New Zealand metal outfit Alien Weaponry are on the warpath with the release of their debut, full-length studio album ‘Tū’ earlier this month.
The trio, featuring brothers Lewis and Henry de Jong and Ethan Trembath, have battled their way up the food chain of heavy metal, establishing themselves as a dominant, emerging force.
Guitarist/ vocalist Lewis says ‘Tū’ showcases their best work to date. “Basically, the songs on the album are our best songs that we've been writing and recording since we started Alien Weaponry.
“We really had to nail down which songs we wanted on the album, so that was a process of going through tracks that we thought might not be up-to-scratch for the album but we still really loved.”
The album is fronted by lead single ‘Kai Tangata’, a brutal track that showcases the band’s affinity with their Maori heritage and the colonial struggles of their ancestors.
Alien Weaponry have created a distinct tone and temper for their music by using lyrics written in the New Zealand native tongue, Te Reo Maori.
“All of our songs in Maori are about either historical battles or political injustice, things that seem close to home for us,” Lewis says.
“If you think about the haka, which is probably most known because the All Blacks do it, it’s quite aggressive, loud and angry so that suits metal and no one’s really thought of that, then we did it and it came about.
“We've had talks about this but in my opinion Alien Weaponry’s meaning and message is writing and talking about things you're passionate about, and at the moment that is what we're doing in Te Reo Maori and we're trying to spread the Maori language and get it more widely accepted and known.”
With the eldest member of the band being only 18-years-old, Alien Weaponry produce a sound well beyond their years. At 16, Lewis says he and his band mates have had to overcome the stigma of their youth in a genre that is still rooted in pre-conceived notions of age and experience.
“I think people always find something to criticise you about and I feel like if you break through that criticism, you build on who you are and what you do stronger than what you would have,” he says.
“We've faced some criticism from people like: 'These guys are just little kids, what do they think they're doing?' and it's like 'mate, we're just doing what we're doing, just let us be, you know'. We're pretty young for what we do, I guess.”
With the release of ‘Tū’ at the beginning of June, Alien Weaponry will have their new tunes on full show when they play Dead Of Winter Festival in Brisbane. “We've never actually played overseas before, so this is really exciting for us,” Lewis says.
“We've never done anything like this before and we're definitely looking forward to playing the festival and getting to know everyone in Australia.”
‘Tū’ is available now.
Thu 5 Jul - Last Chance Rock N Roll Bar (Melbourne
Alien Weaponry Tour Dates
Fri 6 Jul – The Bald Faced Stag (Sydney)
Sun 7 Jul - Dead Of Winter Festival (Brisbane)