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New Zealand Music Month 2024 Showcase: Muri

Posted by Lee Densem

Laters, haters

We're midway through New Zealand Music Month so it's time for our next showcase. This year we're talking to a series of artists from the underground all the way up to icon staus in Tiki Taane. This week is a bunch of very well versed musicians who are now doing their own thing under the name Muri. Hear from Noema Te Hau, Sasha Te Whare, Calyb Babbington, and Damian Graham to find out how they bring the noise.

RBF - Let's go all Sound of Music. Tell us about the very beginning, because that's a good place...

Noema - Sasha & I work at a music studio called Big Fan, but we've all known each other for a while. We all studied at a music school called MAINZ and then me, Damo and Calyb play for artist called Paige. So we've just we've all been playing music for ages. Sasha also has a solo project called Reed.

At Big Fan, me and Sasha just started jamming together, writing some stuff, and we were like none of it suits any of our other projects. And then we went across the road to the Morningside Tavern and got a beer. Right. Should make a band.

Sahsa - Literally that second, he called the boys up. And they were like yo!

Noema - So really, we've all played for a while, but Muri itself is actually only barely a year old.

Sasha – Babies, eh.

“He's the koro!"

RBF - Did you all start out like playing music from real young?

Sasha - For me, I started when my brother started learning how to play guitar when I was 13 or 14, and I got a bit jealous. So I was like, I want to learn that.

Noema - Same here. Yeah. Me and Calyb are both from Gizzy, and we used to play hardcore shows.

Calyb - Yeah, I used to go watch Noema play when I was a kid.

Noema - Oh, that makes me sound real old, eh.

Sasha - He's the koro!


“I'm just a creature of dopamine"

RBF - Was it after a couple of years you realised you just wanna do music. And that was you?

Noema - I think for me, I'm just a creature of dopamine. And music just gives you such a large dopamine hit when you're making it when you're. I just wasn't really interested in anything else in music. Financially, man it sucks.

Caleb - It’s quite hard eh!

Noema - But I think we all do it because we love it. We're passionate about it. And yeah, that's why we're here.

"I'm just so sick of like the same sounding bands playing the whole time"

RBF - So when you guys decided to form a band, was there a vision? Did you sit there and be like, OK, what is this gonna be?

Sasha - I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm just so sick of like the same sounding bands playing the whole time. And there's nothing that quite lifted up the energy of things. So think that's where we wanted to plant our foot and chase after the bands like Shapeshifter that do that, and also make our own sounds as well.

Noema - I think we specifically write it for live. We all love to play live. So everything we write is just like ‘will this feel good on stage, will people enjoy this experience’. I think we learned a lot through playing for other artists. We know what we don't want to do. And now we really wanna enjoy ourselves. And try to make everything as stress free as possible.

Damian - Plug in and play.

Noema - And everyone's been on board so far.

“I think we all kind of have that Māoritanga within us and, we all just kind of get it”

RBF - The name Muri. Is there anything associated with that like is? Because ‘muri’ is later in te reo’, right?

Noema - We were called The Afters. So ‘later’ / ‘after’. That's where it came from.

Sasha - We wanted to be like after party vibes, with all the energy. So with The Afters, Muri made sense and we just were like, man that's a cool name.

Noema - Yeah, cause me and Sasha have been doing a lot of reo Māori stuff recently and we're all Māori. Like I think we all kind of have that Māoritanga within us and, we all just kind of get it right.

Sasha - I think it's just that tikanga, eh.

"it's like ripping off a band-aid"

RBF - Your single ‘I Want You’, has been out for a couple of months now. Is it nice to have something officially out there?

Noema - Yeah, it was kind of like, we just need to do it.

Damian - We need to take off somehow.

Noema - So it's like ripping off a band-aid and there it is. We were just talking about the next song today too cause I'm mixing it.

Sasha - It’s gonna be mean.

Calyb - We just need to drop it.

Noema - Yeah, so there's another song on the way very soon. You heard it here first.

Sasha – We’ve got a pretty big backlog of demos and stuff. So just put them out and keep going. Keep enjoying it and refine the process as we go.

Muri's debut single 'I Want You'  is out now (and they allegedly have a new track on the way!). You can find them on socials @mussbemuri, and if you get to hear them live they do a mean *NSYNC cover too.