A young Northland band's te reo Maori heavy metal song has earned a place in the finals of a new competition and it is only the first of many Maori songs the band plans to release.
Alien Weaponry, from Bream Bay College and Otamatea High School, brought te reo Maori and heavy metal together and wrote the song Ruana Te Whenua - the Trembling Earth - which is about their great-great-great grandfather, Te Aho Aho, who died fighting in the Battle of Gate Pa in Tauranga in 1864.
The song has secured them a spot in the finals of Matariki Rhythmz, where the band will compete against nine other teams, eight from South Auckland and one from West Auckland, on Saturday.
"We are really excited to be in the finals, as well as playing with some of the bands we were in Smokefree Pacifica Beats with last year, like the band Taniwha. There are also lots of other really good bands in the finals, so it's a good opportunity to make new friends and learn, as well as test ourselves and see how we compare," said Henry de Jong, the band's drummer.
It's not the first time the song has been successful. It earned them a place in the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition last year winning the Youth Performance Trust's Native Reo Award at Pacifica Beats. The band also won a $10,000 Making Tracks grant from New Zealand On Air to complete recording and produce a video for the song.
Mr de Jong said it was "crazy" how much attention the song had received.
"We also have a bunch of new material in te reo Maori that we are planning to release as singles after Ruana."