JAX and the Wayward is powerhouse vocals and quality, hard hitting rock/thumpfunk. The Hobart-based four-piece band features Jacqui ‘JAX’ Smialek on vocals and guitar, Malcolm ‘BAT’ Battersby on guitar, Adrian Hayes on bass, and Tenille 'TJ' Johnstone on drums.
JAX is loud, passionate, and thrives on writing music and a good glass of red. Her vocal delivery has been described as powerful and memorable with style and presence. She says of the band, “the feeling when you take what you’ve created in the studio and transform it into a massive, energetic, original, live rock show- with three amazing musicians who are also your friends- you can’t beat it. It’s fun as hell.”
BAT, established professional musician/producer/engineer and English nutter with extensive experience throughout Europe and Australasia, hails from the studios of London. BAT spent the years in the studio honing his craft with the likes of Sting, Gavin Rossdale from Bush, and Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd. BAT describes playing with JAX as “no nonsense good hard rock played as it is meant to be with freedom to express in writing and on my guitar”. BAT’s biggest weaknesses are almond fingers, and not wanting to put his Strat down when it's howling through the amps.
Hailing from a grunge background, Adrian, multi-instrumentalist and veritable genius, can recite Pi to 500 decimal places from memory and brings the ass-shaking funk to JAX with the help of Isabel, his special edition Ibanez SR780. Adrian says of playing with JAX, “I enjoy the high energy and playing with people from different musical backgrounds. I feel like playing with JAX gives me the freedom I need to play my 'personality' and my 'style' and to put my own feel into the music".
Drummer Tenille 'TJ' Johnstone grew up on a diet of mostly alt. rock, punk, and pop, and loves the hard rock and funk element of smashing the tubs with JAX- "I like locking into their tight, funky grooves!" TJ has an impressive CV, having drummed on multiple band and session projects. An established musician with state and interstate touring experience, TJ spent some time studying at the UTAS Conservatorium of Music before playing major Tasmanian music festivals Falls Festival, Party in the Paddock, and Forth Valley Blues Festival.
An early collaboration between BAT & JAX in 2013 resulted in a creative whirlwind of co-writing and co-producing original tracks, and an ongoing musical chemistry. Swallow, JAX’s first release, features lush harmonies and a moody and raw lead vocal. When released in 2013, it quickly climbed the Triple J Unearthed charts. Two other tracks, These Things and Closer, were then released and had similar success. JAX’s music is currently on high rotation airplay on local station Edge Radio 99.3 FM, and has also featured on several US radio stations. JAX released her debut mini-album, titled These Things, in 2013, which featured six original tracks and two rearranged covers. JAX's debut full-length album, titled Elixir (available here), was released on December 19, 2014, with the songs Swallow and Lay Down also released as videos.
On October 22, 2015, JAX and the Wayward won first place in the Global Battle of the Bands Hobart Final, and represented Tasmania at the National Final in Sydney in March 2016, where they placed third overall.
The music video for Confusion followed in 2016, with the band taking the name JAX and the Wayward in late 2016.
JAX and the Wayward played across three stages at Falls Music & Arts Festival 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 in Marion Bay, and supported Icehouse acoustically on one of their 2016 Hobart tour dates. Other highlights of 2016 include a headline set at the Adventure Bay Blues & Roots Festival, and several support shows for Tasmanian artists, including a state tour in August 2016. JAX and the Wayward are playing at Festival of King Island 2017, and their new EP is set for release in 2017.
JAX and the Wayward are recording new material in the studio, gigging locally, and are seeking new opportunities to bring their brand of raw, original rock to Mainland Australia and Europe.