Quotes from Sponsors, Bands, Venues, Judges and Music Fans

"The Battle of the Bands has been an annual event at the Kings Arms since 1999.

The event this year consists of 5 heats, 4 semi-finals 1 regional final and a national final. During that time around 1500 – 2000 people will visit the venue.

It is a very important event for local bands as the amount of exposure they get raises their national profile.

We have had a very good relationship with Andrew Featherstone and appreciate his experience.

Look forward to many more Battle of the Bands".

Lisa Gordon
Entertainment Manager

"2014 BOTB will be my third year as a proud sponsor, through my company Rock You Mental. 2012 & 2013 with co-sponsors MusicWorks and Paiste Cymbals.

Thanks to the success of the competition and valuable exposure gained, I am proud to announce that Tama Drums has joined the party as Rock You Mental’s third co-sponsor for 2014! We can't wait.

‘’BOTB just gets better and better! Rock You Mental and my co-sponsors MusicWorks, Paiste and Tama couldn’t be happier. Andrew and his team at BOTB have provided us with all the exposure, promotion and return a sponsor could ever ask for.

The level of organisation, skill and precision of previous events has been amazing and a pleasure to be a part of. This year, we will give even more, with the latest Tama and Paiste gear, time, tech, backline support and prizes. BOTB deserves it.
Bring on BOTB 2014... A great opportunity for new bands of all kinds to show their stuff on the big stage".

Dave Morello
Official Tama and Paiste Artist
Founder - Rock You Mental

"The battle of the bands was such a great experience for us guys as a young band looking for professional experience and an opportunity to jam and network with our peers. Winning it gave me the confidence to continue down a path that lead to where I am now, and I love now."

Jason Kerrison
Solo artist – Opshop – The Babysitters Circus

"Where else do you get the opportunity to share the stage with funk, metal, rap, pop, rock, country, punk, grunge, techno, blues and R&B bands?"

Rob Fisher
Drummer – The Blacklight Configuration

"My experiences with the BOTB's started way back in 2002 when we came first place at the regional finals then performed at the grand final. It was great learning experience professionally competing against the best of the best NZ has to offer on a grand stage on a professional level, gaining experience, new friends, seeing amazing bands that I would not have seen otherwise, and a great test competing against talented musicians.

The exposure from those events lead to many doors opening for the band. Since 2002 our band has had a great working relationship with Andrew and his team, competing in many BOTB's and many other of their promotions. Wining best bass player and equal top drummer in 2013, earned us international radio play, overseas bass sponsorship offers, interviews in overseas music magazines, and a wide range of prizes from the event itself.

For a brand new or well experienced band I recommend throwing your verbally hat into the ring and bringing your best, as a show case of talent will always be on hand".

Dan Slater
Guitarist and songwriter – Mystery Liquid

"Participated 3 times, every time was a rich rewarding experience for each band. Great atmosphere, super professional and exceptionally well organized!"

Tony Burke
Singer / songwriter / guitarist – Black Sea Sirens & House of Valve

"As bass player for metalcore Bay of Plenty band Shedd, we have participated in several events planned by Andrew Featherstone. Each of them were extremely enjoyable and great learning experiences. We met many other bands and made many contacts which allowed us to expand as a band. We competed in the Battle of the Bands National Championship run by him and even though we didn’t win, it was valuable exposure and improved us and myself as a band/player".

James Papesch
Bass Player - Shedd

"I have attended many BOTB shows at Brewers Bar in BOP as well as attended the National Finals in AKL to support our local bands. Every gig is well organised & awesome to watch. Great to see so many different genres & local talent able to share their passion".

Debbie Smith
Music fan / band supporter Tauranga

"I was the drummer for Pseudo city a Funk Band that made it to the grand final in the 2012 Battle of the bands Final. We all had a blast and enjoyed the Experience and musical community that was produced from entering such a great competition! I would totally recommend it to every band as a Band experience to build comaradie and confidence! Thanks Andrew Featherstone and the staff from the Battle of the bands competition! Rock on!"

Cameron Arbuckle
Prior Drummer Pseudo City & Current Drummer for The James

"Since 1999 I've had the Privilege and Pleasure of hearing some top musicians as they evolve and develop. The Battle of The Bands National Championship is the Premiere Competition for emerging bands in New Zealand.
I personally attend three to five gigs a week… (Yip got a very understanding wife!) I feel this keeps me up with what’s happening. Judging the event, you’re kept on your toes, invariably there's a funk band followed by a metal band, a rock band, a reggae band and maybe a ska band to follow... To keep things fair, the bands each draw their running order position from a hat, it's totally random so it’s not even as if you could place them in an order that may flow/gel better... The fairness continues as we have strict guidelines/ judging criteria which do not include your personal favourite as a category and relate across the Musical smorgasbord.... looking at 2 or 3 categories for example....

  • Musicianship.... your genre has nothing to do with your ability to competently/professionally play your drums, bass, guitar, sax etc...
  • Professionalism.... likewise whatever sounds you’re gonna lay on us... are you a tight professional unit
  • Image.... Well have you got a plan, have you made an effort, are you visually representing the genre you’re performing? (think of Split Enz... it was the whole package, sight, sound, performance.... stage presence, behaviour etc.; Split Enz also got their big break from a band contest, New Faces…)

The Battle of the Bands is an event open to bands of all genres that provides many opportunities, some of which include

  • The chance to play to a wider/larger audience than they might otherwise experience
  • Judge and peer group feedback of a meaningful nature
  • Networking with musicians and Industry personnel/players

These opportunities aren't available anywhere else in New Zealand.

There's a Lot of successful Musicians who have come through the Battle.

Paul Mathews, bassist, composer and chief lyricist with I Am Giant was in Tadpole, Defunkt & Stylus, all winners or finalists in previous year’s BOTB events. I Am Giant’s drummer Shelton was also a previous finalist with his band at the time Blindspott. (Just beaten that year by Mama Said, who later morphed into 48 May).

Marika Hodgson, of Liquid Colours won best Bass player in the Battle and has toured Europe extensively and just played Montreal Fest. as bassist for Holly Smith.

There Four Walls are now living on the Gold coast making inroads into the Australian industry, 4 or 5 albums after BOTB successes.

Harlem Mackenzie of Lapser (1999- 2000) was guitarist of the year/s, has just toured Japan with Sons of Zion.

Souljah are on their 2nd or 3rd album and tour frequently.

Jenny Skulander of Slipping Tounge (Another BOTB Finalists) is currently touring her new album with Devilskin, whose album recently reached number 1 in the NZ charts.

Devilskin’s guitar player Nail was also a previous winner in his previous band Chuganaut in 2004” Jason Kerrison & Tim Skeddon of the famous bands Op Shop & The Babysitters Circus also won the event with their previous band FUNGI back in 1997.

This list goes on of musicians and bands that have benefitted from competing in BOTB.

Tony Orwin
Regular Auckland BOTB judge since 1999

Some of the guest judges we have had in the event over the years.

  • Tim Finn – Solo artist, singer/songwriter and frontman for Spilt Enz
  • Mike Chunn – Founder / boss at Play it Strange, former head of APRA and bassist for Spilt Enz & Citizen Band
  • Brent Eccles – Owner Eccles Entertainment, NZ rep. for Frontier Touring, drummer of The Angels & Citizen Band
  • Brendan Smyth – Head of NZ ON AIR
  • Brad King – Program Director and boss at The Rock radio network
  • Plus many, many other music industry figures, sponsor representatives and music artists

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