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Smokefreerockquest national final – Hamilton September 22

Media Release Smokefreerockquest national final – Hamilton September 22

Founders Theatre in Hamilton will be the backdrop for what could be New Zealand’s next music sensation, when the Smokefreerockquest national final puts the top eight high school bands in the country on stage next month (September 22)

700 bands from across the country played off in 25 regional finals from May through to August and the judges have now announced the top eight.

Petrina George from APRA, Jeff Newton from NZ on Air and Jaden Parkes from Sony Music said the standard was high, but that was no surprise given the Smokefreerockquest pedigree – with success stories such as Jesse Sheehan, Anna Mac, Jason Kerrison and Anika Moa.

Jaden Parkes, Sony Music’s head of A&R said there was potential for all the finalists to succeed in the industry: “It depends on how much they want it and how much work they are prepared to put in,” he said. “They were all chosen because we thought they had potential to move on and do more with their music.”

THE EIGHT NATIONAL FINALISTS ARE (fuller bio, band members & contacts at end of this release)
Luke and Amberly, Kamo High School, Whangarei an acoustic duo who play pop with their own twist.

Indi, ACG Senior College, Auckland, a singer-songwriter with music and lyrics that already won an award.

Intone, Glendowie College, Auckland an alternative duo with a fresh and different sound.

Sunday Best, St. Peter’s School, Cambridge, a quirky indie band who enjoy creating music that is infectious and makes you want to groove.

Noriac, Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth, a four piece progressive metal instrumental band.

A Bit Nigel, Taupo-Nui-A-Tia College, Taupo are building on the harmonies and melodic songs that got them into the top six bands last year with a more rocky sound.

Culture Kids, Wanganui High School & Wanganui City College play new age funk pop with a few jazzy chords in the mix to create their tight sound.

New Vinyl, Nelson College, a quirky three-piece band with a folk jazz sound and an unusual combination of instruments including double bass and piano accordion.

Guest acts are electro pop band Zowie (MTV Iggy Best New Band of 2011) and Auckland punk three-piece The Jury & The Saints.

Zowie is a self professed pop music mega fan and makes some of the catchiest tunes this side of anywhere. From Auckland, but now often in Sydney, Zowie (aka Zoe Fleury) delivers a bubbling mix of synth-pop and electro chants that has penetrated international borders and garnered attention and support the world over. International accolades continue, with Zowie performing for APRA at their Song Summit Showcase, winning best NZ Video for Broken Machine at the Juice TV Awards, and shortlisted out of 700 bands by MTV for their MTV Iggy Best New Band of 2011. MTV says: "With just a handful of singles under her belt and a Bettie-Page-as-a-sexy-robot look, she's poised to challenge the Ke$has and Gagas of this world for total pop music dominance."

Auckland punk three-piece The Jury & The Saints were originally a two-piece, but when the drummer moved on Jesse Smith (vocals, guitar) asked Ivan Beets (bass) and Martin Kroon (drums) to join the ranks. This gave the band more focus and forged their well-respected live show. In the studio again the band independently recorded and produced a new batch of songs. As soon as this EP titled Revival was finished they hit the road on a nationwide tour of NZ. Their captivating live shows propelled the new EP to debut at No.4 on the New Zealand top 40 charts, and No.1 on the New Zealand singles chart, and peaked at the No.2 spot in the NZ top 40.

Opening band: Skinny People's Choice winners from all of the 25 regional finals are drumming up support to be flown to Hamilton to be the opening guest band at the final. txt your favourite Skinny People’s Choice regional winner’s band name to 5678, more info at facebook.com/thesrfq

The national final is at Founders Theatre in Hamilton on September 22 Tickets are $10, doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

Fans can get to Hamilton for the show by going to facebook.com/thesrfq and voting for their favourite ex-Smokefreerockquest competitor from names such as Kimbra, Brooke Fraser and Opshop to win flights, accommodation and VIP tickets.

Smokefreerockquest powered by Rockshop, has a prize package that includes musical gear to the value of $10,000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, a NZ On Air new recording and music video grant worth over $10,000, a place on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, a radio promotional support for a single, and video play on youth music channel FOUR. There is also the MAINZ Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award and the Skinny People’s Choice, voted by text.

To find out more about Smokefreerockquest 2012, visit the official website sfrq.co.nz.


We have pix available on request.

Luke and Amberly, Kamo High School, Whangarei
Luke Reilly and Amberly Shepherd are an acoustic duo from Whangarei who are going out together, and have been playing music for over a year. Luke composes and Amberly writes the lyrics, describing their sound as pop ‘with our own twist’.

