James Tito, Maaka Pohatu, Matariki Whatarau and Francis Kora make up the Modern Māori Quartet. In this extended Funny As interview, they talk about their take on traditional Māori showbands, including:
- The “garage party” or “Māori guitar party” being at the heart of what they do — “the joy, the humour, the mocking”, and how if they could get a song into a “Māori garage party” then they"d have “clocked life”
- The multi-disciplinary nature and professionalism of Aotearoa's showbands, and how they made it look effortless
- How The Howard Morrison Quartet were a great bridge “between two different cultures”, and Howard Morrison being the “ultimate inspiration” for what they do — and doing their best to “uphold the tradition”
- Being the Modern Māori Duet for their very first gig, since only two of them could make it
- Taking their show Ngā Bro E Whā (now Two Worlds) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and calling themselves “the All Blacks meets The Jersey Boys … anything to get people in the doors”
- Being able to deliver a message in a digestible way — and “humour as a device” being a “beautiful, tricky thing”
This interview was recorded for 2019 TV series
Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy.
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extended interviews made possible with funding from the NZ Lotteries Grants Board.