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Stoked . . . The Pills - made up of (from left) Ethan Downing, Fergus Armour, Adam Devon, and Seth Sinclair (all 17) - has secured a place in the Smokefreerockquest national final. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

The Pills want to win the Smokefreerockquest for Oamaru.

The Oamaru band has secured a place in the national final of the Smokefreerockquest, and band members Fergus Armour (electric guitar, rhythm), Ethan Downing (electric guitar, lead), Adam Devon (bass) and Seth Sinclair (drums) are “over the moon”.

The Pills were one of 10 acts in New Zealand selected for the final.

By qualifying, the band had been given the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Auckland and play in front of some big names in the industry, Seth said.

“To be considered in the top 10 of 750 acts – [it’s] an honour,” he said.

It gave the band a big boost, and made them feel that what they were doing was worthwhile, Adam said.

The 17-year-olds all wanted to pursue music as a career.

“Music has always been the passion – and it’s the dream job,” Ethan said.

They would love to one day be known as Oamaru’s official band, Fergus said.

“You don’t have to be from somewhere big, to become big,” Adam said.

At the Timaru regional Smokefreerockquest final in June, The Pills won the band category and Seth received one of two musicianship awards .

To make it to the national final, the band had to go through another round of submissions.

They posted a video online of them performing four original songs, which they recorded at Sublime Studio, near Kurow.

The response to their original songs had been overwhelmingly positive, Seth said.

Fergus was stoked that their video had reached people overseas, garnering a response by someone in the United States and another person in Japan.

“And someone as far away as Gore,” Ethan said.

Of the four songs submitted, The Pills would perform Sonder and Lullaby at the national final.

“The chorus of Sonder is an ear worm,” Adam said.

But Lullaby was particularly special to the band.

“It showcases all our abilities really well,” Seth said.

“All our songs, they are our wee babies.”

Going into the competition, the four St Kevin’s College pupils wanted to represent Oamaru well.

“It’s super motivating to know that we are not just doing it for ourselves, there are a lot of people who want us to do well,” Seth said.

“We feel like we are doing it for Oamaru.”

The Smokefreerockquest national final will be held in Auckland, at the Q Theatre, on September 18.