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DJ Wax Wings interview: ‘I love full drama and unexpected curveballs’

In association with Pioneer DJ.

By Attitude Staff

DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)
DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)

The dark prince of the UK’s queer club scene, Wax Wings’ early music tastes included bands like Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Korn. Then he discovered the Leeds house and techno scene.

Today, he can be found blending these genres at some of the nation’s edgiest events, like Inferno, UnFOLD, Boudica and He.She.They. From painting to graffiti via photography and music production, he’s a man of many talents.

As the child of a musician and an artist, the creative energy is literally built into his DNA…

How would you describe your sound?

It comes in a few forms, all tied together with a darker and edgier sound. Whether it’s hard techno or dark electro, I love full drama and unexpected curveballs.

Which DJs have influenced you most?

That would be Maya Jane Coles. She took me under her wing for many years at the start of my career and I learnt so much from her. I think it’s important to find peers who you can discuss things and criticise constructively within this industry. 

Which track are you loving right now?

‘Sleepless Souls’ by BreakCode. I grew up on techno, nu metal and The Prodigy and this track falls somewhere in between this holy trinity. Huge energy, cinematic breakdown and minimalist razor-sharp synths on the drop. 

DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)
DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)

Which record introduced you to dance music?

‘Breathe’ by The Prodigy. My mum showed me so much amazing music when I was young, plus, I was always an alternative kid — still am — and she knew I would love this one. 

The dance record that changed your life?

‘Pursuit’ by Gesaffelstein. I think everyone feels the same about this track. It made me see dance music utilised in its brutal shades, yet at the same time it’s incredibly popular from all different angles. This has been my goal since — to make dark music that everyone fucks with. 

Which song in your DJ catalogue is your secret weapon?

‘Solvent’ by Jacidorex. This one is just plain mischievous, and who doesn’t love dropping a naughty one? It has this whip-like snare sound that spanks the audience into a chaos. 

What’s the go-to club to DJ at for the energy?

UnFOLD. This is our Sunday service — the DJ is centred in the room with the crowd in 360-degree orbit like some disgustingly sexy solar system. I haven’t felt an energy quite like it anywhere else. 

Who would be your dream person to DJ with?

I would love to play a B2B with Louisahhh. We’ve collabed on a few projects, so I know our musical tastes are in sync and we can go demon mode: I’m ready for this mayhem IRL. 

DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)
DJ Wax Wings (Images: Coral Garvey)

Name an up-and-coming or underrated DJ we should look out for.

Die Arkitekt. This Athens-based electronic artist is a serious talent, blending live analog synth into their sets with classical influences throughout their productions.

Which ‘guilty pleasure’ song would you love to play at a party but never would?

I’m not even guilty: ‘Satisfaction’ by Benny Benassi is THE wildcard to throw into a hard techno set at any queer party — that iconic vocal blends well with everything. 

What’s your starting point when looking for new music?

I open all the streaming platforms I use — Beatport, Bandcamp, Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music — and begin digging, using each track to leapfrog from one to another to a label to a mix to an EP and go down the rabbit hole.

What makes a hot remix?

Skewing the original in a way that decimates its initial form. I think being as creative as you can with a remix, the original doesn’t need editing; make something unique. 

Which dance record represents your outlook on life?

‘Pain’ by Boy Harsher. 

If you could create your ultimate dance record, who would you produce it with, who would do the vocals, and which club would you play it out at?

I would have to reel in everyone I’ve already mentioned to create this huge, dystopian, electro dancefloor anthem. Vitalic on collab production, Louisahhh on vocals joined by Miss Kittin and Peaches, and we would have to drop it at none other than its spiritual home at He.She.They.