want on their own, and on their own terms. Yes, The Waxbills are a rock n’ roll band, but they are also a band that wants a big time future. “We really want to take this far as we can on our own. We’ve recently acquired management in Toronto, as well as a publicist. There is an argument these days if it is even worth signing a major deal anymore. We paid for the recording of our record with money we made playing live.
“We don’t owe anyone any money and we can keep 100 per cent of our record sales at this point,” continues Warriner. “I think getting proper distribution and solid promo are really the important things. We are focusing on the European markets at this point. The more we have going on for ourselves, the more leverage we will have if the day ever comes to sign any sort of deal.
“The future is looking good. We are already in pre–production for the next record as well as our first music video which will be produced by Brotherloose Films. We are working on touring Europe as well as Canada and the United States. There seems to be plenty of momentum right now which should carry us for quite some time. I think this project can only get bigger and we look forward to what the future holds.”
By Adam Grant - VIEW MAGAZINE


"The Waxbills"

The Waxbills

“We’ve all been in and out of different bands and things like that
for the last ten years or so,” says Nathan Warriner of the roots for
the band. “This particular project though, has
only been going since January and we’ve had some pretty good
shows and pretty good things happening for us.
“It really has moved fairly quickly and I think that part of that
has to do with the experience, trials and errors and groundwork
that we’d laid in other bands that we’d been in before. We kind of
knew what way to plug it in properly from the get–go. It’s been
really exciting.”
The previous statement reveals Warriner’s gift for
understatement beautifully. Throughout Pulse’s interview with the
singer/songwriter, Warriner’s sense of modest ambition rang into
virtually every word that left his mouth. He and his bandmates
know what they want, and will do whatever it is that they have to
in order to get it.
But that wasn’t the case less than a year ago. Prior to
January, when the assembled members of the Waxbills came together, the singer had been turning in “a good
livelihood” as a solo acoustic act; securing several steady gigs
around the area and performing 100 shows this past summer
alone. However, the seeds for the band began to germinate when
Warriner placed a phone call to Peter Haverkamp with the idea of
putting together a demo in mind. “I’d been playing in a couple of
bands for the last ten years and they all came to an end – I kept
going but everyone else went their separate ways – and I started
doing solo stuff under my own name; doing some acoustic stuff,”
begins Warriner. “I knew that Pete was into the recording end of it
and I called him up to help me out. We ended up recording four
songs that I wanted to release independently as well to sell at
shows. I formed a band – handpicked the players so I knew
exactly what I’d be getting – and Pete was interested in doing it
too so we got everyone together and rehearsed a bunch of times.
We put a show together and released it, and then next thing you
know, everyone was interested in running with it. Some more
opportunities presented themselves as incentive to keep it rolling
and everybody was having a good time but we didn’t have a
name. We had been performing under my name and we had all
these shows lined up so we just ended up sticking with that.”
In very short order, the band established itself through its
own unique sound and shows as well as in opening slots for other
bands including The Trews and is now set to release its debut EP
on September 17th at Call The Office In St. Catharines. Drawing
comparisons to “new age Brit–rock and even the Flaming Lips”,
the band has made it their business to ensure that they don’t
sound like anything else going at the moment. “We’re really trying
to make our own sound and I think we have achieved that just
because we do come from such different backgrounds,” explains
Warriner of the approach that the band has taken to making
music since its inception. “For instance, Wayne, our keyboardist,
is a really big jazz guy. He didn’t even really play keys before he
joined up which is kind of cool. He plays bass – he plays virtually
everything from flute to bass to sax – but, for this project he’s
playing keys and Pete the guitar player is just incredible and I’ve
been playing with the guys on drums and bass for the last couple
of years so we’re pretty tight. We’ve just known each other for so
long and the connection really shows and I think it comes through
in the music.
“I think the EP sounds great and we only really did it with a
couple of microphones and a computer. It’s all about steps and I
think we’ve made the first one – and I think it turned out really
well in its own right.”
Following the EP’s release, the Waxbills will be
embarking upon its inaugural tour to the East Coast with stops in
PEI, Nova Scotia and Ottawa before concentrating on a proper
full–length release, securing management and taking their role of
the dice in the music industry crap shoot. “We have nothing
supporting us other than ourselves,” says the singer proudly. “
We’re doing all the groundwork from the recording to writing to
the booking; we’re pretty self–sufficient right now. We’re
definitely looking for someone to step in and kick it up a notch –
we’re seeking management – and now that we’ve got the EP out
we’re going to start shopping our press package to try and find
those things.
“As soon as the EP is gone, that should cover the next
segment of recordings. We have tonnes of material so that’s never
a problem and, the way we figure it, they always say that you have
your whole life to write your first record, but not long at all to
come up with a second. We’ve already got a surplus of material
so, I think we might be pretty safe from that and it’s not like
we’ve stopped writing either.” [BILL ADAMS]


- Pulse Niagara


"On Their Own Terms"



The Waxbills are flying high. The Niagara-based band—ironically named after a songbird with dubious singing skills—released their debut album The Way It Goes on October 24.


