To celebrate the release of Mar Haze’s latest EP Good Money, we reached out to the band for some insight. With the collaborative, non-linear approach they take to making music, we knew we’d be in for a treat.
Without further ado, let’s hand the reins to drummer Jarin Penniall, bassist Chris Kelly, keyboard wiz Kane Charles, and lead singer plus guitarist Pat Kelly for a track-by-track rundown through Good Money.
Want to know how Good Money, the latest EP from Mar Haze came together? Take it from the band themselves, this is a release with heart.
JARIN: Fit Freddie has a cool vibe from the start. A really dubby bass line and real traditional style keys and guitar. The drum part practically wrote itself. It lays a simple groove to really let all the syncopated parts move around it. Heaps of fun to play live.
CHRIS: I remember thinking I wanted to make a huge sounding dub song with a fat ass bass line that was relatively simple. So I came up with this bass line while we were playing on the central coast. It was a little slow though and didn’t really flow as a song, so we sped it up and chucked in a funky keys riff over the top and it just popped!
KANE: This tune originally started as a piano riff. It wasn’t until I started to mess around with different rhythms and organ sounds that I found what I was after for the opening keys line. The bridge riff is probably my favourite part to play live out of all the songs. Really has a good feel and groove.
PAT: The structure of this came together pretty seamlessly. We must’ve just been in the right mind set or something. Chris came in with this fat bass line and then when we were jamming, Kane came out with this keys riff that just made it work. Definitely one of my favourites on the EP.
CHRIS: Good Money started when we were up at the Sunshine Coast. I must have been listening to a few heavier rock songs at the time cos the riff just popped into my head while we were jamming. This has always been one of my favourite songs to play off the EP. it’s just got heaps of energy and groove. Feels right.
KANE: This was probably the most time consuming for me. Took me ages to find the sounds that suited the song. In the end it was just a matter of playing the right rock organ and a few bubbles in the chorus to make me happy. I really enjoyed writing the keys line before the second verse. Our producer Ian worked with me on this and pushed me until we both felt that it had what it needed.
PAT: It took a while to get this one right. For a while I couldn’t think of a melody or even what to sing, then Chris told me to “sing about something that frustrates you”. Then just like that a punchy chorus came out.
JARIN: Yeah this one was tricky. We would jam on it then leave it and come back. For some reason putting the song together as a whole was challenging but really showed our character when it came to driving hard to finish it off so we weren’t letting a great riff just be rendered useless. I’m so glad we didn’t give up on it because it’s now one of our favourites!
CHRIS: Wonderland was one of those songs where I had to spend a lot of time working out a riff for. I spent a lot of time in front of the computer recording different ideas for it and finally found one I was stoked with! Then Pat changed the key and the riff didn’t work anymore. But when he changed the key the song slowed down, so a riff instantly popped into my head and it’s pretty much what you hear on the EP.
PAT: I feel like this is the most relatable song on the EP for people to listen to. I had a chord progression that I used to play and loved but had never thought to put into one of our songs. The boys went to take a piss when we were working on this song and they came back to a whole new chorus.
KANE: This track was a ‘less is more’ approach for me. I just let the groove and feel work with the synth pad and little improv in between verses. I remember having the conversation to Jarin about the track being boring and we might have to put this on the spares pile. It wasn’t until we recorded it and added the guitar stabs that it started to become one of my favourites.
JARIN: Myself and Kane actually considered dropping this song on the way to recording! It had a great backbone and structure but felt bland when we rehearsed it. Wasn’t until we started hearing it unfold in a studio setting that we realised its full potential. It really came alive with Pat’s guitar work and Kane’s s synth. The drum part was awesome to write as I laid right back into it.
KANE: Strange was one I wanted a fair bit of piano to feature in, and to add some interesting chord progressions. I don’t get to use jazz chords in our songs very often and at the end bridge Jarin tipped his hat to put in a weird progression that is really different to our other songs.
PAT: This song was hard to nail for a while for me. Using falsetto in the chorus imitating a girl’s voice was definitely a challenge but it works well. It’s a fairly easy listening sort of song and will take you for a ride with a jazzy ending.
JARIN: Strange is a cool little track and one that is very left of field for us. vocals, jazz progressions and busy drums were unleashed onto it but it still maintains a very chilled and relaxed song. Ian actually asked me to do Falsetto more fills on the drums which is absolutely unheard of in the studio!
CHRIS: Strange was just one of those vanilla riffs I came up with that worked well with the song. I didn’t need to change it much because it was just what the song needed.
Don’t Hold on
JARIN: This was the first track we wrote when we began writing for the EP. Every rehearsal we would play it and change it ever so slightly until we really couldn’t do any more. I enjoy this song greatly as every time I play it, it reminds me of the time we spent on it. Real electronic-style vibe with the drums adding some double snare hits and delayed strikes in the chorus.
PAT: Being one of the first songs we started writing for the EP it changed… a lot! Like Good Money, it took a while to settle and be happy on a melody. I’m happy with how it’s turned out. A groovy song with a big ending!
CHRIS: Don’t Hold On drove me crazy for ages! I couldn’t work out anything to play that suited the song. I decided to crack out all my favourite dub artists and get some inspiration. And after a week of tinkering, I finally found the perfect balance of groove and drive that the verses needed!
KANE: This came together after playing around with some synth sounds on Ableton. I wanted a simple chord progression as the chorus hook similar to one of our old songs called My Home.
Good Money tour
April 27 – EP Launch – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – Details
May 25 – Selina’s, Coogee Bay Hotel – Details
June 1 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore – Details
June 2 – The Brewery, Byron Bay – Details
July 13 – Rhythm Hut, Gosford – Details