Waxwing (band)

Last updated
Left to Right: Rocky Votolato, Andrew Hartley, Cody Votolato, Rudy Gajadhar
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Emo, indie rock
Years active 1996–2005
Labels Henry's Finest
Second Nature
Associated acts Rocky Votolato
The Blood Brothers
Gatsbys American Dream
Jaguar Love
Head Wound City
Bugs in Amber
Lying on Loot
Website Archived Site
Past members Rocky Votolato
Rudy Gajadhar
Andrew Hartley
Cody Votolato

Waxwing was an indie rock band from Seattle, Washington.

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. As grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, it came to be used to identify those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.



The band was formed in 1996 after the dissolution of Lying on Loot, of which Rocky Votolato (vocals/guitar) and Rudy Gajadhar (drums) were members. The two began playing music with bassist Andrew Hartley and later recruited Rocky's younger brother Cody as a second guitarist.

Rocky Votolato, is an American singer-songwriter.

Cody Votolato American guitarist

Cody Votolato is a musician from Redmond, Washington, best known for being the guitarist in the post-hardcore band The Blood Brothers. He grew up in the eastside suburbs of Seattle. Cody attended Redmond High School with his bandmates in the late 1990s when the band originally formed, graduating Spring of 2000. His accomplished thrashy and discordant style, exhibited in early Blood Brothers albums and in Head Wound City, has evolved into a more melodic and experimental sound in recent years. Votolato's older brother Rocky Votolato is a folk musician and solo artist who played in the band Waxwing with his brother, as well as with Rudy Gajadhar, the older brother of The Blood Brothers' drummer Mark Gajadhar. Votolato also contributed artwork to The Blood Brothers' album ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn. On September 4, 2012, it was announced that Cody has joined Cold Cave as touring guitarist.

The band released a self-titled 7" single for Henry's Finest Recordings before signing with Second Nature Recordings. The band released their debut full-length, For Madmen Only , in 1999 and released a follow-up in 2000, titled One for the Ride . In this time, the band's profile in the Seattle music scene had grown substantially. Rocky had released several solo albums containing material he'd written that didn't fit Waxwing's style while Cody's other band, The Blood Brothers, had gained significant popularity.

Second Nature Recordings

Second Nature Recordings is an independent record label based in Kansas City, Missouri. It specializes in indie rock and co-releases vinyl pressings for other labels. The label has released material by Coalesce, The Blood Brothers, Waxwing, These Arms Are Snakes, and The Casket Lottery.

The Blood Brothers (band) band

The Blood Brothers were an American post-hardcore band from 1997-2007, formed in Eastside Seattle. The quintet has released five albums to date, as well as numerous side projects on behalf of the members. They reunited for a series of shows surrounding and including FYF Fest in 2014.

The band's 2001 release, Intervention: Collection+Remix , collected the band's numerous vinyl and compilation appearances and a handful of live and rare tracks. In 2002, the band released Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns and toured briefly in support of the album. In early 2003, the band announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus to focus on their other projects, which now included Gajadhar's role as drummer for Gatsbys American Dream. The band officially broke up in late 2005, stating simply "we are finally calling it quits." [1]

Gatsbys American Dream was an American indie rock band based in Seattle, Washington, United States. Since their founding in 2001, they have released four full-length albums and one EP. They have also appeared on several compilations with original songs and covers. The band's self-titled fourth album, their second on Fearless Records, peaked at number 22 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart and number 28 on the Top Independent Albums chart.

In 2013 the band briefly re-united to play two shows in Seattle at The Black Lodge and The Vera Project on August 23rd and August 24th, respectively. They also played a live session for the radio station KEXP. In an interview with Seattle website The Stranger in April 2013 Rocky Votolato claimed that the band were working on new music, stating "We have been writing since early this year and can't wait to record another record. Not sure when that will happen but we're definitely planning on it." Rocky also claimed the band had "hopefully many more [live shows] to come". However as of July 2018 no new music or live shows have materialised and the band has not updated their Facebook page since January 2014. [2]

Post-Waxwing projects

Rocky Votolato has since enjoyed a successful alt-country solo career. Cody Votolato played in The Blood Brothers until their breakup in late 2007. During this time, he was also in Head Wound City with Jordan Blilie, the vocalist for The Blood Brothers, and members of The Locust. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon and is the guitarist of Jaguar Love with Johnny Whitney, The Blood Brothers' other vocalist.

Head Wound City is an American hardcore punk supergroup consisting of Jordan Blilie and Cody Votolato both of The Blood Brothers, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian, both of The Locust.

Jordan Blilie is the vocalist for the bands Past Lives and Head Wound City, best known as the co-lead vocalist and co-lyricist for The Blood Brothers, from 1997 until their breakup in 2007.

The Locust band

The Locust is an American grindcore band from San Diego, California, United States known for their unique mix of grind speed and aggression, complexity, and new wave weirdness.

Rudy Gajadhar played drums in Bugs in Amber (with Rocky's older brother, Sonny), and also played with Gatsbys American Dream until the release of their 2006 self-titled album, after which point the band went on an unofficial hiatus. The rest of his band went on to play in other bands, not reuniting until 2010.

Andrew Hartley also played as a member of the band Lightheavyweight during the time that Waxwing was active. They released one album on Your Best Guess records before disbanding (members went on to play in Slender Means, which features Rocky's older brother Sonny). He also recorded a track with vocalist James Koppert available as a free download on Myspace under the name 'Vacant Hand Puppet'.


Studio albums

Compilation appearances

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  1. https://www.punknews.org/article/14574/breakups-waxwing-1996-2005
  2. https://www.thestranger.com/lineout/archives/2013/04/03/waxwing-its-good-to-be-back