Made up of lead singer and guitarist Nathan Warriner, drummer Brandon Ainsley, and bass guitarist and singer Johnny Albers, The Waxbills are an independent band with a sound that proves hard to categorize. “It’s just honest music,” says Warriner. “We’re not trying to play into anything or trying to play to some market. We’re just trying to write music that we think is good, whether it be softer acoustic ballads or heavier, raunchier rock and roll songs … Just anything that we can stir emotion with, and try and take people for a little bit of a ride.”


Although the ride is just beginning for The Waxbills (they formed in early 2008), Warriner, Ainsley, and Albers have played together for several years. Formerly part of the five-member Nathan Warriner Band, the group has evolved into a trio that is “a little grittier and a little edgier,” with a bigger sound and a renewed commitment to making music.


Having recently finished a tour of Eastern Canada, the band is currently promoting The Way It Goes. The new 10-song CD was recorded at a studio in Hamilton over a period of four months, and, according to Warriner, is garnering very positive feedback. The Way It Goes—named after a track that is one of Warriner’s personal favourites on the record—reflects the laid-back attitude of these twentysomething rockers.


“It’s just about rolling along with things” and accepting them as they are, explains Warriner.


The album also reflects the roots of the band members, who all grew up in the Niagara Falls area and continue to rehearse there. As Warriner puts it, “I think that, definitely, where you grow up has to inspire your ideas on life and everything else like that and whatever you’re going to put into your art.


“We travel a lot,” continues Warriner, “and I always like to take inspiration from places we go and people we meet and things we see. But, yeah, definitely growing up in kind of a unique town has, I think, shaped some of our influences and style.”


The Waxbills also cite an array of musical influences that include The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, and Bob Marley. “It’s not always music that influences us either,” Warriner is quick to point out. “It’s books and just life and everything else.


We’re influenced by people that are making art and music that is kind of pure and not just played to some market.”


As an independent band, The Waxbills are determined to make it on their own terms. Relying heavily on live shows for exposure, the group performs even while they’re recording. They recently opened for fellow Canadian rockers The Trews in Windsor, playing to a sold-out crowd. In the months ahead, they plan to perform throughout Ontario and Quebec before heading to Germany in the spring.


The Waxbills also rely on the Internet for exposure. As Warriner puts it, when it comes to “playing and writing and putting out records and stuff like that, I think nowadays with the Internet you can be anywhere.


You can be in your basement in Chippawa and make a record and it can break in Germany. “With the Internet,” he continues, “the world is the market now [and] to get your music available is just a lot easier than it’s ever been.” Fans can visit the band’s website at www.thewaxbills.com for information on upcoming shows.


Whichever way it goes for The Waxbills, they’re enjoying the flight so far. As Warriner concludes, “I think you’re blessed if you can just play music for a living and that’s your job. That’s every musician’s dream, really.”  NM
- Niagara Magazine


"Waxbills New C.D. Tight, Timeless"

Waxbills CD tight, timeless
Posted By JOHN LAWREVIEW STAFF WRITER
Posted 1 month ago


Nathan Warriner has played just about every bar in Niagara, and beyond. He takes the stage either with a band or by himself. He has been one of the city's sharpest songwriters for more than a decade.

Isn't it about time for a CD?

The wait is finally over next week when his latest band (actually, his old band with a new name) The Waxbills play a pair of CD release shows for "The Way It Goes," Warriner's long-overdue debut disc.

"You know, I've been doing this for so long and I don't have a full-length record," says the 30-year-old singer. "I thought, it's time to put one down."

But "The Way It Goes" isn't your typical debut. Warriner has been circling the scene for awhile, and it shows with a tight, polished set of chirping pop and acoustic rockers. Recorded between May and September of this year, it has the timeless sound Warriner excels at, which goes a long way in explaining his longevity.

"We went into a major studio with a really good producer (Joe Slugan)," he says. "There's no point in the record where we cringe! We didn't settle for anything."

Formerly known as The Nathan Warriner Band, the Waxbills are now a trio of Warriner, drummer Brandon Ainsley and John Albers. It's like an ego trip in reverse - instead of craving the spotlight more, Warriner wanted his name out of the title.

"We were always sort of searching for a name when I formed (the band) but it never really came to us. I was never comfortable calling it my name, putting all the spotlight on me. I'm a little more modest than that because we're all contributing to the songs.

"Now, we've got a solid unit that's going to stick together. We thought The Waxbills had a good ring to it."

The Nathan Warriner Band released a six-song EP two years ago, but, surprisingly, a full-length release didn't follow. Not so for The Waxbills, who are already making headway in Toronto and overseas, with a tour of Germany in the works for the spring.

