Catching Katchafire And Busekrus

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - April 13, 2011
New Zealand’s Katchafire, which headlines Mayjah Rayjah at the shell saturday, released this album Friday. Photos from Melissa Moniz

Hawaii has embraced New Zealand’s Katchafire as one of its very own.

And the feeling is mutual.

“It amazing the love we get from Hawaii - we are indeed grateful and humbled by it,” says Logan Bell, guitarist and vocalist. “There is a sense of coming home when we go there - it’s the band’s favorite place in the world to play! We love you, Hawaii!”

This Saturday Katchafire returns to Hawaii to headline the Mayjah Rayjah happening at the Waikiki Shell, and will be joined by Kolohe Kai, Ho’onua, ooklah the Moc, Rebel souljahz, cease Fire and sheriff Brown. For more info or tickets, visit

But before it hits Oahu, Katchafire has a concert Friday on Maui. And there’ll be no rest and relaxation, because it performs again Sunday on the Big Island. Too bad, since Katchafire arrives in Hawaii coming off a Mainland tour that involved 22 gigs in 26 days. Which is fitting, since the group released its album On The Road Again yesterday (April 12). So, yes, its appearance at Mayjah Rayjah is a continuation of its On The Road Again 2011 Album Tour, so expect the latest songs from the album.

On The Road Again, which follows the success of Katchafire’s three previous releases, features a collection of songs inspired by the group’s life on tour.

“I think that we have all grown as men over the last 10 years on the road, widening our musical boundaries refined our sound,” says Bell. “And by sharing some great experiences, we have definitely become more confident in the studio and as songwriters, which has made for a more diverse and unique sound.”

On The Road Again features 12 songs: On The Road Again, Sweet As, Yr Dreaming, Lead Us, Irie, Groove Again, Feels Like, One Stop Shop, Chances Are, Is This Familiar, Seek Ye and Serious.

With definite Katchafire personality jammed into each track, the album reflects why it continues to uphold its reputation as one of New Zealand’s hardest-working bands and one of Hawaii’s favorite reggae bands.

Since recording its first CD in 2002, Katchafire’s popularity has been worldwide, not just through albums and downloads, but because of the group’s dedication to giving fans live performances.

Busekrus takes the stage at Hawaiian Brian’s Friday to celebrate the release of its new cD ‘this is Real’

“We have been on the road, and it’s been our sole occupation,” adds Bell. “Being a family unit is our strength, because I don’t think we would have made it this far without the family element.” ...

Busekrus, a three-piece Kailua-based rock band made up of lead singer Marcus Busekrus, drummer Mike Jones and bass player Demitri Marmarsh, has lots to celebrate with the release of their latest record This Is Real.

Join Busekrus as it takes the stage this Friday at Hawaiian Brian’s Billiards for its official CD release party, hosted by nathan emmans of national touring act the Art of Whimsy. Pimpbot, Disaster Kit, A sedated nation and human beat-box sensation Jason tom also will be there.

In between sets, there’s free pool, free pingpong, free arcade games and prize giveaways - all for a $10 cover charge. And all ages are welcome. The fun begins at 8 p.m.

The band’s new album This Is Real is a seven-song EP that marks a bittersweet accomplishment for the group, as it’s the first project done without original band member LJ Busekrus, Marcus’ brother.

“LJ left basically because he got married and had to get a real job, but he supports us completely,” says Marcus. “And sure it is hard to get used to working with a new guy after working with LJ for pretty much my entire life, but the benefit is that we did get a fresh perspective with Demitri.”

For this album, Busekrus worked to fine-tune its sound.

“Compared to our first albums we spent about 10 times more time and effort on the songs,” says Marcus. “And part of that reason is because our recording engineer also is our bass player, so it allowed us to have much more time in the studio. So we were really able to mature and flesh out our songs.”

The group also requested the help of Los Angeles producer Manny nieto, whose credits include working with Los Lobos and nirvana.

“Manny came in and said a lot of things we didn’t want to hear, but having another professional come in and tell us the things that we needed to hear forced us to stretch out from our comfort zone,” says Marcus. “He was able to get us to where we needed to be.”

The group describes their new polished sound as modern rock with pop, rock ‘n’ roll and punk influences.

“We’ve finally come to a point where we have one solid sound, and all the songs sound like they belong on the album. It’s one familiar personality,” Marcus adds.

Busekrus also promises a show that goes beyond anything it has ever done before. In addition to the music lineup, prizes, games and pool, the audience also will be part of the audio and video recording of the show ...

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