Starting Out in 2015

As you may know, we take a break every winter from December until at least February. Last year, we took a quick step out in the very beginning of March, and then really roared out of the gate in April with a week-and-a-half-long trip to Chicago, Winnipeg, and Minneapolis. We have a lot of very fond memories from our tour last year, and we’re looking forward to making more this year…but we’ll be getting a bit of a late start.

We were all set to begin our 2015 tour with a show at Indiana Comic Con in March. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized what a terrible idea that was. Not because of anything to do with the event—but because of some personal issues we’re both dealing with.

If you have her friended on Facebook, you might have seen Katt share that she’s been battling anxiety and depression since around May of last year. It turns out that several people on both sides of her family, going back at least two generations, have done their own toe-to-toe with these demons. Katt is getting help and trying to sort out how to manage these issues, but she needs a bit more time than would be allowed by our emerging from our yearly hibernation in March.

And actually, we both need a bit more time. We pushed ourselves hard last year, and we’re both still pretty burned out from it. We need to let the batteries re-charge and then yes—we’re going to try not to over-do it again this year.

And on top of that, we still have an album to finish.

Lastly, we’re trying to delay the start of our tour so we can spend as much time as possible with one of our cats. Our ten year-old brown tabby Bell was recently diagnosed with an inoperable abdominal tumor. There’s no way of knowing how much longer she has left, but we’d like to be here with her for as long as we can. Anyone who knows her can attest that she is one of the sweetest things on four feet. So we want to make her as comfortable as possible during whatever remaining time we have with her.

As things stand right now, it looks as if our first show of the year will be at IPCOD in May. It’s a free festival, and they usually have multiple acts and activities throughout the course of the day. We hope you’ll come join us!

You guys are the best fans in the world. We miss you. But we need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves (because we’re honestly really bad at it). We’ll be getting a later start than normal this year, but even so, we’ll see you soon!

Advertisements

The Unfortunate Problem with Conventions

Wax Chaotic’s first ever concert was performed at InConJunction in 2011. InCon is one of our local science-fiction conventions, and the two of us have attended it every year for over a decade now. It’s one of the few conventions we plan on attending every year, whether or not we make it onto the schedule. We would love to attend more cons as just ourselves and not as Wax Chaotic, but it’s just not in the budget. Sadly, we’ve reached the point at which attending cons even as the band isn’t within the budget, either. Which is why in 2015, the number of conventions for which Wax Chaotic volunteers will be drastically reduced.

Since that particular InCon, we’ve had the good fortune to perform at many fine conventions around the Midwest and beyond. In fact, we’ve played at more conventions than we have any other type of event or venue. On the whole, it’s been a lot of fun. These are events put on by people who really love a lot of the stuff we love, and they’re all dedicated to giving everyone a fun weekend. But the end of our 2014 tour will mark the end of an era, at least for us.

Because while conventions are a lot of fun to play at, they are also unfortunately very expensive for us. We normally don’t like talking about money in such a public manner—it feels too much like airing our dirty laundry. But money is what currently makes most of the Western world go ’round, and so it’s a necessary evil that everyone has to deal with. And as independent musicians, we don’t have a great deal of it.

Sadly, neither do a lot of fan-run conventions. Conventions are frequently only ever able to pay for things like lodging and travel expenses for their honorary attendees, which of course we do understand. But this means that the financial end of things is pretty painful for us. At any given con, we usually have to pay at least $100 in registration fees; at least twice that for a hotel room; and $40 to $80 for gas, depending on where the event is (and we drive a Prius V that has really good gas mileage). Then there’s also food, parking fees, and vehicle maintenance. And if we want dedicated vending space for the entire weekend, there’s usually an additional fee involved there, too. That all adds up pretty quickly.

So it’s pretty painful all around. On the one hand, the convention people want to put on a good event for their attendees, with a variety of programming and activities to enjoy. And on the other hand, people like us just can’t keep volunteering for events at which they have to pay to play.

Another problem with playing at conventions is that we are by far not the only thing there is to see at such an event. As a result, we don’t tend to recoup the related expenses through merch sales. That sort of business model is only sustainable for so long, and we’ve about reached our limit.

So in 2015, we intend to focus more on other venue and event types. We would love to hear about your favorite coffee house, bookstore, festival, or library, and we would also be thrilled to come perform in your home or worship space (we fit in well at Pagan events and UU churches).