It all comes down to the songs for Warriner. He prides himself on tunes which sound like they could have come out ten years ago, and will still sound good ten years from now.
"You're a little wet behind the ears when you're 20 ... you're enthusiastic and want to take it all on. But it takes awhile to develop your craft. I think I'm writing better songs than I've ever written."

The Waxbills play CD release shows at Yank's Old Niagara Bar & Grill (5008 Centre Street) Nov. 7 and The Highland Tap (6689 Lundy's Lane) Nov. 8.

- Niagara Falls Review


Discography

2008 - The Way It Goes
2009 - Hard To Lose
2012 - When Love Comes

All tracks available to stream at www.thewaxbills.bandcamp.com

Photos

Bio

The Waxbills

Hailing from Niagara Falls Ontario, The Waxbills formed somewhat accidentally in the spring of 2008. In the winter of 2006, singer/songwriter Nathan Warriner released his first solo e.p and needed some backing musicians to play a Canadian east coast tour that was scheduled for the spring. He called upon long time friends Peter Haverkamp, Wayne Corlis, John Albers, and Brandon Ainsley to form the band.

After touring eastern Canada as well as many shows in Ontario, lead guitarist Haverkamp and keyboard player Corlis left the band to pursue other endeavors, leaving Warriner, Albers and Ainsley as a trio. During this shift the band took a new musical direction, shifting Warriner off of his acoustic guitar onto his electric. This transition definitely created a whole new dynamic to the band’s sound, tightening up the unit rhythmically and upping the rock element in their new style of composing songs. The sound was very full and big. Ainsley’s driving beats, Albers’ loud and heavy bass, echoed by the unique styling’s and delay washed tones of Warriner’s hollow bodied Epiphone, the band seemed reminiscent of the psycadelic 60’s era with hints of influences such as early Pink Floyd and The Kinks meshed with a fresh modern sound of their own. It was very fresh and exciting but the band felt it was less of a singer/songwriter project and felt they needed a name. After mulling over a few ideas, drummer Brandon Ainsley came up with the idea of naming the band after a type of songbird. Thus The Waxbills were born.

The band quickly booked studio time at Grant Avenue studios in Hamilton Ontario with producer/engineer Joe Shugan. By late summer of 2008 the band independently released their first full length album entitled “The Way It Goes”. This 10 song album featured new as well as some older material Warriner had been kicking around. The studio was a real chance to demonstrate the band’s versatility and the album almost feels conceptual in flow with its unique alternative/rock/indie songs like “Take It” and “Empty Arms Again”, mixed with haunting ballads and stage setting tales such as “This Town” and “Carry Me”. The album seems to paint quite a sonic picture and really has an overall tone of nostalgia to it.

In support of the release the band hit the road in the fall and took on their 1st western Canadian tour in which they played a tightly knit schedule of 28 shows in 30 days, covering a distance of over 11 000 km of Canada’s vast countryside. The road really tightened up the live show and was a great place to gain more influence and new songs were often written on the long drives from gig to gig. They arrived back to Niagara a whole new monster.

The momentum of The Waxbills was in full swing. They were gaining a whole new audience having now exposed their music and live show from coast to coast. The single “Take It” was gaining popularity on college as well as some mainstream rock radio, having been featured on Toronto’s most popular new music station 102.1 the edge amongst others. The band was moving albums and songs on a daily basis via the internet, live shows and independent music stores throughout Canada.

Not only was the band making some new fans across the globe, but the industry was starting to take notice as well. They were recognized for their efforts at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards where they were nominated and won the awards for Album Of The Year, and Best Original Band. The timing of this exposure and recognition couldn’t have been better for the band as they were currently finishing up their 2nd full length album. Less than a year later the band released “Hard To Lose”. This 11 song album explored a whole other side of the band, using new tones and studio tricks as well as recording a children’s choir from Warriner’s childhood elementary school for what the band say is their favorite track “My World”.

Directly after the release the band followed it up with a western Canadian tour that kicked at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, took them all the way to Vancouver Island and finished off in their hometown of Niagara Falls where a sold out crowd of enthusiastic fans awaited their arrival.

Since the release the of their 2nd album the band have been busy playing festivals and club shows throughout Ontario sharing the stage with reputable acts such as Our Lady Peace, The Trews, The Stills, April Wine, Tom Wilson and a plethora of other independent Canadian greats. On the down time between shows the band managed to write tons of new material.

On April 14th 2012 the band released their 3rd album entitled “When Love Comes”. The new batch of songs have all the flavors and elements that make the band who they are but really steps it up in the song writing department. This 10 song endeavour delivers a mix of catchy pop melodies mixed with that edgy rock sound that The Waxbills have always been known for. Bassist Johnny Albers makes