I love Sideswipe, in the NZ Herald.

On Tuesday, "The worst advice you can give a teenager.

Number one on the list: "You should drop out of school to focus on your band. That's where the money is".

I got a laugh out of that. Especially because 24 hours later the Northern Advocate published a story about a trio of teenagers about to do just that.


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Well, dropping out might be a bit extreme.

Henry de Jong, 17, and Ethan Trembath, 15, are currently focused on NCEA exams at Bream Bay College.

Respectively, they are the drummer and bass player in Alien Weaponry.

Henry's brother Lewis, 15, is the singer/guitarist who completes a thrash metal trio who have recently signed a three-year management contract in Europe.

Once NCEA is dealt with, the band will get to travel, play European festivals and earn money doing what they love, all before they turn 20.

Their music is not everyone's cup of Earl Grey, but genre is irrelevant.

It takes passion, talent, commitment, support, good mentors and hard work to be a successful band in 2017.

Alien Weaponry have been lucky enough to have a good mentor in Kiwi drummer and producer Tom Larkin, who hasn't done too badly for himself in a wee band called Shihad.

If you're a Northland kid looking to bolster the "I want to form or play in a band" argument, mention Dave Grohl.

He's done okay too, first with Nirvana and then with Foo Fighters.

And Dave, like Alien Weaponry, headed off to Europe as a teenager. Aged 17, he asked his mum Virginia (a school teacher) if he could go to Europe.

She responded: "That's a great idea".

"He was going to be playing music, in Paris and Amsterdam, I almost wanted to go with him," she told Stephen Colbert.

Sometimes, for some kids, the worst advice you can give a teenager is actually the best.

They say no one in their twilight years looks back and says, "I wish I had spent more time at work."

Add to that list: "I'm really glad we never took the band to Europe when we had the chance."