Alien Weaponry ‘Te Reo Metal’ song is a winner:
Northland thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have added three more successes to their resume for 2015, placing second in the National Finals of both the Smokefree Rockquest and the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition. They also took out the Youth Performance Trust’s Native Reo Award at Pacifica Beats for their song Ruana Te Whenua (The Trembling Earth).
Written entirely in Te Reo Maori, the song ‘Ruana Te Whenua’ combines thrash metal with the elements of haka, and is a tribute to the de Jong brothers’ great great great grandfather, who died in the Tauranga conflicts at Gate Pa in 1864 defending his home territory against the British.
“We were really surprised to win all of the awards,” says 13 year old singer and guitarist Lewis de Jong. “Because we play thrash metal, we were the ‘outsiders’ in both competitions, and the standard of reo in Pacifica Beats was really high.” Ruana Te Whenua was praised by the judges for its innovative use of Te Reo Maori.
Alien Weaponry are the only heavy metal band to have ever made it to the finals of the SmokeFree Pacifica Beats competition and the only group to have ever got a placing in both competitions in the same year. Facebook fans have dubbed their style ‘Te Reo Metal’ and compared them to Brazilian metal band Sepultura, who sing many of their songs in their native Portugese.
The trio, including the de Jong brothers and bass guitarist Ethan Trembath (also 13), will be using their winnings of Rockshop vouchers and cash to improve their equipment and continue funding time at Roundhead studios, where they recorded one of their songs for the Smokefree Rockquest TV series, start date Saturday 26 September. Their mentor for the recording session was Shihad drummer and record producer Tom Larkin, who flew over from Melbourne to work with the band after hearing them on The Rock radio station earlier in the year.
“Working with Tom has been really inspirational,” says 15 year old drummer Henry de Jong. “Even the short time we spent with him has improved how we interact as a group and changed the way I think about drumming, so we can’t wait to continue that process. Also, at the moment we only have a few demo songs recorded, and we have enough material for an album, so we really want to get that happening and release some radio quality recordings.”
“These kids are leagues beyond their years and there is some incredible stuff on the way from them,” says Tom Larkin. “This is some seriously crushing metal.”
Alien Weaponry have a number of ‘School’s Out’ shows lined up for later in the year, once NCEA exams are over. They will be joined by fellow Rockquest finalists Joe Says No, as well as Brendan Thomas and the Vibes, whom they have played with several times before, including the 2014 NZ Battle of the Bands finals.
Check out the music video for ‘Ruana Te Whenua (The Trembling Earth)’ here!
For video clips, music downloads, band bio and more, see: www.alienweaponry.com