Smokefree Rockquest finals in Tāmaki Makaurau

By Tema Hemi

The stage is set for the national final of the Smokefree Rockquest at Auckland Girls Grammar School and taking the stage tonight in the Tangata Beats section is Whanganui High School band, The Remnants. 

Guitarist Wiremu Rogan says, "I think on behalf of everyone we're all feeling excited but also nervous, the nerves are kicking in as we get closer to getting on stage."

The announcement of their qualifying at the regional competition in Whanganui came as a big surprise as it was their first time playing together in a band situation.

But they have been inspired by their own families to give music a go and they all say they want to do their best.

Rogan says, "I think it gives us more encouragement.  This is our first time as a band coming to a competition like this.  I don't think any of us thought we'd get here.  It was kinda unexpected and it was a big shock to all of us from regionals, so we're all excited.

One of the band's two songs tonight, 'Hononga Tangata' has significant meaning for lead singer, Rogan.  He says it was a great honor for him to write a song and dedicate it to his grandfather.

He says, "The first song is a waiata tangi.  It was written for my grandfather who passed away last year, the second song is, would you say reggae?  Its a reggae upbeat kind of waiata."

Past winners of the competition include Opshop, Kora, Bic Runga, The Black Seeds and also Māori thrash metal band Alien Weaponry in 2016.

The bands kick off at the Auckland Girls' Grammar atrium at 7pm.