Alien Weaponry thrashes its way to Gisborne

Thrash metal band will perform as special guest act at Gisborne Smokefreerockquest finals next month.

Thrash metal band will perform as special guest act at Gisborne Smokefreerockquest finals next month.

ON THE THReSHOLD OF GREATNESS: Teen thrash metal band Alien Weaponry will perform as a special guest act at the Gisborne Smokefreerockquest finals next month but TV One Breakfast music correspondent Sarah Gandy believes the three-piece could become bigger than Lorde. Picture supplied

THEY weigh in at an average age of 15 years old but the teenage thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have opened for hard rock Kiwi band Devilskin, and for Shihad at Auckland’s Powerstation. They were also the first act ever to win both the Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats competitions.

The three-piece act from Waipu is now booked to perform as special guest act at the Smokefreerockquest regional finals in Gisborne on June 9.

Despite the young musicians’ blonde locks and Viking appearance, they perform many of their songs in te reo Maori.

Schooled from an early age at a full immersion kura kaupapa Maori, guitarist/lead singer Lewis de Jong (14) and his brother, drummer Henry (16) call themselves “Stealth Maori”.

With songs like Raupatu (land confiscations by the colonial government), Kaitangata (the post-battle practice of eating the flesh of fallen enemies to insult them) and Ru Ana te Whenua (the trembling earth, a reference to the 1864 battle at Pukehinahina/Gate pa), the band brings a political slant to its oeuvre.

Their English material is just as edgy, as heard in songs such as Hypocrite, PC Bro, and The Cult of Sanitised Warfare which call out everyone for glorifying and destroying the lives of television and sports stars.

“We listened to all sorts of music when we were younger but we were drawn to thrash metal because it’s quite complex music, and it is a great vehicle for expressing real stories and emotions,” says Lewis.

It also works with te reo, says Henry.

“Both the musical style and the messages have a lot of similarities with haka, which is often brutal, angry and about stories of great courage or loss.”

Metal Hammer magazine included Alien Weaponry in its 10 Best Metal Bands from New Zealand feature.

But it’s not just the metal community who are taking notice.

“These guys could be bigger than Lorde in terms of our musical export,” said TV One Breakfast music correspondent Sarah Gandy, after the band’s Smokefreerockquest and Pacifica Beats wins.

THEY weigh in at an average age of 15 years old but the teenage thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have opened for hard rock Kiwi band Devilskin, and for Shihad at Auckland’s Powerstation. They were also the first act ever to win both the Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats competitions.

The three-piece act from Waipu is now booked to perform as special guest act at the Smokefreerockquest regional finals in Gisborne on June 9.

Despite the young musicians’ blonde locks and Viking appearance, they perform many of their songs in te reo Maori.

Schooled from an early age at a full immersion kura kaupapa Maori, guitarist/lead singer Lewis de Jong (14) and his brother, drummer Henry (16) call themselves “Stealth Maori”.

With songs like Raupatu (land confiscations by the colonial government), Kaitangata (the post-battle practice of eating the flesh of fallen enemies to insult them) and Ru Ana te Whenua (the trembling earth, a reference to the 1864 battle at Pukehinahina/Gate pa), the band brings a political slant to its oeuvre.

Their English material is just as edgy, as heard in songs such as Hypocrite, PC Bro, and The Cult of Sanitised Warfare which call out everyone for glorifying and destroying the lives of television and sports stars.

“We listened to all sorts of music when we were younger but we were drawn to thrash metal because it’s quite complex music, and it is a great vehicle for expressing real stories and emotions,” says Lewis.

It also works with te reo, says Henry.

“Both the musical style and the messages have a lot of similarities with haka, which is often brutal, angry and about stories of great courage or loss.”

Metal Hammer magazine included Alien Weaponry in its 10 Best Metal Bands from New Zealand feature.

But it’s not just the metal community who are taking notice.

“These guys could be bigger than Lorde in terms of our musical export,” said TV One Breakfast music correspondent Sarah Gandy, after the band’s Smokefreerockquest and Pacifica Beats wins.

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