A four-piece rock band won the Central Otago Smokefreerockquest regional final at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Saturday night.
The Wolfmen from Mount Aspiring College named themselves earlier this year, when two band members had beards, and stuck with the name even though the three year 12 and one year 13 student are now clean shaven.
Bassist Elliot Stephen says the band has a rock sound with elements of funk, and jams together on an idea, to work out their songs. He says their focus on stage presence on Saturday night paid off.
"There were other bands with songs as good as ours, but we decided we didn't want to be just about songs," he says. "We went out there with a focus on having fun - our stage presence got us through and we pushed past the other bands."
The other members of The Wolfmen are Jack Reaney (drums), Eugene Wolfin (vocals), Conor Rutherford (lead guitar)
Second place went to The Fletchers from Wakatipu High School, made up of George Hartshorn (lead guitar), Jacob Sheehy (rhythm guitar), Sam Maxwell (bass and vocals) Damon Spijkerbosch (drums and synthesizer).
These top two bands win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and go on to compete for one of eight national finalist spots in this year's Smokefreerockquest national final at Claudelands in Hamilton on 22 September.
Rockquest Promotions Founders and Directors Glenn Common and Pete Rainey said from here on the Central Otago finalists would have to work hard and draw on their creativity to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.
"In August judges will be selecting the eight finalists from DVDs of their own original music," Common said. "There are a range of skills they'll need to pull this together - creativity and musical ability are important, but they also learn to work together as a group and have to be well organised to produce the video footage that could be their next step towards Kiwi music success."
The eight national finalists will be selected from a pool made up of first and second place-getters from each of the 24 regional finals, and bands from Rockshop Second Chance, an opportunity for established bands who feel they didn't play at their best on the night.
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, with the opportunity to open at the SFRQ National final.
Other regional awards made on Saturday night:
Third place winning musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers: The Alpine Effect, Wakatipu High School
APRA Lyric Award and Lowdown Best Song: Adventure Time, Wakatipu High School for their song 'Showcase'.
The Mainz Musicianship Award with the opportunity to be selected for the $4500 Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand Scholarship, announced at the national final: Adam Hardy, guitarist and vocalist for The Alpine Effect, Wakatipu High School
Smokefree Award For Women's Musicianship: the lead singer for Feeding Dave from Cromwell College.
Skinny People's Choice voted by text: Oddity from Mt Aspiring College.
To find out more about Smokefreerockquest 2012, visit the official website sfrq.co.nz.
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