Loco Halloween gig for The Fletchers


The average life expectancy for a high school rock band must be about eight weeks.

But five years on from their first jam session, Queenstown rockers The Fletchers are full-time musicians attracting interest from labels.

Still teenagers, the four-piece play Loco Cantina’s Halloween party Day of the Dead tomorrow night.

Part of their set will be the half-an-hour of original music which won the regional Battle of the Bands final in Dunedin – earning a place in the national final in Auckland in December.

And the band – lead vocals and bassist Sam Maxwell, 19, lead guitarist George Hartshorn, 18, rhythm guitarist Jacob Sheehy, 19, and drummer Damon Spijkerbosch, 19 – is aiming to release seven-track debut EP From The Beginning and a music video the same month.

Hartshorn says: “We’ve come from a band just jamming in the garage, cheap little amps, playing songs we used to love.

“You’ve got to start somewhere, then stick with it and progress as musicians.

“We plays heaps now – there’s definitely a scene picking up and it’s good to be part of it, and to see real music getting played, good times, and we get to go out for free.”

The band hope to tour Melbourne next year with the eventual aim of getting to the States.

“Nashville’s a goal, to be part of the garage rock bluesy scene happening there, but getting the visas is a big mission, so we’ll wait for a wee bit.”

Until then, they plan to continue the daily schedule of jamming, composing, rehearsing, recording and gigging – starting with their fifth birthday celebration tomorrow night.

“Our gigs are basically hours of intense rock ‘n’ roll – originals and then covers from Arctic Monkeys to Nirvana and old school stuff like The Rolling Stones,” Hartshorn says. 

Catch The Fletchers at Loco Cantina tomorrow from 9pm. Free admission.