Giant step up for Eqwanox
By Dean Taylor
Te Awamutu teenagers James Hanright, Nick Douch and Aaron Clark have always looked up to Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins as one of their musical idols, but never thought they would share the same stage.
Collectively the three form the hard rock trio Eqwanox, which despite only having a handful of live shows under their belt, can lay claim to having opened for an international act.
The opportunity to open for Billy Corgan came after a chance introduction between one of Nick’s Te Awamutu College schoolmates and a promotions officer for the Child Cancer Foundation.
The band was given the once over by Tony ‘Nail’ Vincent of World Battle of the Bands winners Chuganaut and Paul Martin of the Rock FM’s Axe Attack, who endorsed them as an opening act for the show.
While the band has been about for some years as the brainchild of the elder James (18), it has been as the trio with his two 16-year-old mates that it has developed its strongest sound.
James lays claim to the songwriting role, with help from the others to complete and arrange the material.
They say they enjoy listening to the likes of The Foo Fighters, Shihad, Sum 41, Nirvana and, of course, the Smashing Pumpkins, but have their own sound.
On Sunday night they shared that sound with hundreds of people packed into Auckland’s St James for Corgan’s New Zealand show - and received a great response.
“We were amazed. We didn’t expect people to scream just because we walked on stage,” says Nick.
Show organisers were happy to give the young up-and-comers a chance to show their stuff and were pleased with the way Eqwanox immediately connected with the crowd.