Teen band outshines Green Day

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013
The Velvet Regime

VELVET TOUCH: From left, The Velvet Regime’s Jason Reder, Nigel Martinez, Stefan Poad and Joel Averes are winning over music fans in the Philippines.

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A Hutt Valley band is set to hit the big time in the Philippines - beating Green Day, Muse, and Mumford & Sons in a listeners' poll on a popular radio station.

Teen rock band The Velvet Regime, made up of vocalist Nigel Martinez, guitarist Stefan Poad, drummer Jason Reder, all 17, and bassist Joel Averes, 18, won the best song award at the 2011 Smokefree Rockquest final.

Martinez is of Filipino descent and the band's manager, Jack Grabham, has been working to get them noticed on Filipino radio.

Their track There is a Light was aired on Manila-based alternative-rock station Jam 88.3FM on January 20, and the song was voted the listeners' favourite in a poll on the station's Facebook page. American punk rockers Green Day were second in the poll, which also included Passion Pit, fun. and Bloc Party.

Poad said the exposure was exciting for the band, who all dream of making a living from their music.

They discovered their international success while playing at Christian rock festival Parachute in Hamilton at the weekend.

As part of the band's Rockquest prize, they recorded a video for There is a Light, and released a four-track EP. Poad said each band member had differing musical tastes, from alternative and indie rock to rap and experimental, and these influenced their songwriting.

"[Our music is] indie alternative rock with quite a lot of interludes, and it gets quite atmospheric."

He believed it was catchy and easy to listen to.

The band members, all in their last year at high school, plan to study at university and "do the hard yards" with their music in order to break into the big time.

Mr Grabham said the station had shown interest in bringing the band to the Philippines.

Contact Sophie Speer
Culture and Capital Day reporter
Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @sophie_speer

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