Triple J Unearthed Winners Mar Haze

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Mar Haze is a band that’s really starting to make a name for itself. Drummer Jarin Penniall calls Port Macquarie home, and he shares with us his excitement over the release of the band’s self-titled EP, the airplay they’ve received on triple j and plans for the future …

Where do you hail from originally, where do you base yourself these days … and what do you most love about the area you call home?

I was born and raised in Port Macquarie and still live here now. I do a lot of travelling with the band and always love coming back home. Apart from uncrowded surf, I love being around my friends and family. Port Macquarie is just a great place to live.

How did Mar Haze come to form – where did you guys meet each other?

Chris, Kane and Dean all went to JMC Academy in Sydney together, and started the band with a different drummer. I grew up with Kane (the keyboard player) through school, so we knew each other quite well and one day he messaged me saying his band needed a drummer. I had gone to a Mar Haze gig a few months before and loved what they were doing, so it was an easy decision to jump on board.

What does “Mar Haze” mean – how did you come up with the name?

Well, this came from Mar being Spanish for sea and Haze just meaning haze. Pretty simple name, but it’s a bit different and it stands out, which means people always remember us!

Describe the band’s sound …

It’s a very diverse arrangement of music. There is rock, roots, dub and a bit of synth pop in there as well. It really does reflect each member’s influence. We all bring something so different in our heads to rehearsal, that we never know how a song is going to end up.

The four band members play an eclectic collection of instruments. What do you play, and what do you feel you bring to the band personally as a musician?

I’m the drummer, so I don’t really play an instrument! I have a programme, Ableton, on my computer to chuck down any ideas I have, and it has worked quite well to contributing to the song writing process.

I was also fortunate enough to tour Australia in another band a few years ago, which taught me a lot about the industry and gave me some great contacts, who are thankfully always happy to help out and offer priceless advice.

As a band you’re somewhat renowned for your live antics and genuinely fun stage performances. What’s been the most unusual thing you’ve ever done on stage?

Dean did a handstand and shorted out the venue by getting a guitar string end stuck in a power board. But the coolest thing was not us, but the crowd! Earlier this year, on a cold stormy day, we supported the Beautiful Girls at the Finnian’s Irish Pub car park gig in Port Macquarie. As we started playing, the crowd picked up all the gazebos and moved them in front of the stage so they could dance! It was nuts! It got us even more fired up, and the crowd were having a great time!

Your new self-titled EP was released in July. Describe this for us – how does it differ from your earlier work?

We had a great time producing our latest EP. Our producer, Ian Pritchett, was responsible for recent Beautiful Girls and Angus and Julia Stone’s recordings, so we were stoked when he approached us and expressed interest in working with us.

The songs themselves are a great representation of the band’s recent growth. It’s a lot more mature, and we’ve really come into our own sound. The Music reviewed it and gave it 3.5 stars, which made the print edition.

The band will be playing at FOTSUN in December. How did this come about – why were you selected to play this gig?

It was a crazy few weeks, actually! It started off with She’s Not Lovin’ getting played on triple j, and then the week after Barbershop got a spin too. We were just so stoked at that! Then during an intense game of tennis, Kane got a phone call saying that we had won the triple j unearthed spot for FOTSUN. It got announced at 12pm on triple j, during the Music News segment the following day.  It’s been great to be added to a top festival that we all love. Plus, we’re already starting to see some great results from the exposure.

Where’s the band headed in 2016 … what’s on the drawing board?

At the moment we are busy writing and touring with a new single we’re planning to release in early 2016. We’ve also got a national tour coming up in February, supporting reggae legend Maxi Priest. Also keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the launch of the music video for Barbershop, which will be out very soon!

Where can readers download your music or find out more about you?

We have CDs available at all our shows, instore at JB HIFI, or online at www.marhaze.com.au/store. It’s also available for download via iTunes, and some of our songs are available for free download on our triple j unearthed page.

Thanks Jarin.

Interview by Jo Atkins.

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