Q&A: Alien Weaponry talk business and music ahead of their NZ tour
13 November 2020
“We tried writing a metal song in Maori and it really worked” Waipu natives, “Alien Weaponry” aren’t your average family band. Of Dutch & Maori descent this three-piece has taken the world by storm with their Te Reo Māori thrash metal. We spoke to Lewis de Jong ahead of this month’s tour.
With the rest of the world in lockdown describe the prospect of this tour for you?
All of us are really excited to get back on the road. We've been writing and recording our second album and now we're really keen to get out there and connect with our fans again, and to unleash our new bass player Tūranga on the world.
What is your main takeaway from the COVID-19 situation?
One of the positive things that came from the COVID-19 situation was it gave us more time to refine our album and really nail down some of the things we hadn't fully worked out yet. And, after 2 years of almost constant touring, it's been good to have time to chill out in Aotearoa. We have the best beaches!
How do you balance the art of business with the art itself?
Sometimes it's hard, but our management team definitely makes it easier for us as a band to focus on the art. We have booking agents; and we just signed a management contract with “Rick Sales Entertainment” in LA, who manages “Slayer”,“Gojira”, “Ghost” and “Mastodon”.
So Mum and Dad tour manage and manage you. How does the family dynamic work on the road?
Sometimes the dynamic is quite interesting, haha, but it's definitely good having Mum and Dad on the road. It's really funny to have fans coming up to us asking for photos with our parents especially of Mum who does merch.
How big a deal are you in Waipu these days?
Not such a big deal locally, but I was working at a cafe in Waipu last summer and sometimes people would recognise me and start talking to me about my band. I guess we have some recognition in Waipu but it mostly comes from other parts of the country and internationally.
Biggest buzz so far?
It's really hard to choose favourites but our very first European festival, “MetalDays” in Slovenia, still stands out. We didn't know what to expect and it was so awesome that we got such a big crowd who knew our songs. Also opening up for “Slayer” in Stuttgart - that was a really epic gig and we had a really good reception from the crowd.
How did writing in Te Reo come about?
We first started writing in Te Reo Māori when our friends in “Strangely Arousing” won “Smokefree Pacifica Beats” with a song called “Kupenga”. We thought it sounded really cool so we just experimented and tried writing a metal song in Maori and it really worked.
Any Alien Weaponry on Tik Tok?
I actually searched up our songs on Tik Tok and yes, we have a couple on there. Watching some people lip-syncing and doing various other things on Tik Tok to our songs is kind of funny and interesting. There are also a lot of reaction videos to our music on YouTube, and some of those are pretty hilarious too.
What’s the “big one” for you guys in terms of achievements to come?
One of our main goals now is to be selling out stadiums and arenas as a headline act in NZ and all over the world. It might take a few years to get there, but we're all pretty optimistic and determined to make it happen.
Name three albums in your collection you think may surprise your fans?
Dark side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
L.A.B. by L.A.B.
Inside the Dub Plates by Salmonella Dub
Alien Weaponry - Level 1 Tour
Friday November 20th 8pm
Totara Street - Mount Maunganui
Moshtix from $44.11 R18