Maz, you front Brisbane band WAAX, please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve been playing music pretty much my whole life but becoming an artist is a whole different story. Growing up I didn’t believe I could make music a profession but from about 13 I just wrote songs as therapy, never had the patience to write anything down properly and weirdly never considered myself a songwriter, it was just a thing I did when I was alone.

I played in bands mostly as a bass player and wasn’t til I was about 20 when I had a moment of realisation that I wanted to be a front person and this fire came up inside me and all I wanted to do was be on stage and scream my lungs out.

Fast forward nine years of hard work, touring heaps and releasing three records, here I am, shrugging, I just can’t stop.

What does your day-to-day entail?

These days it’s all about discipline. I feel my best when I’m working hard. I like to keep fit, eat healthy and work as much as I can. Sounds boring but yeah, I used to be a real party animal and it didn’t do much for my mental health. I do like a blow out every now and then though. I think if you want to go the distance in this industry, health and mental endurance is key.

How did you get your start in the music industry?

If sort of evolved over time. I knew no one and I just threw myself in with everything I had. I played so many shows and met a lot of people and was relentless. I was pretty naïve and made some silly decisions but you live and learn. Now its all I know, all my 20s have been consumed by it.

Did you choose to work in music or did it choose you?

I chose to be a performer and I guess the industry comes with the territory. So I suppose it chose me by default. Wanting to play bigger stages = more team involved.

I think if you want to go the distance in this industry, health and mental endurance is key.

Do you feel that higher education is a necessary step to enter the music industry?

Hell no. I have no formal musical education. I did do uni for design though. But yeah I think the first step is to start and have a strong work ethic, instinct and fight in you. Let the universe work with you to pave the path.

Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?

My whole career has been a rollercoaster, top to tail. I could write a book. I think the biggest blows are when you have to part ways with band members. There have been periods where I thought I was at the end of my career, and moments when my whole sense of self and confidence in songwriting were completely obliterated but somehow there’s always a little voice inside pushing me to keep going. Been in therapy lots and I just keep my head down and work through it.

I think a big theme for my life is ‘rising from the ashes’. Each record for me is like a death and rebirth moment, and my records are always in parallel with my life situation and somehow prophetic – like the songs knew where my life was heading before I did.

Do you have a single piece of advice that you can share, that has helped you in your career?

Just start. Start with whatever you have and follow your instinct and everything will unfold as it meant to.

Who are your role models in the industry be they international or locally-based?

Linda Perry is probably my ideal role model and I was lucky enough to write songs with her in LA a few years back. I saw what she has done and I thought, fuck me, everything is possible now.

Who are your top three artists to watch?



Hollie Joy

I think the first step is to start and have a strong work ethic, instinct and fight in you. Let the universe work with you to pave the path.

What does the rest of 2022 hold for you?

Putting out an album, baby!! So not low key. Some more touring and hopefully head overseas and work on whatever comes next.

Anything exciting you can tell us about?

Probably our album At Least I’m Free, coming out August 5th. I’m bursting with excitement!

Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career, what is your greatest achievement vs a moment you’d prefer to forget?

My greatest achievement will be the record I’m about to release. I’m so proud of it in so many ways.

I don’t think I can ever forget the shitty things that have happened because I suppose they have shaped me but yeah, having to close chapters and walk away from toxic situations has been the hardest.

Who has been your greatest champion in your career, who has helped you along the way?

Probably Nick DiDia and Bernard Fanning, I have made two albums with them and honestly they have always cared and believed in us like no one else has.

What do you think is the biggest threat to artists or the industry and what would you do to change it?

I suppose the most obvious is the pandemic – we are all still in recovery mode and it’s kind of made us all weary. But that’s a thing we can’t control. All we can do is try our best.

Social media is a big one – like now I am expected to be a content creator and be loud on the Internet and some days I just want to shut the hell up, ya know? It can be draining on the ol’ mental health. I think we could all be more transparent and tell people sometimes we just don’t want to post every minute! It can drain creativity and yeah, I find it gets in the way of me writing and stuff. I accept it has to be done but I don’t like it very much haha.

Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?

Going to the gym and walking. I also like to see my friends, they always lift me up and I like getting tattoos. Recently started to make rugs! 

How firm are you with boundaries between work/life balance and how do you try to enforce them?

At the moment I’m sort of working all the time but I do so by choice because I’m very single and I have the energy to do so. I make sure my weekends are for resting and I try to prioritise self care first thing in the morning.

Any tips for a quick ‘pick me up’ if you’re having a shitty day?

Move your body or watch shitty reality tv.

What was a source of inspiration during the pandemic for you?

The thought that this will not last forever and trying to keep a routine.

What was a source of concern during the pandemic?

Not being able to see our fans or tour and touring is our main source of income so we lost a shit tonne of cash.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

No Scrubs by TLC.

WAAX’s third studio album, At Least I’m Free, is out on Friday, 5 August. Head here for more info.