THE BIRDHOUSE 087: Wax Motif Interview

Danny Chien – that's Wax Motif to you – comes to LA by way of Sydney, Australia, and has picked up a diverse range of influences along the way. He is equally comfortable cooking up genre-bending G-House as is he DJing UK garage; these styles and more come into play in his guest mix for this week's episode of THE BIRDHOUSE. 

Wax is also one of the most easygoing guys around, as you'll see from his answers to the BH Questionnaire below. Scroll on to learn more about him, and click below to check out his mix!


How did your music career get started in earnest?

I graduated from college with a degree in Economics basically to keep my parents happy, so once I was done I knew I'd either have to find something I wanted to do or end up in a career I hated. I told them to give me a year [Sounds familiar! – CVS]. I got a job at a bar by day and went and DJed at every crummy bar or club in Sydney that would pay me at night. 

Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?

North Ryde, Sydney. I guess it shaped who I am as a person and the values I have, but musically we were definitely a little underexposed. Finding the good rap stuff was hard. North Ryde boy for life tho!

How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?

It's an emotional roller coaster but in terms of really really wanting to quit maybe twice. I think some people don't realize how much sacrifice is involved. I've missed weddings, important moments with friends, time with loved ones and that can make you question what you're doing.

What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?

Nothing really besides Ableton. I've always tried to maintain a low-cost, efficient and easy-for-travel studio setup. Being able to work anywhere on the fly is key to what I do, especially in sessions with rappers or other artists.

When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?

Crookers, Justin Martin, Boyz Noise, Cassius, Daft Punk, Diplo to name a few.

When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?

Either take a break or download a new synth or sample pack to get re-inspired. Also just practicing piano or generally doodling around on the keys to catch a vibe.

Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?

In the snow, in the studio or on the couch.

Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?

Playing soccer (football); I'm actually pretty good or FIFA. I'm also really good at rolling joints. 


Favorite and least favorite colors?

Favorite is purple, least favorite is brown.

Favorite and least favorite words?

Favorites are "finesse" or "acclimated" and least favorite is "plop".

Favorite animal?


Favorite board game?

Hungry Hippos.

Favorite guilty pleasure food?


Favorite guilty pleasure song?

"Waiting For Tonight" by J. Lo.

German or Detroit techno?


Festival, club or illegal warehouse?

Illegal warehouse. I went to one recently in Detroit and it was so fire!

Biggie or Tupac?

Biggie, although I really like both. I have a lot of Biggie and Tupac shirts... also a Biggie pillow.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars. 

Exercise or Netflix?