Time of his life
While his drumming may land him a scholarship to Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ), Josh Finegan says he has no idea why he started banging the tubs.
"In 2005, for some reason, I decided I wanted to play drums."
It may have been all the Green Day records he was listening to, with the rhythms of their eccentric drummer Tre Cool being pounded into his head.
His mum's workmate donated a kit and he was away.
It also helped that his younger brother Caleb had taken up guitar and was willing to jam some tunes with Josh.
"When we were 8 or 9, we were the only people we knew who played instruments with each other."
But, when they met at intermediate a friend who played bass, they formed Minus 52.
The band has played plenty of gigs at The Stomach, and entered high-school music competition Rockquest three times.
While Minus 52 may not have taken home any accolades at this year's Rockquest, Josh scooped the MAINZ Musicianship Award which was given out to the best musician on the night.
He is now in with a shot of having a year's worth of tuition paid for at the Auckland music school - which has pumped out bands such as The Naked and Famous.
The left-handed drummer says he was surprised to scoop the award.
"People have told me I was good at drums, but I didn't think I was out there with other people who played."
But, instead of resting on his laurels as a drummer in a rock band, Josh has learned guitar, bass and even keyboard.
He says taking up guitar was easy as his brother's was kicking around the house.
But it was a love of electronic music that got him into synthesisers.
"I started off [listening to] Green Day sort of stuff, and lots of Dad's and Mum's music.
"Now I have started listening to more dance music and drum-and-bass."
Josh puts his keyboard skills to use in four-piece electro-indie group Reclusia, which started out as a few mates mucking around.
As if that did not keep him busy enough, he also has a solo project on the go called Alpha Beta Gamma.
And all three of his musical ventures have been involved in SwampFest this month, with a show on the sidewalk of Cuba St last week his first live solo outing.
He says his solo project came about because he was in bands.
"There's certainly limitations to what you can do in a band environment.
"It's a natural progression - I love music and just wanted to expand."
It is also a way for him to discover more music.
"Once I decided on a sound [for Alpha Beta Gamma], I listened to that music and developed it from there."
Josh says he does not plan on starting up any other projects any time soon.
"Three is a good number, because two bands take a lot of time.
"With four, you can't really manage all of them evenly any more."
Despite his talent, Josh says he is not looking to make a career out of music.
"It's not really a realistic option, but it would be nice.
"I'm going to continue with music [after school], but just as more of a hobby."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with increased oil exploration?