Maya Damaris is a multi-faceted creative talent: not only is she a consummate singer, performer and a versatile multi-instrumentalist, she also writes and produces all the musical output for the band. Originally from London, Damaris was a classically trained pianist and singer and started Wax on Water in 2012 for an interesting reason.
“I wanted to create music that causes a reaction in people, in the same way that the grunge, rock and industrial bands that I grew up loving did to me”.-Maya Damaris
Wax on Water are an Alternative Rock band hailing from Camden, London, UK, that draw from grunge, electronica, and industrial sounds, mixed together with layers of strings, piano and intense guitars, to make a heady and unique ‘Electro-Grunge’ sound that is all their own. All songs are written, performed and produced by lead singer Maya Damaris with Steven Blessing working his dark magic on guitar. Maya’s influences are eclectic but classic: the Motown greats, Blues singers like Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday, pop and rock ground-breakers Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush and Iggy Pop. Later, inspiration arrived in the form of experimental electronica: Kraftwerk, CAN, Laurie Anderson and Throbbing Gristle as well as metal, grunge and industrial bands My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Soundgarden, Slayer and Nine Inch Nails. Maya expertly weaves all these formative influences to create the unique sound for Wax on Water.
The band released brooding new single “Seventh Son” on 17th September 2021 alongside a music video with a strategic ‘drip, drip, drip’ single releases to follow, with “The Drip Part” EP being released on 12th November, followed by later releases, and culminating in their full album “The Drip” – set to land in May 2022.
Read the full Q&A with Maya Damaris below.
Q: Hey there Maya Damaris, how are you?
I’m great thank you!
Q: We are almost three quarters of the way through 2021, how has this year been for you so far?
I’d like to say it’s gone quickly, but a lot of it felt interminable with the endless lockdowns and dark British weather (laughing)..luckily I had my music to get me through and the result is my new single ‘Seventh Son’ which is taken from the forthcoming new album ‘The Drip’, so I guess 2021 hasn’t been all bad!
Q: How did you get into music?
I started playing piano at 5 and loved it and then got seriously into singing and was classically trained, so from that aspect, music has always been a part of my life. When I left University I went to work in the major record labels as my dream was to have my own label. I finally got my act together to write, produce and release my own music, which got picked up online and I was offered a record dealwith The Orchard/Sony Music and I’m releasing this album ‘The Drip’ through them in May 2022.
Q: When and why did you form your band Wax on Water? Tell us all about it.
I wanted to create music that I wanted to listen to myself – and I had always said to myself that if I was going to write music then it has to be 100% authentic and honest. I wrote my first songs when I was about 14 but I started writing seriously as Wax on Water about 12 years ago and then it was a process of learning how to write properly and learn how to arrange and produce. There’s really nothing like having a creative outlet to realise who you are in yourself.
Q: How would you describe your work?
My concept of Wax on Water is about turning what is ugly into something beautiful sonically and also creating a sound that is visceral and has a driving energy and force behind it. I like guitar driven, bassy tracks that are both hard and beautiful at the same time – I like that juxtaposition in music… but I also like some music that is more intimate sounding. I think there is a place for both on an album.
In terms of sound I play with a lot of strings in my arrangements as well as offbeat sounds, but this single and album is very much a guitar driven, bass heavy slice of electro-grunge rock!
Q: What do you want people to take away from it?
I want people to connect with it in the way that I have connected to music that means something to me. I hear a lot of pop and rap and a lot of it seems to be posturing – ‘I’ve got lots of money, I’ve got sex appeal, you want to be me etc etc’ and that’s fine – there’s a place for everything, I’m not dissing it. But I don’t write like that. I talk about things that make me feel vulnerable or sad as much as the things that make me feel happy or filled with love – and I hope that if someone hears my music that it resonates with them and they come on that musical journey with me.
Q: What inspires you and who are your influences?
I am inspired by my feelings and the relationships and people I know, as well as my environment. Cities like London or LA or Tokyo are an endless source of inspiration with their strange and industrial sounds, just as much as seeing and hearing the colours and sounds in nature. My influences are wide ranging, but rock is my heartland. My influences range from Bowie and Led Zep to Kraftwerk, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age.
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Back yourself. It took me a long time to understand the power of self-support rather than blaming yourself for not getting things right first time.
Q: What’s next for you?
I’ve already written most of the third album and so pre-production will be my focus over the coming months as well as focusing on getting this new album out and looking at starting to tour.
Q: What are you most excited for?
I’m really excited about the prospect of touring – I think having gone through the last 18 months, at times it felt like we might never be able to be in one room and share a live music experience again and that was an awful thought. I’m hoping Wax on Water will be able to tour the UK and USA in 2022 and hopefully the rest of the world after that.
Wax on Water’s new single ‘Seventh Son‘ is out now to stream or download
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