The Mutes will rock

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 07:40 14/12/2012
The Mutes

MAKING MUSIC: Members of The Mutes (from mars), from left: Nathan Child, Gabriel Ashby, Miranda Mills, Jared Barrington, Jonathon Gill and Lisa Hannam will perform at Glen Eden Christmas in the Park this weekend.

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They're The Mutes by name but definitely not by nature.

In fact, they're the complete opposite and blow listeners away with their unique rock sounds and moving lyrics.

Made up of six members with intellectual disabilities from the organisation, A Supported Life, The Mutes (from mars) play an array of instruments including the keyboard, bass guitar and drums.

The band performs at Glen Eden Christmas in the Park this weekend.

Te Atatu South resident Nathan Child, 26, plays the bass guitar and has always had a passion for making music.

"A miracle came to me and we all got together to form the band," he says.

"I'm living the dream. I'd go through hell, heaven and earth to keep us together and stop us from breaking up."

With the help of A Supported Life tutor Sam Benge who sings and plays guitar in the band, The Mutes (from mars) formed two years ago.

They've since accomplished great things including touring New Zealand with Australian band Rudely Interrupted in March this year and have created their own album, Just Us, a collection of 10 songs they'll perform on Saturday.

Miranda Mills and Lisa Hannam sing and play the keyboard in the band and get inspiration for writing songs from everyday activities like watching movies.

Miranda, a David Bowie fan, says their songs reflect his style. "He's my idol and that's how I was encouraged to come into the band.

"I've received so much support from A Supported Life who've encouraged me to use my greater talents. I'm so lucky," she says.

"There are a lot of people out there with hidden talents so we love to inspire people with not just intellectual disabilities but physical as well," Miranda says.

Supported Life general manager Stuart Spackman says he's living his youth vicariously though the band.

"They're very accomplished. There aren't many bands like this that are playing really good music," he says.

A Supported Life offers a wide range of support opportunities to adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities and Mr Spackman says next year, the band will work with IHC New Zealand and Idea Services to promote a talent contest in the northern region.

The Mutes (from mars) will perform at Glen Eden Christmas in the Park at 3pm on Saturday at Ceramco Park from 10am to 6pm.

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- Western Leader

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