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Meet Hera: Sister/wife of Zeus and protectress of marriage, childbirth and the home, whose jealousy and quarrelsomeness often led to disaster for gods, heroes, and men …

well, that was the original one anyways, but the Hera we're featuring here is just one of the many bands from Mairehau High who're entering Smokefree Rockquest 2005… and, What’s more, there' s nothing ‘quarrelsome' about them as they seem to work well together, both musically and otherwise.


Has the band always been called Hera
Well, truthfully, up until a couple of months ago we didn't even have a name even though we'd been going for about three years now. It wasn't until we had to send the entry in to Rockquest that we figured we'd better call ourselves something. It took us a while to finally come up with a name.
But that’s not strictly true coz it was one of our younger brothers who finally came up with Hera and that was kind of it.
So you've been together as a band for three years
Us two Josh’s have. It was just us for a couple of years and then Joe came along about a year ago and that’s when we really started playing seriously.
How would you describe your music
(long silence)
That’s a really tough question. One thing's for sure - it’s original. It really stands out. But if you had to say anything I guess you could describe it as a lot of combined genres - sort of punky, rocky, grungy - a lot of influences have come together to make our sound, y'know? It’s kind of a mixture of Nirvana, Iron Maiden and Metallica
What’s your entry for Rockquest called
Finding The Wonder. We've written 7 original songs in all but have ditched the first two and don't play them anymore - we've kinda moved on a bit since then… we hope!! We've just done a recording at Mains Studio and it’s the first time we've ever been able to listen to what we sounded like and we've gotta admit we got pretty excited when we heard ourselves. It sounded… professional! And one of the student technicians down there paid us something of a compliment as he said we'd been the only band he'd heard that he'd gotten into the beat with and tapped to.
HeraHow often do you practise
Usually two or three times a week 'specially during the holidays. We've got a studio built under Joe’s house - his dad’s a sound engineer so we've got a lot of gear there and it makes life a whole lot easier. We've given up trying to practise in lunch hours at school - it takes so long to set everything up and then you've gotta pack it all away again so you only end up playing for a few minutes
What comes first - the music or the lyrics
The music for sure. One line comes to you and you build on it. Guitar first and then the bass comes in and then the drums.
Do you ever disagree over the song writing
Nah - we're not a bitchy band!!! It’s easy to write the lyrics and we all get along pretty well. When the words aren't any good you kind of know it yourself anyway.
So how're you feeling about performing at Rockquest
Can't wait. We're really looking forward to it
When & where are the regional heats this year
Over at Aranui High on 11 and 12 June and I think there're about 17 bands going through to the regional finals coz there’s so many entries this year
How do you feel about getting up on stage and performing live
We love it. We tend to be a bit nervous at first but then soon get into it and get confident…
(the following was said somewhat morosely)
I can't really go that crazy on the drums though but if I played the guitar it'd probably be different!
HeraSo you're different in front of an audience
Yeah! We're very quiet normally but when we get out on stage…
Any particular bands who've influenced you?
Of course but it’s hard to pick just a few. There’s Falter - they were from Mairehau and they won Rockquest 2003. They've been a huge influence on us and kind of inspired us, I guess. There’s been masses of others too - from Nirvana right through to REM and Lamb of God.
Have you done any live gigs
We're booked into Zebs for 17 June and last year we performed at the school’s Cultural Festival and took part in the School Music Tour up to Hamner last year. Think it’s going to Hokitika this year.
Favourite album of all time?
(stunned silence)
That’s way too hard a question to answer
(few more moans and mumbles)
There’s so many albums I like and it depends on my mood and everything but maybe… yeah, okay, I'll say it’s Nevermind/Nirvana.
Mine’s definitely Appetite For Destruction/Guns n Roses.
Nah. Nope. I can't answer that. It’s just way too difficult.
HeraGoals? Ultimate Dream?
For the moment it’s winning Rockquest.
(pause for thought… and more thought…) Getting a record deal would be good
Playing at the Big Day Out
Nah that'd be too nerve wracking
Getting known worldwide…
And maybe if none of the above worked out, we'd like to stick around and do production stuff or something similar because we all want to work with or around music.
Truthfully, though? We're just concentrating on the band because… WE REALLY WANNA MAKE IT