‘Looking Past the Pandemic’ with Wax Chattels from Auckland, New Zealand

Keeping travel dreams alive and setting goals has never felt more important. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unfortunate year so far, and almost every facet of daily life has been wrought by this ongoing global pandemic, the start of which now feels like forever ago. The arts has been one of the hardest hit areas, so The AU Review has kickstarted a Q&A series “looking past the pandemic”, encouraging creatives from around the world to share their travel hopes, dreams, and the thoughts or things that are getting them through 2020, while also highlighting essential experiences in their own country.

Wax Chattels (Auckland, New Zealand)

Fresh of performing as part of the latest Instagram-enabled Isol-Aid Festival Auckland-based post-punk outfit Wax Chattels are counting down the day until their new album Clot is released. Set for 25th September, the project promises to be a timely and confronting collection of darkly hypnotic and frenetic music from the self-proclaimed “guitarless guitar band”, previewed brilliantly by the crunching sounds of single “No Ties”.

We caught up with the band’s drummer Tom Leggett to look past the pandemic.

Hooker Valley is a must when in Mt Cook National Park

Three spots in NZ I think everyone should visit at least once in their life…

The Hooker Valley tramping track next to Mount Cook.

Piha Beach. Everyone from overseas is always amazed at our beautiful black sand beaches.

Honestly, I always recommend people visiting New Zealand to just rent a campervan at the bottom of the South Island and drive it to the top of the North Island. It takes about two weeks and this way you get to see all of our beautiful country.

Whenever I have a visitor in my city (Auckland) and I want to show them a good night out, the first place I take them is…

My uncle Kev’s place! Great guy, always ready for a barbie and an NZ lager or two. It’s the perfect place to start the night, but don’t get him started about runescape.

You can’t go to Memphis and not head on over to Gus’ Fried Chicken.

Most memorable thing I’ve eaten on the road…

Oh man there’s way too many. Raw horse in Tokyo, Cuisses de grenouille and escargot in Paris, Gus’ Fried Chicken in Memphis, Avenue 26 Tacos in LA, Shabu-shabu in Osaka, Pastizzi Cafe in Sydney.

The one international venue I’ve always wanted to play…

I’ve never really thought about this one before. I’d probably have to choose between the Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in NYC. There’s so much history at both of these venues.

The one international destination I’m yet to visit but have always dreamed of…

Put me in a net cafe in Seoul, South Korea for a week with ramyeon and coffee and I’ll be in my happy place.

The three things or thoughts that are getting me through this pandemic…

Knowing that our government is doing everything they can to stamp out the virus and that it really feels like our team of five million is united.

Youtube! I’ve gone down some rabbit holes and found some really cool channels during lockdown. Most notably: Trap Lore Ross, 3Blue1Brown, and All Gas No Breaks.

My girlfriend! The dinners she’s been making just keep getting better and better <3 ---- Wax Chattels new album, Clot, is available from 25th September. For more of the band head to their Facebook page here.

Feature photo by Ebru Yildiz.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.