Smokefreerockquest 2018 Rotorua final results
Three-piece funk rock band Intervene from Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Western Heights High School and Reporoa College took out first place at this year’s Rotorua regional Smokefreerockquest final at the Great Lake Centre on Friday night.
Although the band only formed this year they have practised hard for the competition, and for Meihana McGee, the singer and bass player, all the work was worth it.
“I like that we’re all mates - we enjoy making music and spending time together,” said the 15-year-old, “we’ve spent six months working to get here, now we’re here and we’re enjoying it.”
The other members of Intervene are Jack Asplin on drums, and John Gidlon on guitar. Meihana McGee also won the Smokefree Best Vocal Award.
Second place in the band category went to rock band Vital Exchange, whose members are Mitchell Anderson on drums, Arapeta Henderson on vocals, Anthony Walshe and Matthew Haynes on guitar, and Jonathan Walker on bass.
The solo-duo winner for Rotorua was Samantha McCutchan from Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, and second went to Michaela Pointon from Tauhara College.
These four acts win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and have the opportunity to gain selection for the national final in September.
Smokefreerockquest Founder and director Glenn Common says there are more bands than ever before reaching the high standard required from national finalists.
“This means that real dedication is required to achieve the ‘stand out quality’ that the judges will be looking for,” he said. “They have to capture 15 minutes of their original material on video for selection as national finalists. It’s a process that demands creativity and musical ability, being able to work together as a group and having good organisational skills. What separates them out is perseverance – industry success seldom happens overnight.”
The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play off at the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, preceded by the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21.
The full list of awards for Rotorua is:
Band 1: Intervene, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Western Heights High School, Reporoa College
Band 2: Vital Approach , Western Heights High School
Band 3: D5R3, Rotorua Boys' High School
Solo/Duo 1: Samantha McCutchan, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Solo/Duo 2: Michaela Pointon, Tauhara College
ZM People’s Choice: In The Resource Room, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Smokefree Best Vocals: Meihana McGee of Intervene, Taupo-nui-a-Tia Coll, Western Heights High School, Reporoa College
MAINZ Musicianship: Hohua Aramoana of In The Resource Room, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Best Song: Vital Approach , Western Heights High School
Fatboy Style Award: Brooke More of Threshold from Tauhara College
APRA Lyric Writers’ Award: Michaela Pointon from Tauhara College
The live events run from May 5 until July 6, and most regions are also being filmed for the hugely popular SFRQ webisodes (sfrq.nz), fronted this year by NZ’s ‘First Bloke’ Clarke Gayford.
Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.
Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.