1. Can you tell us a little bit about X-Wave?
X-Wave came about after a few of us left the far-right and were talking about our musical influences. It was obvious we shared many similar tastes, and then looking to do something , we decided to form X-Wave and see what we could do to widen awareness that people can walk away and rebuild their lives away from extremism. We are are pleased we did it as its opening things up. Our music may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it's both therapeutic - talking about things, but also worthwhile with people getting in touch, because of the music.
2. What does the name mean?
Simply put it’s a play on Fashwave. Something which promotes an ideology we have now walked away from. We wanted to develop on it, but show there was a different path people could take if they wanted to, hence the X in X-Wave. We are X far-right and support people Exiting that lifestyle.
3. Who’s involved?
It’s a mix, we have a couple of us who are the core collective and then we have other people come and go. It’s a great way of doing things, especially as we are both from different ends of the country.
4. What are your musical influences? This varies – we love bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Cocteau Twins etc and music styles like – Darkwave & Synthwave. Other bands include She Past Away & Xymox, but there are many, many others.
5. What do you want to achieve?
It's two-fold, we want to make music we enjoy making, but also offer something which allows people to sit back, listen and think. We feel via very simple messages, it will help people think about what they are doing involved in extremism and help them to look beyond that lifestyle and the future , away from all the chaos that involvement brings. Here we use samples/other voices to allow us to create something that is a little different from what people think far-right activists listen to.
6. What do people say?
Most are quite shocked, by the fact we are Formers and playing this type of music. Most people think that far-right people listen to a lot heavier sounding music like skinhead, punk or thrash. Some people do, our musical tastes are wide, but we enjoy a more electronic approach and people are interested which is great.
7. Is there a time limit to the project?
No, we agreed at the start that we wanted to see what happens and how it all goes. We have had a few talks about this, and we will continue as long as we are enjoying doing it, hopefully a long time. (Unless you know different?).
8. Are you glad you have left politics behind? YES! It was tiring, difficult and we were continually paranoid about what was happening. The far-right talk a lot about comradeship, but the reality is very different with infighting, corruption and big egos. Once you are involved and start seeing it and stop turning a blind eye to what is happening, you start to see how being involved harms you and the people you care about. Then when you realise this, there is only one thing to do - Admit you are wrong and leave.
Lots of people stay, because it is what they know and have friends involved, but it's so harmful for people to be involved. We now support the Phoenix Project & also Exit UK and have a much better support network than we have ever had. Both networks are full of genuine people who care and are there for you. That’s priceless!
9. Why did you decide to link up with the Phoenix Project? The Phoenix Project is a cracking idea, bringing together Formers producing different types of music is genius. We like the idea of being linked to a network and sharing experiences and supporting each other. We hope more people will get involved and create a catalogue of music people can dip into and enjoy. We want to create a place anyone can come, choose a track and get a very different feeling, learning what it is like being in the far-right and how things can change if you want it to. Here Phoenix GB excel at this and some of their tracks blow us away with their honesty.
X-Wave aren’t there yet, to have that sort of level of discussion. Its actually traumatic in many ways leaving and having to be open with yourself and others, admitting you are wrong and taking ownership of what you have done, said and been involved in. We are about opening doors, while others involved with the Phoenix Project are about smashing them open and putting everything out there. Hats off to them and this is why Phoenix works.
10. Anything you would like to add?
Only we are amazed about how people like what we do, we didn’t expect it, at all and thought it would be just be a case of something we did to help us deal with walking away. We are really glad we have develop X-Wave and it's useful. We would like to thank people for their support, thank you.
Moving forward, people involved in the Phoenix network have decided that instead of using lots of different platforms like – SoundCloud, Facebook, Bandcamp etc everyone involved has agreed that from now on, the Phoenix Project will concentrate on putting everything we do on the main Phoenix Music webpage on this site, website so, if anyone wants to know what anyone is doing, this is the place to go.
Finally, thanks for this and asking us for our thoughts. We are really pleased to be involved with Phoenix and just do something. To end, If anyone is reading this and thinking about leaving the far-right, Just Do It! You can now get support from others who have been there and done it. Just reach out and contact www.exithate.org These people will give you there all. You won’t be judged, and they are there to help.
Exit is independent, non-judgemental and non-political. Everything is in confidence and they get it. So please reach out and use this service.
If anyone has a family member involved, please visit www.exitfamilysupport.org Run by Exit, this is aimed at supporting families with a loved one involved. You are not alone.