Unvarnished potential

Teenage kicks: Wakatipu High School band Quencha, from left, Rafe Swan, 17, Kai Komene, 15, and Dan Lewis, 17

One local band is hoping to smoke the competition at this weekend’s Smokefreerockquest regional finals in Queenstown.

Rafe Swan, 17, the drummer of Wakatipu High School band Quencha, reckons the trio have a shot at making it to the next round with their original music.

Guitarist Kai Komene, 15, says it’s mandatory to sign up to Rockquest, but it’s a gig they’re stoked to play.

Quencha’s first song is Flight Despite The Rain, written by Kai – a track inspired by Pearl Jam tunes.

He says the song is somewhere between rock and funk.

“It was a cool idea to think about. There are so many songs that have dark and meaningful definitions and I just wanted this to be on a happy scale.”

The next song – which doesn’t have a name yet and needs to be refined – was written by bass player Dan Lewis.

Dan, 17, thinks Quencha is unique.

They’re not as polished as some of their teenage counterparts.

While the musos are under no illusions of pop domination, they understand the potential should they advance at Rockquest.

Kiwi bands Broods and Evermore started out on the Rockquest stage.

Dan: “It is always in the back of your mind. Every musician wants to become famous and we think we have a chance.”

They’ve got stiff competition, including three other Wakatipu High School bands – Cheery Moon, Haven and Murphy’s Law.

Sofia Machray, also from Wakatipu High, has already made the next round for her solo performance after competing in an earlier heat in Wanaka.

Smokefreerockquest, Queenstown Memorial Centre, tonight, 7pm. Tickets, adults $20, students $10