Each week we invite music lovers to share seven songs that have shaped their life. This week, we speak to Lewis de Jong, guitarist and vocalist for Waipū thrash metal band Alien Weaponry, who is headlining Auckland Live Fringe Town at the Town Hall on February 29.
1. Walk With Me In Hell - Lamb of God
This song is the opening track on the album Sacrament which was the first album that I independently sought out when I was 8 or 9 years old.
I've always streamed music so I've never really gone out and bought CDs because I'm a bit of a millennial.
So it's the first song that I discovered by myself where I thought "that's a really f***ing awesome song". It's a really good representation of how that album feels.
It's also the first point from where I started diving in to the slightly heavier side of music. I'd never really heard anything as intense as Lamb of God before that.
That music connected with me a lot and got me through a lot of my high school years as well. They're one of my favourite bands.
2. Goodbye - Slipknot
This song lulls you into a false sense of security and then it takes a bit of an evil turn.
It's a song that you can help you get through shit. It's a slightly sombre and sad and if you're trying to get through something difficult like a break-up, sometimes those type of songs are the best to help release some of that tension and get you through it.
It could be anything from falling out with a friend to losing a loved one. I listened to it to get me through a tough time after I stopped being as close with someone as I once was.
Just go and put this track on and maybe bawl your eyes out for a bit and then you'll feel a bit better afterwards.
I discovered Slipknot soon after I started listening to Lamb of God. They have quite a contrast of melodic and really heavy stuff, which is good because you need that melodic slow part to get through sad stuff and the angry part can help you deal with any anger.
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3. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
Anytime we pull up to a venue or festival we'll wind down the windows and play this track as loud as we can. Just because it's one of those iconic songs that people overuse and we find it funny.
That's the song we play with our crew before going out and whenever we arrive somewhere we'll blast that just to make everyone laugh a little bit.
People usually love it. It goes to show that people who make and appreciate heavy music are all jokers and have a good sense of humour or don't take themselves too seriously.
It's a song we know from a hugely popular meme, where you'll be sent a video with a crazy bonkers title and when you click on it Never Gonna Give You Up starts playing and it tells you "you've just been rick-rolled!'"
4. Lenny - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan is probably my earliest musical inspiration. He's one of the few people that I feel that can talk through a guitar - he can make you feel things though his playing.
Not many people can play guitar and make you vibe and feel stuff. That's really hard to pull off, I feel like Jimi Hendrix did it and Stevie Ray Vaughan did it also.
It's such a beautiful song and one of the earliest I remember from the age of two or three.
Dad had a live DVD of Stevie Ray Vaughan and his albums on CD. Music was always playing in our house and I was always asking for this song, and David Gilmour and Pink Floyd.
5. O.D. - Polyphia
I really like this track off the album New Levels New Devils because it mixes two unlikely genres. It isn't quite metal but it isn't not metal either.
It's very technical and weird and proggy. Some people might think that is a bit too much but the song also contains a lot of elements of trap music. Like at the end it has some full-on elements of trap there.
I'm a big fan of rap and I like that bridge that crosses over between genres. A lot of people in their respective genres are quite closed off - like metal heads often hate on rap music and vice versa. But I like seeing it get crossed over because I think the two genres work really well together. That's a song I can groove to on both sides.
Our whole band like Polyphia. We're all into the slightly more technical stuff and we crank it when we want to get hyped up.
6. Don't Mean A Thing - Louis Armstrong
My Oma was a huge fan of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and lots of other old school jazz and blues.
She was always playing that type of music and we were both artistic people and I got along with her really well. She used to paint and I'm also into drawing and painting.
When she passed away a couple of years ago, this song reminded me of her because it's the kind of music that was always playing in her house in Waihi. I always like hearing it and have always loved Louis Armstrong's raspy voice.
This song is just a good representation of the music she liked and I love it as well.
7. Right In Two - Tool
This song is just really well written - most Tool tracks are but I particularly like the progression on this track.
It progresses so much and transitions so smoothly I feel this song has the ability to lift you up a little bit.
I've always been a fan of Tool and people would always play me their songs and I'd love it. But I only really started seeking out their albums and properly listening to Tool last year. I downloaded 10,000 Days and just loved it.
We've played some of the same festivals as Tool in the US and Europe and I've had the opportunity to watch them in Chicago. I watched their whole set and it was pretty amazing.