Following the May release of their self-titled debut, the Wax Chattels – Peter Ruddell, Amanda Cheng and Tom Leggett – have been busy introducing their incendiary blend of punk and electronica to audiences in the US and the UK.
Now back in NZ – albeit briefly, as there are more overseas dates to come – for The Others Way, Ruddell reflects on a frenetic last six months.
It’s been a big year for the band – have you had a chance to sit back and let it all sink in?
Nah, not really. But that’s all good. I kind of feel like we need to push as hard as possible while we’ve got momentum on our side. I’m lucky to be making music with likeminded people in this regard.
How’s the US tour gone and what was the highlight?
The US tour was ridiculous! It was a really packed schedule, with 23 shows over a month so it was pretty much non-stop, with a different city almost every nights. We had a few standout shows, both at the beginning in NYC, where the Captured Tracks team put on a real party for us, and the end in LA with touring friends Warm Drag. But there were also some surprises – Detroit on a Monday night ended up being one of our best shows. Can’t wait to get back there.
And what about the UK, how did the dates go there?
We were really fortunate in the UK because our first show was supporting LA Witch at a just-about sold-out show in London, which got some word-of-mouth action for our other shows. Saw a bunch of the same faces at our second London show too, which was nice!
Have you been to Others Way Festival – either as a performer or punter – before? If so, what’s been the highlight for you so far?
Yes – we played Others Way last year. It was a nice time. Highlight was probably playing in front of Mike Sniper, which resulted in Flying Nun/Captured Tracks putting out our record, touring the US etc.
What can fans expect from your set this year – will you be trying out some new material?
Auckland has lost some iconic music venues this year – has that affected you and what needs to happen to rejuvenate the live scene?
It definitely did. Right now it seems like Whammy Bar is picking up a lot of the slack, but with the loss of the Kings Arms there’s really no middle ground between Whammy and the Powerstation. A couple of more DIY spaces have emerged recently though like The Vault – and Lowtide’s new space in Eden Terrace which is a great sign.
What other artists are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Probably the veterans –Headless Chickens and Bailterspace. But to be honest, it’s really more exciting to see such a strong local scene reflected in a festival lineup – it’s almost like a showcase of NZ right now.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
After Others Way we’re heading off to Australia to play at BIGSOUND and do a couple of shows in Melbourne and Sydney, then we come back and tour NZ supporting Bailterspace. And then we’re heading back to tour the US again.