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Artist Spotlight: Waxflower release emotional new track; talk musical catharsis and message of empathy in their songs

Australia’s latest export, Waxflower, has released their latest single with “Sixteen Floors”. The emotional track served as catharsis for the group as they explore losing a support system amidst a painful breakup. Waxflower also donated proceeds from the song to Black Lives Matter and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. Atlas spoke with frontman Tristan Higginson about the new track, finding creativity in quarantine and creating music as an emotional release.

How did you guys get started in music and how did you go about finding your sound as a band?

We all knew each other from playing in bands over the last few years. Nick, Jordan and I had been talking about working together previously and Dan came onboard once he heard the early demos. Looking back on it, it feels like the seeds for each member joining were planted years and years ago and then everything just came together at the right time. It was my last push at seriously approaching music. I was entirely burnt out and threw the demos out there as a final Hail Mary that (thankfully) worked out!

When you’re thinking of your influences and inspirations, what names come to mind?

Jimmy Eat World are my favourite band of all time. I have pulled much of my approach to songwriting from Jim. I was raised on a lot of Myspace pop rock, so I think that seeps into our sound.

What’s the story behind your latest amazing song? (Sixteen Floors is awesome, we really dig it.)

Thank you! It’s one of our favourites to play live for sure. The song documents a period after a breakup, cataloguing the thoughts I wanted to externalise but couldn’t. I think that catharsis still shows when we play it live, it’s been an emotional song for me.

What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

I think we’ve always strived to be an empathetic shoulder to lean on when it comes to the themes we approach. But if that’s not your vibe, hopefully you can gel with catchy pop rock.

The music world has changed a lot since we all went into quarantine due to COVID. How have you guys been staying creative and productive during lockdown?

I’ve been staying sane by focusing my energy into writing new music as well as working from home as a graphic designer. It’s certainly a tough time for everyone, the music industry has been stalled for the most part – but we’re all dealing with the issues together. Initiatives such as Idol-Aid here is AUS have been great to see take off.

What’s coming up for Waxflower? More music, 2021 tour, etc?

I can’t go too much into it, we have lots to look forward to though! New music for sure.

If you could put together your dream tour lineup, who would be joining you on the road?

Jimmy Eat World, Ben Folds Five and Dear and the Headlights.

Every person and every band has a different relationship with music than everyone else. What does music mean to you and your lives? What about it drives your desire to create?

Music has always been a way for me to express emotions that I usually would bottle up. It’s also been incredible in increasing my confidence and reducing my anxiety. I think regardless of the status of the band I will always be inclined to write music for my own mental health.

Stream “Sixteen Floors”, out now!

Story by Olivia Khiel
Image courtesy of Waxflower