And please, if you’re doing programming for a con and you want us to come, don’t let that stop you from inviting us—that’s different than if we send a cold email with our hands up looking to get on the schedule. We know your finances are just as tight as ours, but if you want us badly enough to go to the trouble of inviting us, maybe we can work something out.

We’ve had a lot of great fun at various conventions over the last few years, and we can’t thank all of them enough for giving us spaces to play. They’ve been really welcoming (and forgiving) as we’ve worked to find our way. But it’s time to take a break from volunteering for them for a little while. In the meantime, if you’re looking for new cons to go to, ask us about our favorites. We’ll talk your ear off.

And we look forward to seeing you in 2015 at a café, in a bookstore, or maybe even in your own backyard.

Coming to the End of the Year

The days are growing steadily shorter and the nights ever colder, and we once again find ourselves at the time of year when we look back and reflect. We’re reflecting on what a wonderful tour we’ve had this year, and on all of the people who made it possible. As we wrap up our 2014 tour, we wanted to thank the following people:

  • Sean’s mom and step-dad, who took care of the cats and the house any time we went out of town—if you’ve been following us, you know we went out of town a lot this year, so that was no small task
  • Katt’s mom, who enthusiastically attended our shows each and every chance she got, talked us up to anyone who would listen, and repeatedly told us how proud we make her
  • Katt’s sister, who bravely opened her home to us when we needed to move the venue for our Cleveland house concert in September at the last minute
  • Sean’s aunt and uncle in New Orleans, who gave us safe and joyous haven
  • Our friends, who fangirled/boyed at us, helped us promote our music in a million different ways, and were so excited about our music that they were (to use some of their own words), “not unlike a child wanting to open Christmas presents at 1:00am because dammit it’s Christmas already”—and who were always excited to see us, but still understanding when we said they wouldn’t because we had to rehearse/rest up/travel/et cetera
  • All of our many fans, who give us both a reason and the ability to continue doing something that we are so, so in love with doing
  • All of the many gracious house concert hosts, music track programmers, and event organizers, who invited us to their homes and their events, and gave us places to play, express ourselves, and make new friends
  • Katt’s IndieGoGo backers, who eagerly jumped at the chance to bring her next CDs into the world, and then oh-so-patiently waited for them to be finished

This stunningly fantastic tour would not have been so without all of you. You made our 2014 touring season the best we’ve ever had, and we’re so excited to see what we all can do with 2015. Thank you all so much for coming on this journey with us.

Our last show of the year is over, and so now we withdraw into the background for a few months. We will rest and recharge and then reemerge in 2015 with new songs and stories to share. Until we meet again, lights and loves, keep your fires burning and take care. We’ll see you when winter is waning.

2014 in Review

Our 2014 tour isn’t quite over, but it is nearing its end. We have only two more shows left, both of which will be in Indianapolis. In part because she wanted to illustrate just how much we’ve done this year, and in part because we wanted it all laid out for us, Katt created this mock tour poster will all of our 2014 tour dates on it. We’ve already shared this on our Facebook page, but since that version came out really tiny, we thought we’d share it again on our blog so that it would be, well, legible. So here it is in all its glory. Click to embiggen.

Wax Chaotic's 2014 Tour

Starting Out in 2014

We took a brief step out of our door this year on March 1st for the 2014 Indianapolis Masquerade Ball, but quickly ducked back inside after it was over. We still had work to do. The extended winter this year has served us well, affording us plenty of time to finish “Faces in the Fog” before we hit the road in earnest. That album, began in September of 2013, is now finished and available for purchase and streaming! We hope you enjoy it thoroughly, and that you keep an eye out for its sister album, “[untitled]”, which is expected to release this summer.

Now that spring has finally sprung—er, sort of—and “Faces in the Fog” has released, our 2014 tour has really begun! We hit the road hard at the outset, playing Chicago, Winnipeg, and Minneapolis all within the same week. And what a wonderful week it’s been! Chicago met us with enormous fog banks that obscured most of the city on our way in, and it was a beautiful way to be greeted. Life Force Arts Center, our venue there, was a great space, and contained a small but eager audience. We really can’t thank Joan enough for having us up, and we hope to return soon!

