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Alien Weaponry set to shake up the Lower North Island

Alien Weaponry set to shake up the Lower North Island

The earth will tremble next week when thrash metal band Alien Weaponry perform in Palmerston North (Aug 18) and Wellington (Aug 19). The shows are part of the band’s Trembling Earth tour to promote their new single, Rū Ana Te Whenua, which was released a month ago.

The teenagers made headlines a year ago when they became the youngest act ever to be awarded a NZ On Air Making Tracks grant to record the song, which they originally performed at the Smokefree Rockquest and Pacifica Beats finals in 2015. However, when the band won the national finals of both competitions in 2016, the release of Rū Ana Te Whenua was put on hold while they recorded and released four more tracks – Urutaa, Hypocrite, Raupatu and PC Bro – and played a number of sold out shows around the country to support these.

“Rū Ana Te Whenua was supposed to be our first single,” says bass player Ethan Trembath (15). “But when we won Rockquest and Pacifica Beats, we had obligations to fulfill, and it was great that we got funding to record more songs, so even though it’s been a long wait, it has worked out well.”

‘Working out well’ is somewhat of an understatement – the video for Rū Ana Te Whenua has had three quarters of a million views on Facebook since its release on June 30; the song was no. 1 on the Spotify NZ Viral Top 50 chart for two weeks running; and it reached no. 2 on the worldwide iTunes Metal chart – just below Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills.’

“We have been blown away by the support and comments from people in New Zealand and other parts of the world,” says lead guitarist and singer Lewis de Jong (15).

“It has been pretty awesome seeing the numbers climb so quickly,” adds his brother, drummer Henry de Jong (17).

Rū Ana Te Whenua is about the de Jong brothers’ ancestor, Te Ahoaho, who fought in the historic battle at Gate Pā (Tauranga). In the 1864 battle, 230 Māori dug themselves into the hilltop at Pukehinahina and withstood the heaviest artillery bombardment the British army has ever delivered, resulting in a crushing defeat for the 1700 strong British forces and changing the course of history.

“When we were younger our Dad would tell us stories about all sorts of events and battles as we were driving places,” says Lewis. “At the time, we didn’t pay that much attention, but now we incorporate those stories into our music.”

The brothers, of Ngati Pikiao and Ngati Raukawa descent, attended a full immersion kura kaupapa Māori until the ages of 7, where singing waiata and performing haka were a daily routine; and about half of their songs are in Te Reo Māori.

“Thrash metal and Te Reo Māori are a great combination,” says Henry. “Both the style of thrash metal and its messages have a lot of similarities with haka, which is often brutal, angry and about stories of great courage or loss.”

Alien Weaponry last played in Palmerston North and Wellington in 2014, and are looking forward to making the earth tremble in the region again.

Friday August 18 – The Royal, Palmerston North (with support acts Defetus and Blue Ruin). Tickets $20 at the door or $15 pre-sales onEventfinda

Saturday August 19 – Valhalla, Wellington (with Meat and Jörmungandr). Door sales only.

For video clips, band bio and more, see www.alienweaponry.com

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