OpShop frontman’s tips to Queenstown’s teen musos

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Young Queenstown musi-cians have been tuning into pearls of wisdom from OpShop frontman Jason Kerrison and big-hearted Kiwi rock veterans Dragon. 

“My advice? Write your own songs, never give up, and if you’re really serious about music, move to Europe or America, sadly,” Dragon founding member Todd Hunter says. 

“But if you want to have a great life and live in a beautiful place, stay here.” 

Hunter, his band members and Kerrison – OpShop’s lead singer and songwriter – met Wakatipu High students at X-it Youth Centre on Tuesday to chat as the teens raced between their Mardi Gras gigs. 

Hunter says he’s pleased to see so many youngsters have “got the bug”, but cautions a career in music is hard work. 

The Kiwi band, famous for mega-hits like Rain and April Sun in Cuba, split twice before reforming again in 2006.
Sydney-based Hunter and newest Dragon members Mark Williams, Bruce Reid and Pete Drummond performed 16 songs as Mardi Gras’ headline act at Earnslaw Park. They’ll be in New Zealand till March next year. 

“We’ve re-discovered our roots,” Hunter says. 

OpShop’s frontman Kerrison relished the opportunity to pass on performance tips before hitting the Beach Street stage with his new electronica-hip hop group T*B*C* (The Babysitters Club). 

“It’s inspiring for us to see kids inspired and see them take on that passion. If we can impart some knowledge to them, that’s great.” 

Sixteen-year-old guitarist Michael Eden, who plays in the Wakatipu High jazz band Best Served Chilled, plus The Station Agents and Why We Need Darkness, was stoked to be given advice. 

“It’s coming from professional musicians, so you take it on board.”