Keeping Māori Culture Alive with Thrash Metal: Alien Weaponry — Noisey Meets
Making heavy metal inspired by ancient Māori battles has made teenage trio Alien Weaponry unlikely heroes in the fight to preserve New Zealand’s indigenous language.
VICE first spoke to Alien Weaponry when the then 14- and 16-year-olds had clear plans for world domination. Fast-forward a couple of years and the Waipu locals are well on the way with their songs of historical revenge and scathing social commentary. Signed to Austrian label Napalm records, their first album Tū debuted at the top of the New Zealand music charts, and this past summer they played Wacken Open Air, the biggest metal festival in the world.
In this documentary, Alien Weaponry: Thrash Metal and Te Reo Māori, our colleagues at VICE New Zealand go behind the scenes to embed with the de Jong brothers Henry (drums) and Lewis (guitars and vocals)—and their "honorable brother," friend Ethan Trembath (bass). We road tripped to Otaramare on the shores of Lake Rotoiti where the brothers reconnect with their iwi Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Ruakawa. At home, at school, at work, and on stage, we get a glimpse of the workings of a band on the rise, and their dedication to the resurgence of Te Reo Māori as it struggles for survival.
"We as Alien Weaponry want to get Māori out there to the world, in order to inspire New Zealanders to actually fight to keep the language," says Henry.
Watch it above.