Indi, ACG Senior College, Auckland
Indira Force is singer-songwriter Indi. She loves to experiment and explore different genres such as indie, folk, pop, alternative, electronic and (most recently) ambient. Indi won the 2012 NZ Post national 'Creative Break' competition with her original song Green.

Intone, Glendowie College, Auckland
Intone is an alternative duo consisting of Evan Sinton on vocals and guitar, and Hamish Jackson on drums. The band follows a wide range of artists from Muddy Waters to Bocelli and Grizzly Bear to Led Zeppelin, which helps keep their songs fresh and different.

Sunday Best, St. Peter’s School, Cambridge
Three eccentrics with different musical backgrounds make up Sunday Best - Jesse Austin on bass, Charlie Verberne lead vocals and guitar, and Chris Milson on drums are Year 11 students from Cambridge who describe their music as ‘elephant pop’. Sunday best is a quirky indie band who enjoy creating music that is infectious and makes you want to groove.

Noriac, Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth
That rare thing in the SFRQ final, an instrumental band. Noriac is a four piece that relies on the amazing melodies of lead guitarist Ryuki Han in place of lyrics. The band’s sound is ‘djent’, a staccato high-gain, distorted, palm-muted guitar spinoff of progressive metal. Rhythm guitarist Fraser Walker describes the drummer Luke Burn as holding the whole band together, even though he’s only 16; underpinned by bass player, Caleb Brbich.

A Bit Nigel, Taupo-Nui-A-Tia College, Taupo
It is déjà vu for Taupo-nui-a-Tia College band A Bit Nigel. Hamish Nixon, Sam Marshall, and Manawa Veitayaki took their pop-rock sound to the Smokefreerockquest stage for the third time this year, building on the harmonies and melodic songs that got them into the top six bands last year. The band’s sound is now more rocky with more synth - plus the odd flair of colour.

Culture Kids, Wanganui High School & Wanganui City College
Culture Kids write their songs collaboratively, with lead vocalist Nai McGregor coming up with lyrics and melodies, guitarist Max Brown helping out with some chords, and bass player Thomas Powell and keyboardist Katelyn Brown adding their bit. But it’s the drummer, Josiah Hodson that makes sure their pitch is perfect. Their music style is new age funk pop with a few jazzy chords in the mix to create their tight sound.

New Vinyl, Nelson College
A quirky three-piece band with a folk jazz sound and an unusual combination of instruments - Alex Farrell-Davey on guitar, Ed Palmer on double bass and Allister Meffan on piano accordion They say being true to themselves is important, and that doing their own thing gives them a genuine originality that comes through in their songs.

Smokefreerockquest – 24 years of musical success
Smokefreerockquest is New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, original music, youth event. Now well into its third decade, the series of over 40 events reaches audiences from Whangarei to Invercargill. Founded in 1988 by music teachers Glenn Common and Pete Rainey, who now run Rockquest Promotions full time out of Nelson, Smokefreerockquest has become a New Zealand institution.
Smokefreerockquest 2012 powered by Rockshop aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers, and to encourage their peers to support 100% original New Zealand music. For more information visit www.sfrq.co.nz

Hall of Fame
Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 24-year history include Kimbra, Midnight Youth, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Minuit, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Pistol Youth, Annah Mac, Bang!Bang!Eche!, Ivy Lies, Cairo Knife Fight, Cut Off Your Hands, Luke Thompson, the Datsuns, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Anna Coddington, The Electric Confectionaires, Steriogram, Aaradhna, Spacifix, Phoenix Foundation, The Feelers, The Black Seeds, Nesian Mystik, Bic Runga, The Checks, Julia Deans, Pine, King Kapisi, Kingston, The Naked and Famous, Autozamm and Elemeno P.

Smokefree’s Smoking Not Our Future Campaign
Research shows that 94 percent of all young people have seen the Smoking Not Our Future initiative and that Smokefreerockquest plays a large part in getting its key messages and its celebrities in front of young people. Smokefree has been the naming rights sponsor of Smokefreerockquest for 22 of its 24 years and this longstanding partnership between the two agencies has been mutually beneficial. Smokefree is able to deliver its messages to large numbers of secondary school students attending the regional events. While participants in the event are provided with connections to their schools and communities and develop skills and aspirations, which will help create the future musical stars of New Zealand. For more information visit notourfuture.co.nz


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