Christchurch’s Souldrop are a four-piece making music inspired by artists like Sticky Fingers, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Paramore. Anna Bennetto (16 – vocals) and Finn Perring (17 – bass) originally met at St Andrews College, where they jammed together. Elliot Millar (17 – drums) and Fin Gilzean (18 – guitar) go to different schools.
“We’ve been together since around March, but we’ve all been jamming separately for a while and just got together recently,” says Anna.
“It was one of those weird timing stories,” Elliot explains. “My girlfriend at the time was friends with a few guys in this band and they needed a drummer. One of them posted on Facebook and I commented saying I play. I just said, ‘Come round, we’ll have a jam and see what you think and then I’ll join.’ That was a punk band (The Clips), around two or three years ago. We kind of just moved on to Souldrop.
“We already had a more punk orientated band with all the guys from Souldrop, but we just needed to move onto a different style. So we picked up a more chill singer to even that out.”
Officially formed in early 2016, Souldrop made it through to the Rockquest regional finals. They decided to record a few originals they’d come up with and put together an EP. ‘Souldrop’ was recorded at their school, mixed and mastered by Sam Verdellen, the band’s mutual friend, along with Finn – who himself has an unusually interesting background.
“I moved to Peru when I was five, then Chile, then West Africa, then came to New Zealand three years after that. The different countries I lived in growing up totally impacted the music I write now, 100%.”
A video for their debut single Mill Bay was released on YouTube, and a month after its release it hit the 5000 views mark, pretty remarkable for underage newcomers. Directed by Grace Dephoff, a fellow St Andrews College student, the video features six teens (four being Souldrop) walking around the heart of Christchurch and playing their music.
With the relative success of their first video, the band thought more about what they would like to do after high school with the music experience they have now.
“All of the guys in our band are finishing up our last year in high school, and Anna is year 12,” Elliot points out.
“I’m staying in school, not gonna drop out!” adds Anna, laughing.
“We want to keep the band going, it’s a sick band and it’s super fun but it will be kind of hard since the guys will be leaving school. We want to go into music after high school, maybe study it or something. At the moment we’re just writing music and seeing what happens,” Elliot explains as Anna nods.