“To make music in this day & age, you have to love it more than absolutely anything in the world”: Interview with Hether Fortune and the upcoming Wax Idols tour in Mexico

[Beto Sigala]

“Happy Ending” is one of the best independent music albums from 2018 in the USA. Wax Idols it’s been around since the begining of the decade, growing their live performance and maturing the way they do their music. Labeling this band merely as a post-punk act would be unfair, because they have many other sides. They also have a femenine touch and an acurate point of view about modernity and what means to be a human in a world that can’t change what is wrong and tends to manipulate all aspects of society. Hether Fortune is the leader of this proyect and we were lucky to talk with her this time, when she shares some of the “Happy Ending” process and also their upcoming tour around Mexico.

B.S.: In Happy Ending you can notice the evolution of your sound, it may be darker, also the lyrics are more about loss, nevertheless the album has more catchy songs. What was happening in you life when you were writing the music, what can you say is the personal feeling of the album?
Hether Fortune: When we first started working on the album, I imagined that I would be processing mostly older or more philosophical feelings & traumas relating to death. But about 6 months into working on it, a very close friend of ours died. That changed everything. Even though I explored a lot of different facets of death lyrically on “Happy Ending”, it became more or less a vehicle for processing that personal loss. There was no escaping it.

B.S.: You have a sense of DIY in your spirit, you also have your own label. What means to make music in this world with many artists, with so many ways of promoting your music, and also with all the information that stimulates the human being?
Hether Fortune: To make music in this day & age, you have to love it more than absolutely anything in the world. There is so much music out there & there are so many different ways for people to just consume music nowadays rather than really appreciate it as a form of art. It can be really hard to keep your head above water and find a way to stand out, to make a lane for yourself that isn’t jammed full already. I think what it boils down to for me is that this is just what I do & I don’t really have much of a choice but to push forward. It’s what I have always done. I started booking DIY shows when I was 15 – before I could even drive. I didn’t live in a major metropolis area, I didn’t have a stable family or money or access. I just started creating the things I wanted to see and the environments I wanted to be a part of. That has been the spirit of my life, more or less, ever since.

B.S.: We feel is a good moment for post-punk/darkwave (or whatever) and all the things that surrounds the scene in California with many good projects. Do you feel part of a scene, do you watch what other musical partners are making, what’s your take of these days independent music on the West Coast?
Hether Fortune: We’ve never really been a part of any one exclusive music scene & I prefer it that way. It’s best to be fluid, to be adaptable. Wax Idols has been around since 2010 and I’ve seen a lot of bands, scenes, people, etc. come & go in that time. The music world is always in flux, alliances are constantly changing, new acts are always popping up. It becomes exhausting & hard to keep up with at a certain point if you don’t learn to just go with the flow & follow your own path rather than keeping in step with others. There are definitely some people doing things that we care about & we do our best to support them but it isn’t in the sort of incestuous, “scene” way that maybe other bands and artists function. We are pretty focused on doing our own thing as a band and as individuals who have other jobs, relationships & ambitions outside of the music industry.

B.S.: Is there anything in particular that you look for in this tour around Mexico? Are you excited to come to this country and play your music?
Hether Fortune: We are SO excited to come to Mexico & play for you all – you have no idea! It’s been a dream of mine for a long time. Looking forward to meeting new people and seeing what it’s like to play to new audiences. We’ve been touring the U.S. extensively for years so this is a very welcome change. And, the food!

B.S.: The world seems so crazy right now. Do you think there’s a chance the music can change all this cultural and political mess we’re in?
Hether Fortune: I am a firm believer that change starts within. The role of the artist from my perspective is to reflect the times in which they live, to process their experiences & external influences in ways that are relatable to others. I think that art & music make us feel less alone. Sharing music can be very intimate. So with that in mind, it has great potential to be a healer. If only it could get out from beneath the strangle hold of capitalism…

Wax Idols will be touring this month in Mexico. For their show in Guadalajara the’ll be playing alongside SSRSQ, and the local bands Aves a Veces and Capitals.





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