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Premiere: Wax Chattels Share Gillian Anderson-Themed Single 'Gillian'

Premiere: Wax Chattels Share Gillian Anderson-Themed Single 'Gillian'

Wednesday 23rd August, 2017 10:43AM

Everybody loves Gillian Anderson. Not only is she a kickass actress but she's just generally an awesome human being. Of all people worth immortalising in song, Anderson is right up the top of the list. So we're stoked that Auckland three-piece Wax Chattels have stepped up to the task and conjured up a suitably spooky homage to The X-Files actress that will feature on their forthcoming debut album - and we're DOUBLY stoked to be able to premiere 'Gillian' right here on UTR today. Take a listen below and scroll down to read our wee interview with bandmembers Amanda and Peter - and while you're there check out the dates for their upcoming tour around the North Island...

Hi Wax Chattels! So ‘Gillian’ is about Gillian Anderson... what’s your favourite Gillan memory or moment?

Peter: For me, it's in The Fall. She's sitting at a table in a restaurant and this guy comes up to her she has no interest in speaking to so just cuts him right down to size, keeping quiet and composed but reducing him to this puddle on the floor. It's incredible.

Amanda: It is way too hard to pick just one moment… I’ll just add the fact that she is generally super badass. The lyrics reference her in X-Files, The Fall and Hannibal; there are many moments in each of those shows where she quietly devastates everyone else in the scene. Also, something else that stands out to me is Gillian off-screen. She’s been very vocal about the gender disparity in her industry and equality issues in general — things that are important to me. I think recently on Twitter she asked fans to donate time/money to charity for her birthday?

The spooky synth lines in the track really help capture that X-Files vibe!! How did the song come together musically?

Peter: That synth is actually just my organ! It's put through a modulating delay pedal, where the repeated notes are slowly moving up and down in pitch giving it that lilting, seasick kind of feeling. The same thing is going on with Amanda's bass as well - and the sparseness of the actual notes played really emphasises this. In terms of the writing of the track itself, it was very much a collaborative affair - and one of the first songs we wrote! Me and Amanda were hanging out, looking at creating new material for this group and decided to look for inspiration in film, discovering our mutual admiration for Gillian Anderson - so we wrote about her. With our other tunes the lyrics have generally been written by one band member before being brought to the group for additions, but with this it was us two writing together. We'd been trying to get some call and response vocal interplay for a little while, and it just kind of came together with the chord structure I had been playing around with on organ. Especially so when we took it to Tom who managed to bring this kind of otherworldly energy - strictly robotic at times but exploding at others. I think it's largely this which propels the song along.

Amanda: An element of the song writing process that heavily influenced the tune was the fact that Peter had come up with the original beat on a drum machine. It really came alive once Tom re-interpreted it on drums, but I enjoy that eerily mechanical vibe about it, especially at the beginning.

You are releasing your debut album very soon! Can you tell us a little bit about that? Where and how was it recorded?

Peter: The actual recording of the album was mostly done over a couple of nights. Tom was planning on going to China for a few months, and his departure date was moved forward at the last minute so we had to get into the studio. We were super lucky to get Jonathan (Pearce) involved as he managed to have a couple of evenings free at the exact time we needed to record. We managed to get maybe 80% of the tracking done in two nights, filling in overdubs here and there since. Right from the beginning we wanted to have a 'live' sounding record, so I think this speedy recording process actually captured the stress and chaos we're trying to convey with our music. All the organ, drums and most of the bass were tracked together in the same (tiny) room - keeping our performance taut. We also limited ourselves to only using the equipment we use when we play live.

Amanda: Since we had only released a couple of singles at the time of recording, we were mostly known for our live show. It was definitely a key focus for us to try to represent the same chaotic energy and big, BIG sound — I didn’t want to be one of those bands that says “oh, it sounds better live”, or vice versa. A highlight of the recording process for me was getting to work so closely with Jonathan. We’ve been friends for about a decade and I think it’s that level of trust in his judgment and his support, both musically and personally, that so many things managed to click together in a such tight timeframe.

As well as releasing the record you are also hitting the road for a few shows around the country? What are you most looking forward to??

Amanda: I’m really looking forward to each show but for different reasons! Tauranga as I’ve never played there; Wellington to revisit friends and make new ones; Hamilton as our good friends The Beths are coming along for the ride; and Auckland because it’s going to be a hell of a finale! Also the Auckland show is on my mum’s birthday — I’ve managed to keep her away from this band for the year we’ve been around… so she’s in for biiig night.

Wax Chattels 

Friday 8th Sept, The Bach, Tauranga w/ Threat.Meet.Protocol + Here Lies the Homunculi
Saturday 9th Sept, Moon, Wellington w/ Church of Goya + Scared of Girls
Friday 15th Sept, Nivara Lounge, Hamilton w/ The Beths + The Contenders
Saturday 16th Sept, Whammy + Backroom, Auckland w/ The Beths, sere, Spawts, DBLDBL, Being, A. C. Freazy + Power Nap

Tickets to all shows available HERE at UTR and in-store at the usual outlets


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