Hailing from Niagara Falls Ontario, The Waxbills formed somewhat accidentally in the spring of 2008. In the winter of 2006, singer/songwriter Nathan Warriner released his first solo e.p and needed some backing musicians to play a Canadian east coast tour that was scheduled for the spring. He called upon long time friends Peter Haverkamp, Wayne Corlis, John Albers, and Brandon Ainsley to form the band.
After touring eastern Canada as well as many shows in Ontario, lead guitarist Haverkamp and keyboard player Corlis left the band to pursue other endeavours, leaving Warriner, Albers and Ainsley as a trio. During this shift the band took a new musical direction, shifting Warriner off of his acoustic guitar onto his electric. This transition definitely created a whole new dynamic to the band’s sound, tightening up the unit rhythmically and upping the rock element in their new style of composing songs. The sound was very full and big. Ainsley’s driving beats, Albers’ loud and heavy bass, echoed by the unique stylings and delay washed tones of Warriner’s hollow bodied Epiphone, the band seemed reminiscent of the psycadelic 60’s era with hints of influences such as early Pink Floyd and The Kinks meshed with a fresh modern sound of their own. It was very fresh and exciting but the band felt it was less of a singer/songwriter project and felt they needed a name. After mulling over a few ideas, drummer Brandon Ainsley came up with the idea of naming the band after a type of songbird. Thus The Waxbills were born.
The band quickly booked studio time at Grant Avenue studios in Hamilton Ontario with producer/engineer Joe Shugan. By late summer of 2008 the band independently released their first full length album entitled “The Way It Goes”. This 10 song album featured new as well as some older material Warriner had been kicking around. The studio was a real chance to demonstrate the band’s versatility and the album almost feels conceptual in flow with its unique alternative/rock/indie songs like “Take It” and “Empty Arms Again”, mixed with haunting ballads and stage setting tales such as “This Town” and “Carry Me”. The album seems to paint quite a sonic picture and really has an over all tone of nostalgia to it.
In support of the release the band hit the road in the fall and took on their 1st western Canadian tour in which they played a tightly knit schedule of 28 shows in 30 days, covering a distance of over 11 000 km of Canada’s vast countryside. The road really tightened up the live show and was a great place to gain more influence and new songs were often written on the long drives from gig to gig. They arrived back to Niagara a whole new monster.
The momentum of The Waxbills was in full swing. They were gaining a whole new audience having now exposed their music and live show from coast to coast. The single “Take It” was gaining popularity on college as well as some mainstream rock radio, having been featured on Toronto’s most popular new music station 102.1 the edge amongst others. The band was moving albums and songs on a daily basis via the internet, live shows and independent music stores through out Canada.
Not only was the band making some new fans across the globe, but the industry was starting to take notice as well. They were recognized for their efforts at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards where they were nominated and won the awards for Album Of The Year, and Best Original Band. The timing of this exposure and recognition couldn’t have been better for the band as they were currently finishing up their 2nd full length album. Less then a year later the band released “Hard To Lose”. This 11 song album explored a whole other side of the band, using new tones and studio tricks as well as recording a children’s choir from Warriner’s childhood elementary school for what the band say is their favorite track “My World”.
Directly after the release the band followed it up with a western Canadian tour that kicked at Toronto’s Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, took them all the way to Vancouver Island and finished off in their hometown of Niagara Falls where a sold out crowd of enthusiastic fans awaited their arrival.
Since the release the of their 2nd album the band have been busy playing festivals and club shows through out Ontario sharing the stage with reputable acts such as Our Lady Peace, The Trews, The Stills, April Wine, Tom Wilson and a plethora of other independent Canadian greats. On the down time between shows the band managed to write tons of new material.
Currently The Waxbills are wrapping up their 3rd album entitled “When Love Comes” which is scheduled to drop in January of 2012. The new batch of songs have all the flavors and elements that make the band who they are but really steps it up in the song writing department. This 10 song LP. delivers a mix of catchy pop melodies mixed with that edgy rock sound that The Waxbills have always been known for. Bassist Johnny Albers makes his haunting lead vocal debut on the heartfelt tremolo guitar ridden ballad “Shattered”. Warriner delivers his best pop/rock song ever written “First Aid Kit”, full of catchy hooks and a chorus that is sure to have listeners snapping their fingers, stomping their feet and singing along. The band will be releasing this album independently in Canada with digital distribution through Indie Pool and have recently teamed up with Dying Giraffe Records in The Netherlands to distribute the album in The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.
The Waxbills will tour Canada shortly after the release and plans for Europe are in the works for as early as the spring 2012.
Band MembersNathan Warriner, Brandon Ainsley, John Albers