Thrash metal teens to unleash hard-rocking te reo single

By Courtney Hammond -
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Teenage Waipu thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have released a debut single. Photo / Tania Whyte
Teenage Waipu thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have released a debut single. Photo / Tania Whyte

Fresh from its record-breaking efforts in the country's high school music competitions, teenaged Northland thrash metal band Alien Weaponry is about to release its first single.

And it's a recording of their song Urutaa that they recorded after they won unprecedented first place in both the Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats competitions this year.

The band - 14-year-old Lewis De Jong (guitar/vocals), 16-year-old brother Henry (drums) and friend Ethan Trembath (bass guitar) - from Waipu, is releasing Urutaa to the public on Friday.

After their success at the annual music competitions, they are now releasing the single which has lyrics in te reo Maori and which was first aired on New Zealand radio last week.

The thrash metal band not only took home $33,000 from the Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats competitions, but they also gained recognition for being the first band to win both of the competitions, the youngest band to win each of the competitions and the first thrash metal band to win the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition.

Their hard work and passion paid off this year when they received $10,000 from NZ on Air after their double win to record the single and release it. They have also gained acknowledgement internationally, with UK magazine Metal Hammer featuring the young band in its "10 Best metal bands from New Zealand" and announcing them as "One for the future".

The band's use of te reo in their music has been described as "impressive" by Jeff Newton, Smokefree Rockquest judge, and he has said that there is "nothing like this in the world at the moment".

The single was inspired by conflicting ideas and expectations resulting in pressure, stress and unhappiness which is described as Urutaa. The misunderstandings between cultures and generations is shown metaphorically through the Maori lyrics of the metal song.

Produced by Shihad drummer Tom Larkin, Urutaa reveals Alien Weaponry's true talent and skill through the lyrics and instrumentation and shows a great future ahead for the music they create and will continue to produce.

The release of Alien Weaponry's new single Urutaa on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music will be on December 2.

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