Get to Know Maru

DIY Noise Pop at Its Finest

Courtesy Photo

Name: Maru

The players: Garrett Leong (guitar), Sydney Hengst (vocals/bass), Riley Giffin (vocals/guitar), Nico Bleackley (vocals), Joey McDermott (drums)

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA

Did you guys toss around other band names before you settled on Maru? Garrett, Joey, Riley, and Syd were playing as Blossom and Joey; Riley, Syd, and Nico were playing as Mallards. After a while, it made more sense to all just play together. Nico came up with the name Maru.

If you had to describe Maru’s sound in three words, what would they be? Eclectic, lush, ethereal pop

What was the first record/CD you purchased? Either The White Album or Nirvana’s Unplugged (Nico); The Best of Handel (Syd)

What was the first concert you attended? Weird Al (Nico); The Village People at the California State Fair (Syd); Also Weird Al (Riley)

Was there a band/artist that made you want to pursue music? Blink 182 (Joey, Nico)

What’s the last song that made you cry? “Pitseleh” by Elliott Smith (Nico)

If you could write a song with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Winona Ryder, even though she is not a musician and kind of borderline crazy now (Syd); Steve Albini, Britt Walford, or David Byrne (Nico)

What’s your proudest Santa Barbara music scene moment? Playing the first Funzone show with Watercolor Paintings



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