Ready to launch ... By Tomorrow

19 Aug 2020

After winning the Canterbury 1 regional competition, College rock band By Tomorrow have made it through to the national final selection round of SmokefreeRockquest 2020.

So far this year the competition has had a different vibe. Covid restrictions have meant no live performances, with all submissions made by video. The By Tomorrow boys rose to the challenge, headed for the studio, and are thrilled to have made it to the next round.

The band – Johnny Bullen on guitar, Harry Dufton on keyboard, Jasper Johnson on bass guitar, vocalist William Morris, and Rheon Salt on drums – say they feel like the underdogs: Year 11 students, first time in the competition, no live experience, and up against more senior and more polished bands from across the country.

“Despite that we still feel optimistic,” says Harry. “We’ve got high hopes, but feel no pressure. It’s a big achievement just getting as far as we have.”

The band’s name reflects their relaxed approach; there is always tomorrow – and the boys have time on their side, time to hone their songwriting and performance skills and gain valuable experience. They have been busy writing more songs, and use virtually all their spare time to come together and rehearse.

“When we play together, we’re more than the sum of our parts. Individually, we’re nothing special, but when we come together something clicks – the synergy is good. We’re all mates, and when we play together magic happens,” says William.

They credit rock music tutor and professional musician Aasha Mallard with helping them create their sound.

“We’re so grateful to Aasha, he’s done so much for us and given us such good advice – he’s the unsung hero of the contemporary music programme,” says Rheon.

By Tomorrow will know by the end of August if they have made it to the national final. If they do, and if the lockdown lifts, they are looking forward to playing their first live gig in Auckland in September.

“If we do make the national finals that will be our first time playing live before an audience. We’ve been practicing a lot and we really want to perform, we just haven’t had the opportunity yet,” says Harry.

Click here to view their recording at Orange Studios

By Tomorrow