The First World Battle of the Bands Final
Author: Melanie Selby (photography by Jason Hailes and Jaggedy Ann)
Chuganaut (above) impressed with their overall performance.
Las Vegas girl rockers Jaggedy Ann (below) won points for their image.
Lump (above) from the Gold Coast displayed fine musicianship while Hong Kong's Audiotraffic's (below) strength was in their songwriting.
According to Chuganaut's guitarist Nail, the band were "absolutely buzzing" after the win. "To even get that far was amazing, but to win it - well I'm kinda lost for words, but am very happy and can't stop smiling," he said.
Having the opportunity to share the stage with the international bands - girl rock band Jaggedy Ann from Las Vegas, Gold Coast progressive rock band Lump and indie rockers Audiotraffic from Hong Kong - was a valuable opportunity.
"It was great. The other bands were really cool and I can't say enough good things about them. I mean, if you took the competition aspect away from it it would've been a wicked concert in itself. Hats off to those guys and girls - they travelled a long way to come and play," says Nail.
A team of six judges, comprised of musicians and industry representatives, marked the bands on their professionalism, songwriting skills, musicianship, image, interaction on stage, crowd response, potential, singing ability, originality and entertainment factor.
While all the bands had skill and potential, judge Geoff Fitzpatrick said Chuganaut were clear winners on the night.
"They were ahead of all the other bands with their originality, they had an extremely polished show and didn't sound like anything I'd heard before. You couldn't predict where their songs were going to go and that held my interest."
Over 200 bands took part in the NZ arm of competition which was held in 15 venues throughout the country over nine weeks. Chuganaut were one of nine bands to compete in the NZ finalat the same venue in early October.
This is the first year the long running Battle of the Bands has been taken to the international arena. Having established it 13 years ago, organiser Andrew Featherstone said he decided to take the competition further afield as he was receiving entries from America and Australia for the NZ competition.
"I was also doing more and more international business so I am on a quest to expand my successful business in NZ to other places," says Featherstone whose Intergalactic Records label is home to this issue's cover metallers 8 Foot Sativa.
Featherstone admits that before the final he was anxious about how it might look if the local act did win but the result was by a clear majority and the other bands were quite accepting of it.
"Good on them. They were the band that consistently won in each category. It may look a bit weird internationally but you can't discriminate against the Kiwis because it was held here."
Chuganaut won the opportunity to have a single recorded at Area 51 studios, released by Intergalactic Records and also picked up a stack of Rockshop vouchers.
Having pulled off the improbable by taking our local band war offshore successfully, he says the World Battle of the Bands is set to be a permanent feature with more countries to be added to the competition next year.