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Mentor Bands Teach What Textbooks Can’t

August 9, 2004

Mentor Bands Teach What Textbooks Can’t

Bands in the final stages of selection for the CokeSmokefreeRockquest are thriving in a mentoring programme funded by the Ministry of Education…

Now in its third year, the CokeSmokefreeRockquest Band Mentoring Programme provides a unique opportunity for fledgling bands to gain insights into everything from the realities of the music industry to tips on live performing.

The programme involves the top two bands selected at each regional final being placed with a high profile local band for a one-to-one mentoring session and a live performance at their school.

Mentors for 2004 include Auckland pop-punk group GOODNIGHT NURSE; Wellington rock band AUTOZAMM; 2003 CokeSmokefreeRockquest winners, Christchurch indie-rockers FALTER and internationally acclaimed singer Anika Moa.

Rockquest Promotions Founder and Director Glenn Common says the mentoring programme has become an integral part of the bands’ passage through the competition.

“The feedback we get from the bands is that the information they get through these mentoring sessions is something they can’t get from reading books or talking to their teachers. The mentors are themselves only four or five years ahead of the bands they counsel, so the experience of starting out in the industry is still very fresh for them – they know what kind of pointers help at that stage,” says Glenn.

Jo Einarsson, from Taranaki band RIVAL STATE, says the mentoring programme has been one of the best aspects of the competition for the band so far.

“GOODNIGHT NURSE taught us so much – how the [music] industry works, how they got grants, what it’s like touring. They changed the way we approach writing music and even inspired us to write a song. They’re wicked guys and we’re still in touch by email,” says Jo.

Alison Sykora, Regional Corporate Affairs Manager at Coca-Cola Oceania, says the programme is a true alignment with the objectives of CokeSmokefreeRockquest.

“Coke is a major supporter of New Zealand music at all levels and giving young New Zealand musicians first-hand insights into the music industry is what the CokeSmokefreeRockquest is all about” she says.

A record 649 bands from Kaitaia to Invercargill entered the CokeSmokefreeRockquest, now in its 17th year.

The judging of CokeSmokefreeRockquest regional finals will be complete in mid August, after which the 12 semi-finalists will be named. From these, six bands will be chosen to perform at the final on October 16 in Auckland.


August 13 Manukau regional final August 14 Northland regional final October 2
Smokefree Pacifica Beats final October 16 CokeSmokefreeRockquest national final


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