PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE:
Forming in 2018 – Guitarist Pete Greenway, drummer Keiron Melling and bassist Dave Spurr, formerly known as the last and longest serving line up of The Fall, were invited by Damo Sazuki to join him as “Sound Carriers” for a one-off performance at the White hotel in Salford. Rekindling their necessity for music, they set about searching for a vocalist. After a chance encounter at a pub in Colne and a lengthy conversation about the future of Imperial Wax, they decided to team up with Sam Curran, guitarist and vocalist from Leeds based punk band Black Pudding. Once Dave decided to leave the band in 2019 the obvious choice was to recruit another former black puddinger Shane Standrill on Bass
As the pandemic ground the country to a halt, Keiron and Sam set about brewing the beginnings of the follow up to their 2019 debut, ‘Gastwerk Saboteurs’. In stark contrast to the writing style of their debut, where the songs were created all together, written and recorded in the same day. The bare skeleton of ‘Tranquilliser’ was written mainly as a two piece amidst the lockdown. Pete and Dave eventually adding their own parts later but overall allowing the band much more time to craft the songs into a cohesive, well-rehearsed, studio budget friendly collection of tracks.
The forced contemplation of excess time gave an approach which was totally unfamiliar to what they were used to and naturally cultivated a more complex style of song, meaning more parts, more changes and less playing off of other band members. After Dave’s departure former Black Pudding bass player Shane Standrill stepped up to the oche, bringing with him a different playing style and thus changing the sound of the band even further.
Dave had already laid the groundwork for the whole album, but after the failed first lot of recordings at their own practice space in Lancashire and with Shane’s new take on Dave’s parts, the band decided to go and re-record the whole thing properly at HOHM Studios in Bradford.
Sam found himself working in a chateau in the south of France, who was also in the midst of a lockdown. Allowing him a plethora of time and solitude to begin writing lyrics. There wasn’t much else to do in the evenings except read and write. Not many opportunities can provide such an uninterrupted environment to immerse yourself in the writing process, which was something Sam took full advantage of. Inspired by the works of Joseph Conrad, William Burroughs, Herni Cherrier, Mashima, Olga Tokarschuk and many more.
The main problem for any small band always boils down to money and that was certainly the case with Imperial Wax, so after a few failed label offers the band looked into releasing the album themselves. Upon realising the potential of having total control over your own release, the only problem was that no one had a clue what they were doing, hence the name Guesswork Records. It was a venture Keiron had long been keen on since his time in the Fall, after he and Mark had planned their own label which ultimately never came into fruition with MES’s untimely demise.
Another unexpected blow was finding out that Pete had contracted the dreaded long covid. The band held out for a long time hoping that Pete would start showing signs of improvement which unfortunately never came and is still up in the air to this day. No doubt he will back in the saddle eventually but for now Imperial Wax have enlisted former Cabbage guitarist Joe Martin. After the fairly public collapse of cabbage along with his own personal struggles it was a case of right place and right time when Keiron bumped into Joe in Colne. They needed a guitarist and Joe filled that requirement. Along with the very recent addition of former the Fall/PJ Harvey bassist Ding, who has taken up the role of synth, Imperial Wax are well armed to take on many more year’s future musical ventures.