Shredding the Stigma: WAAX tackle ‘social anxiety’

This post is in partnership with positive mental health initiative and podcast, Don’t Fret Club.

WAAX are one of the most exciting and in-demand acts in Australia right now. The Brisbane quintet are quickly climbing up festival bills and taking over radio airwaves nationwide, not to mention their increasingly rigours tour schedules and subsequently finding themselves being pushed further into the spotlight.

We knew the minute we met vocalist Maz and guitarist Chris at Melbourne’s inaugural Good Things Festival that they weren’t giving into the hype on a personal level, still very level headed and polite. Sounds simple enough, but values that can often be lost on artists who are as hotly tipped as WAAX.

Maz and Chris take part in our Shredding the Stigma series in association with Don’t Fret Club, as they tackle the topic of social anxiety, discussing their personal experiences with anxiety and depression, while exploring how the music industry still exacerbates mental health struggles for many.

On the topic of social anxiety, Chris begins, “I immediately think just avoiding social gatherings just purely because of being afraid of anything really.

“It’s the fear of the unknown and you’re worried about embarrassment, you’re worried about all kinds of things. For me that’s pretty much it.”

“[Social anxiety] reminds me of how I feel a lot of the time. It takes a lot to get myself in a headspace to be a part of a social situation because I often find myself feeling super self-conscious in big social situations,” Maz adds.

“We’ve got a lot of self-medicating vices available to us,” Maz adds later into our chat, “It would be better to have some healthier ways available because a lot of people turn to drinking.”

“I wish there was somebody even on hand at festivals like this, it would be really cool to have someone to talk to, especially for bands that are just starting to play festivals [because] it’s a big deal. You’re going through a lot,” she explains.

Listen to the full interview to hear the band’s thoughts on mental health and how to better support those in the music industry.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues discussed in this podcast, please reach out to speak to a professional for support. Lifeline Australia is 13 11 14, and a list of worldwide helplines is available at

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