Last year's Smokefree Rockquest winners Tetra, from left, Lara Cammock, Carmen Puklowski, Madi Fulton and Emma Common.

Smokefree Rockquest returns


Blunt Force Trauma, Tetra and Slouch Couch may not be the names of your grandma’s favourite artists but they are some of the Nelson high school bands entered in Smokefree Rockquest.

The Nelson bands and solo-duos are among the 2500 young people who will compete in New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, all original, youth music competition.

The Nelson heats and beats kick off this Saturday from 7pm at the Theatre Royal and last year’s regional winners, Tetra are keen to take the stage for a second time.

Tetra have been together for only a year but Nelson College for Girls students Lara Cammock, Carmen Puklowski, Madi Fulton and Emma Common say they’ve really grown in that time.

“We’ve been playing around discovering our sound a bit more and we’re pretty excited. It’s a bit different and more complex than last year but we really wanted to push ourselves,” says keyboardist, vocalist and base guitarist Emma.

Guitarist and vocalist Lara says she’s been excited for Saturday night since the 2015 Smokefree Rockquest.

“It’s bringing back all the memories from last year, all the stress and adrenaline. The whole experience is so fun, meeting other people and talking music and its always a good vibe.”

Describing themselves as an eclectic mix of indy, folk, alternative and singer-songwriter, Tetra are hoping to once again take a shot at nationals.

Vocalist, guitarist and cellist Madi says they don’t expect to win.

“We’d love to but you never know. We’ve developed, our sound has changed but so have the other groups and there are always new groups bring something different to the stage.”

The regional heats run from May 13 until July 2, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting video footage for selection to play off at the national Smokefree Rockquest in September.


The 18 bands preforming will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Smokefree Rockquest talent such as the internationally successful Broods, as well as Kimbra, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, The Black Seeds, and The Naked and Famous.