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Wax Future: “All We Really Want is a Connection.”

July 20, 2017

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Text and images by Chip Frenette.

Heavy metal guitar, samples, hip hop beats and bubble machines are just the beginning of the experience that is Wax Future live, on stage.

Working the way through their summer tour with three dates left, the Manayunk-based act, Wax Future, recently opened up day two on the office stage at Camp Bisco. Wax Future did so with their rapidly developed and dedicated following in tow. It’s a following that is likely to grow as they play upcoming events Farm Fest, Big Dub and the Luna Light, Music and Arts Festival.

On day one of Camp Bisco, heavy rains moved through Montage Mountain and Resort in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Rain continued on through the early afternoon on day two when Wax Future took the stage. The rain fell steadily and the ground became muddy. But the crowd that had gathered was sizeable for this opening act on a dismal day. This was no random gathering of people. Wax Future bring a following – The Wax Mob.

Wax Future is Keith Wadsworth on guitar and vocals, Connor Hansell on synth and bass, and Aaron Harel on drums.

Wadsworth and Hansell have been developing Wax Future and producing for three years. Harel just recently joined the group. The band’s performance at Camp Bisco was the first with Harel officially as a member of the band. They had played together before, when Harel was with the act Mr. Sampson.

“We used to play shows together all the way back when they were called Rat’s Music,” said Harel of his new bandmates. “We got hooked up that way.”

Wadsworth was previously in the punk band The Beta Phase before working with Hansell on this electro-funk project.

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The use of samples coming from Hansell’s workstation of mixers, computers, synthesizers and a bass cover a wide range of genres. Rock, punk, hip hop and jazz are all present to create an eclectic sound. They are mixed with deep, low frequency bass grooves that sink into the bones of the listener.

When this project hatched three years ago, they had no idea how to produce the sound that they are producing live, let alone what their sound would be. The two had worked together in the studio on other projects, but never their own.

Working together and seeing Hansell’s competence in the studio drove Wadsworth’s desire to get know and work more with him. A trip to Basslights festival is when they decided that they would be working together on a project of their own.

“Let’s make something compelling, and then let’s figure out how we’re going to play it,” Hansell recalled saying.

That is when they started Googling how to use digital audio workstations live and what applications to use. It was a learning experience from the first minute for Hansell and Wadsworth.

“We didn’t even know like what application we were going to use to perform live,” said Hansell. “We didn’t really know how to bring our computer and computer music to the stage.”

After hours and hours of tutorials and a few months, the duo had produced a few tracks and some confidence. It was time to road test their sound at an open mic night at the Grape Room in Manayunk.

While the band was on the office stage at Camp Bisco, The Wax Mob was properly entertained.

Wadsworth engaged their fans frequently during sets, encouraging them to jump up and down or scream, and they followed his commands. He head banged and whipped his long orange locks during his hard-driven guitar solos.

This band brings a lot of energy to the stage and their fans return it in kind. There is more than just a band playing here. They are developing a following that carries a culture. One part of that culture is bubbles.

“There are bubbles at every show,” said Marissa Lugo of Brooklyn,  who danced as she toted a rather large, battery-powered bubble machine on her shoulder.

After their set, the bandmates joined their crowd and hung out with their fans. Two hours after their set ended, the trio could not walk more than 20 or 30 feet without fans stopping them. Some simply wanted to say hello. Others offered feedback about their set. The bandmates happily obliged all of them.

“It is a goal of mine to meet everyone in the world,” said Wadsworth. “Everyone has a story to tell.”

But there is more to it than just meeting people. Hansell explained that the interactions with The Wax Mob lets the band know more about how to better entertain them. Better entertained fans keep coming to shows. Fans coming to shows keeps Wax Future doing what they enjoy most – playing music.

“We just want to be out here and make music and meet people,” said Hansell. “All we really want is a connection.”

The Wax Mob got their name from their ability to mob social media with announcements or comments that are unsolicited by the band and drive attention to event promoters. Wax Future credit much of their quick and early success to the dedication and assertiveness of their fans.

“We have a group of completely dedicated and die-hard fans,” said Wadsworth. “If there is an opportunity for us to play somewhere, they make it known that they want us there.’”

It’s easy to become a member of the Wax Mob. Go to some shows and enjoy some music. Wax Future will perform at Farm Fest in Hammonton, New Jersey this weekend, at Big Dub in Artemas, Pennsylvania on July 26, and at the Luna Light, Music and Arts Festival in Darlington, Maryland September 28 and 29.

 

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