Friday, 07 Oct 2016

Congratulations to Rockquest and Pacifica Beats Winners: Alien weaponry

The Smokefreerockquest came to a head on Saturday September 24 with the finals held at the Raye Freedman Centre in Auckland.

Northland metal band Alien Weaponry won the top prize, capping off their win of Smokefree Pacifica Beats on Friday night, while Auckland singer-songwriter Iris Guevarra was named Smokefreerockquest’s solo-duo section winner for 2016.

The MAINZ Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship went to bassist Ella McLennan from Waikato band the Flock; the APRA Lyric Award went to Byre and Ethan Aish from Hamilton; the Lowdown Best Song Award went to Daffodils; the Smokefree Vocals Award went to Elijah Tuala from Ah Jeez; and the Dominate Style Award went to Half Eaten Pie from Te Awamutu.

The judges were Jeff Newton from NZ on Air, Edge Musical Director Reagan White, Dave Munro from Eccles Entertainment, and musicians Anika Moa and Evan Sinton from MAALA.

Newton said the judges couldn’t fault Alien Weaponry, whom he described as a band that was beyond their years.

“They believed in their identity as a metal band, their use of Te Reo was impressive, there’s really anything else like this in the world at the moment.”

Newton commented that Iris G had her own unique sound and was not afraid to take risks: “She was thinking outside the square with her music, she’s a great vocalist and a real musician…there’s something very special about her.”

Alien Weaponry is a from Bream Bay College and Otamatea High School. The members are brothers Lewis de Jong (guitar/vocals) and Henry de Jong (drums), and Ethan Trembath (bass). Their Smokefreerockquest prize is $10,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $10,000 NZ On Air  recording, video and promo package’ a ‘Decent Exposure’ campaign on The Edge TV, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends.

Second place went to indie pop 4-piece Daffodils from Auckland’s Western Springs College and Kristin School. The members are Theo Salmon (lead guitar and vocals), Isaac Keating (drums), Jade Bryham (synthesizer and keyboard) and Louis Graham (bass).

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