From the seminal sonic grunge pop of Brokenhead to his current new country sounds, Waz has been recording and releasing music, both independently and through established record labels, for over 20 years and has consistently toured Australia playing major cities as well as the renowned country festival at Tamworth.

Waz's unique style is born out of many varied associations over his career. As a teenager growing up in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs, Waz discovered his neighbor to be none other than Harvey James, who planted the first blues seed in Waz. Some of Harvey’s acquaintances were renowned players of the time and it was no surprise to find Waz eavesdropping on Arial rehearsal sessions.

The real lessons arrived a few years later via his high school music tutor, American, Greg Hildebrand, one of Australia's premier Bluegrass performers. Passing on ye olde art of the 'rolling thumb' and other string picking tips, Hildebrand soon encouraged Waz to join him and others on stage at the Green Man Club in Malvern, a popular Blues Venue in the late 70s.

There Waz learnt the standards and polished his act, eventually sharing bills with the Bushwhackers and Bluesman Dutch Tilders.

By the mid 80s, Waz approach to his instrument had shifted. With friends he joined anarchic party band, Black Ruxton, whose punk-with-a-smile performances were welcomed by pub audiences. Discovering a flange pedal and a songwriting talent of his own, Waz soon put together his own outfit Brokenhead, a noisy trio that managed to bridge the gap between Crazy Horse and the Melvins. Over the next three years Brokenhead surfed its own "grunge" wave, issuing a fistful of EPs/singles on the Sydney indie Label Waterfront, one of which, the 'Come Anytime' 7 inch climbed to #3 on the US college charts in 1990.

Meanwhile, the band warmed local stages for the likes of Lemonheads and The Aints while funding a self released album on the Destroyer label through Shock Records.
Following Brokenheads demise, Waz packed his trusty jazzmaster and headed off to the US where he rediscovered the beauty of the Blues, playing with a myriad of house bands along the West Coast, culminating in support sets for Guitar Shorty at Harvels in Santa Monica.

Missing home and needing a backing band to flesh out a new cache of tunes, Waz returned to Melbourne and quickly assembled a group consisting of cello bassist Ashley Winn and former Bad Boy Batacuda drummer Mark Grunden. In 1998, Fulltronic was born.

In one raw, late night session, the band then recorded a ten track album at Birdland Studios, overseen by producer Lindsay Gravina. The result was "a debut that married original contemporary blues with a new groove and a sprinkling of covers including a rousing remake of ZZ Tops 'Blue Jeans'" [Steve Tauske writing for Beat].

Since 2000 Waz has released two previous albums as The Waz e James band; 'Calm Before The Storm' in 2000 and then in 2004 a return to roots music, 'Hair Of The Dog'. With the release of his most accomplished album yet 'Watermelon', Waz is poised to reestablish himself in the Australian music scene. No stranger to the independent charts, this one time Waterfront artist is back on the open road and playing his heart out.

Back to main

Email - waz@gravelroadrecords.com.au
For bookings call - 0419 032 516


Check out the brand new video for 'The Plainsman' on YouTube


Check out Waz and BROKENHEADs page on MySpace with exclusive song downloads and original cover album cover artwork - click here


Listen to and purchase Waz's new CD Watermelon at the Gravel Road Records website.

And, be sure to check out some of the other acts featured on the label


Download press releases for Waz and Gravel Road Records and high resolution images.