Wax Chaotic at Life Force Arts Center

After an evening spent with the two wonderfully gracious people who opened their home for us to rest the night in, we zoomed off to Winnipeg, Canada. That was roughly a thirteen hour drive, for anyone curious, which isn’t the longest road trip we’ve ever taken, but it was still grueling. We arrived weary and bleary-eyed to the warm and welcoming home of our Canadian hosts. They and the audience they invited to the concert were just wonderful beyond words. It was a taste of something a bit different than our usual science-fiction convention fare, and we really hope we can get more house concerts on our schedule.

Wax Chaotic in Winnipeg, CA

And we would like to send out endless thanks to Elizabeth and Dave Clement, who invited us to their table Tuesday night and filled us full of delicious chili.

After lingering in Winnipeg for a few days, we returned to the States for Minicon. We’d never been to this one before, but it was a lot of fun. (Thanks, Eric!) The people were all warm and friendly, the con suite was exquisite, and the music programming was terrific. In short, it was a great weekend. We had a good group for our concert, some of whom invited us out to dinner afterward (if you’ve never tried Malaysian food, we can now highly recommend it). There was laughing and joking and time spent relaxing in the hot tub. So if you’re within driving distance of Minneapolis and you’ve never tried Minicon, consider giving it a go next year.

Wax Chaotic at Minicon 49

Now we return home for a couple of weeks. It’s time to practice and to organize, to write and to plan. Also, some dear friends of ours will be getting married, and we have the honor of being in their wedding party. After that, it’s off to Demicon and lots of other events. As always, keep an eye on our schedule for more information on tour dates.

As the first leg of our 2014 tour winds to a close, we wish to very heartily thank our venue hosts, our lodging hosts, our audiences, and the people who aren’t afraid to feed us (which is quite akin to feeding a stray cat—they’ll never be rid of us). We also would be lost without the people who keep giving us feedback to let us know how we’re doing. You are all instrumental to how we grow and shape ourselves, and we love having you along for the ride.

Check out our Facebook page for photos from our recent events, as well as links to convention videos, tour information, or to ask us a question for our video Q&A. Until next time!

The End of 2013

This past weekend, we attended Star Base Indy in our hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. We led open filking Friday night, which was attended by some brave souls curious as to what this kooky “filk” stuff was, and performed one concert each on Saturday and Sunday. SBI is always a fantastic way to end a tour, because it is one of the best examples of all the good parts of the fannish community. And they know how to treat their musicians.

And this past weekend marked the end of our 2013 tour. This year took us to Michigan, either end of Ohio (Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland), Iowa, and Texas, just to name a few places. We met lots of really nifty people and bade a fond farewell to Ally, the startlingly talented singer/songwriter/flautist/keyboardist/percussionist, whom we miss. We learned a lot about ourselves, as well as about what we’re doing it and how to do it. It’s been a really fantastic year in a lot of ways. As always, lovelings, we can’t thank you enough for giving us the opportunity to do all that we do.

And we’re going to keep doing it! I’d say we’re already looking ahead to 2014, but the truth of the matter is that we’ve been doing that since about April of this year. We’re just so excited by all this that it’s difficult to stop planning for the long-term. So here’s what we’re looking at thus far.

Next year will take us to places such as New Jersey, Washington state, and Canada. We’re reaching for more house concerts than ever before (or at least more non-convention concerts than ever before—the overhead for those is usually pretty painful), and we’ve already confirmed many. We’re making good progress in our efforts to get out to new crowds in different states, and we’ll be returning to some familiar stomping grounds, as well. Other confirmed shows include InConJunction and MuseCon. We’ll also be coming back to Cleveland as Featured Guests at the first ever Cleveland ConCoction. The official dates and times for many shows will be announced on the site and through the mailing list in January, with additional details for other shows announced as we work them out.

Next year will also see the release of Katt’s next two albums, which we are using an extended winter break to complete. Normally we would emerge from our holiday respite in February for shenanigans (and jam) at Capricon, but this time we need to stay home and work like the mad people we are to finish “Faces in the Fog” and “[untitled]”. Check out Katt’s studio blog for more information regarding these albums, including pre-order opportunities, which will become available in January.

We’re also toying with some ideas for new shirts, but they are as of yet only in their infancy, so we can’t say too much about them. Just know that they are on our minds.

Other than that, we’ve not much to report. We hope all of you have safe and happy holidays, and that you may be shown as much love as you’ve given us through all the craziness. Your encouragement and support mean more than we can say.

Love and light to you all.