Local student band Popcorn Virus came in second place at the third annual Hong Kong Asia Pacific Youth Band Sound Competition (Hong Kong regional category) on Thursday, held at Music Zone in the E-Max shopping mall in Kowloon Bay.
A total of 12 bands competed against each other, and all of them performed their own original songs. Among the competitors, six were local bands, two were from Taiwan, and the rest came from Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia.
Organised by Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the competition is open to young musicians aged 18 to 35. There are two categories of awards: Asia Pacific for both Asia Pacific bands and local bands, as well as Hong Kong regional for local bands only.
As the youngest band at the competition, Popcorn Virus told Young Post that they were very excited because they didn’t expect to do so well.
“All our competitors were very strong, so to be able to win an award was just exhilarating,” said 19-year-old drummer Adrian Yuen Wang-ho.
Meanwhile, veteran bands Chonotenki and Gainorva were crowned the regional champion and first runner-up respectively.
“We’re very thankful. Two years ago, we took second place in the regional category as well as best guitarist,” said Scottie Chan, the bassist of Chonotenki.
“Then in 2017, we didn’t really perform or compete much. So when we came back this year, there was a lot of pressure because we would wonder all the time what if we didn’t win, could we afford to lose?”
That mentality ended up motivating everyone in the band to aim higher. Chonotenki outdid their previous best and walked away with the regional champion trophy and a HKD 5,000 gift voucher from clothing brand VANS. They also won Asia Pacific second runner-up and became the first ever Hong Kong band to place in the top three in that category.
Japanese band Boiler were the Asia Pacific Champions. “We’re extremely excited. It’s just amazing.” Shawn the bassist expressed, and the whole band repeated that it was simply unbelievable.
Apart from being crowned the overall champion, the group also received individual awards including best vocalist and best bassist.
Boiler was formed eight years ago. Gyu-n, the vocalist of the group, said it’s been a lot of hard work and they have tried to practise every single day. Their winning song, Fuji Rock, was about Mount Fuji.
One of the judges, Robin Law, who is the guitarist of local band KOLOR, praised them for incorporating Japanese cultural elements in their music. He also appreciated the variety of styles contained just within one song.