Local rock band In Business, made up of students from Whanganui High School and Cullinane College, has taken out the top spot at the Regional Smokefree Rockquest for the second year in a row.
Competing bands sent in a live performance video featuring two original songs for this year's competition, as the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to scrap any plans of holding concerts in 2020.
Drummer Max Hughes said he would have preferred to play in front of a live audience, but he understood why that wasn't possible this year.
"I really like playing live and feeding off the crowd, but this was the best the organisers could do," Max said.
All four band members had different musical influences, singer Faith Solomona said, and they "combined them all together" to make the In Business sound.
"Between last year and now we released our single Never Again on Spotify and we've been playing a lot more gigs as a result of winning last year's Rockquest.
'We're all 15 now, so we can go into Rockquest two more times after this one if we want."
In Business's sound had progressed from "funk rock type stuff" through to "heavier prog rock", Max said.
"We seem to be getting progressively heavier as we go along.
"Me, Tom (Bidgood, bass) and Christian (Garratt, guitar) actually wanted to start a band when we were at Intermediate, but it didn't really come into fruition.
"Then at high school we met Faith and asked if she wanted to join our band, and we just went from there.
"This is actually the third time we've entered Rockquest, but the first time we didn't get anywhere, absolutely nothing happened.
"We were all wearing suits, but the last two years we've just been wearing whatever."
Bass player Tom Bidgood said that there would be 30 bands from around New Zealand competing for the title of National Rockquest winner, and In Business would submit a four song video for consideration.
"We have around nine original songs at the moment, and we're hoping to record an EP at some point this year," Tom said.
"We just want to play more shows and release more songs," singer Faith said.
Second place in the Whanganui Regional Smokefree Rockquest went to Flower of Hades (Ruapehu College), with Rhythm Vision (Whanganui High School) third.
Flower of Hades will also have the chance to be selected for the national finals.