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About Wax Idols
The cathartic, restless project of singer/songwriter Hether Fortune, Wax Idols has confronted the shadowy sides of mortality and sexuality in new and challenging ways on every album. She winked at them with the snotty punk-pop of 2011's No Future; stared them down on 2013's Discipline + Desire, a ferocious album of post-punk inspired by her time as a dominatrix; and ultimately embraced them on 2015's darkly anthemic American Tragic. By the time Wax Idols released Happy Ending in 2018, the sense of growth and acceptance in Fortune's music was so profound that it removed some of the sting when the project went on hiatus a few months after the album's release.
Fortune began writing poems at age nine and dreamed of being a producer, attending a music-oriented summer camp and studying music production in college until her scholarship ran out. While interning at a Chicago record label in her late teens, she started writing and performing songs. When she returned to the Bay Area, she played with bands including Hunx & His Punx, Bare Wires and Blasted Canyons. She formed Wax Idols in 2009 and posted the song "All Too Human" online that year. Recorded mostly by Fortunee alone or with the help of friends, the project combined punk with gothic undertones. Late in 2010, Wax Idols' self-titled debut EP appeared on Psychic Snerts; a year later, HoZac Records issued the band's garagey debut album No Future.
By the time of 2013's much darker, post-punk-inspired Discipline + Desire, Wax Idols was a full-fledged band featuring guitarist/vocalist Jen Mundy, bassist Amy Rosenoff and drummer Keven Tecon. After spending some of 2014 touring with White Lung, the band -- now consisting of Fortune and drummer Rachel Travers -- collaborated with producer Monte Vallier on American Tragic, an anthemic, cathartic set inspired by Fortune's divorce. The album arrived in October 2015 on Collect Records. Following the news that one of the label's major financers was disgraced former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, Collect folded. Label founder and Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly returned the rights to American Tragic to Fortune, who re-released it on her own Etruscan Gold label in 2017.
Following a stint in Los Angeles, Fortune returned to Oakland before starting work on Wax Idols' fourth album. She and the rest of the band -- Travers, bassist/vocalist Marisa Prietto and multi-instrumentalist Peter Lightning -- began writing songs that balanced optimistic melodies and politically inspired dread. Produced by Vallier, Fortune and Lightning, 2018's Happy Ending revolved around the concept of a woman's enduring consciousness after death. After touring in support of the album, Wax Idols went on hiatus that August. ~ Heather Phares
- San Francisco , CA
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