We continue the discoveries of the Hellfest 2019 with Alien Weaponry : a New Zealand group consisting of 3 young people. They will introduce you, through their music, to Maori language and culture. I propose you this interview where we will return on their intentions, their life of artist and private but also on their future.

Hello, how are you? How do you feel to play here, at the Hellfest?

– Ethan Trembath
Amazing Man! We’re doing very well today. What even is the time ? About 1:30 in the day and it’s bloody hot but we’re freakin’ doing well !

– Lewis de Jong
There’s a swimming pool where I might go for a dip later.

– Ethan Trembath
We’ve played earlier on the day. It’s our first time here in France, first time playing a show in France and it’s amazing.

You work as a family, your father as a manager and your mother as a press agent, how is this collaboration going? Are you able to dissociate your group and your private life?

– Henry De Jong
Yeah I mean it’s definitely something that we work on on the road. Sometimes the lines are a little blurred out. Our mother also sells our merch and our father also does sound for us. They’re a really big part of the band and we’re very lucky to have them.

You created your group when you were 8 and 10 years old. Looking back, would you have things that you would have done differently?

– Lewis de Jong
No honestly, I’m actually just blown away that I, at 10 year old, started a band and the band has got this far. So I don’t know what we could have done differently because I can’t see the future but… I don’t know man. I don’t think so. I’m pretty happy with how things are turning out.

How was the creation of your first album? Do you have anecdotes to share with us, somehting funny, disturbing or stressful?

– Ethan Trembath
I mean the whole waking experience was stressful man. It was good. We pretty much wrote that album in a span of three years maybe longer than three or four years. Some songs on there are four years old and some were written about a week before the album was finished. It’s kind of a time capsule of Alien Weaponry, the first years of the band. There’s plenty of stressful moments but you know : not very interesting.

There’s some funny moments like… I’ll show you this one but this one’s from our recent single. We needed a breathless take from Lewis and the only way that we could get that is by making him run around the block. We did that and we made sure that the recording engineer chased him around the block so he ran as fast as he could. When he came back, Neil Finn who is the guitarist for Fleetwood Mac now, he owns the studio, saw the security cameras where there was a guy getting chased by the recording engineer. He came downstairs and he said “What’s going on? What’s wrong ?”. He thought that something was being stolen but it turned out that Lewis was just trying to get the right tone of voice.

– Lewis de Jong
Sorry Neil Finn for stressing you out man !

You are inspired by the history of your ancestors Maori for the lyrics of your songs, is it a desire to share this culture or to reveal the cruelty inflicted on your ancestors?

– Henry De Jong
Even in New Zealand, a lot of people don’t know all these stories we’re talking about. For us, it’s a big part and we want to share these stories; share them with people so like that they’ll know about it and they’ll be interested in learning more about New Zealand’s history as well as the language. Even know it’s New Zealand’s native language, not that many people speak it there. So we’re trying to revive the language a little bit through our music.

You have just started touring in Europe and North America since the end of 2018. How is your tour going? How do you manage your everyday life with your international career being so young? Isn’t it too difficult?

– Ethan Trembath
No, we kind of find a balancing point between personal life and tour life. We’ve pretty much spent this last year or so overseas. We’ve been to Europe twice, America twice. We’ve toured Australia and toured New Zealand.

Those tours have to be quite long because coming from New Zealand, it’s not cheap and it’s not easy to get all the way to the other side of the world. You really make the most of it when we’re over here. We’ve been on tour for about two months and we’re on tour here in Europe for another two months and then after that’s another two months. It’s about six months out of touring. When we’ll finally get back to New Zealand, we’re hoping to do a bit of writing for the next album as well as just relax and hopefully have a social life once.

You had the goal to perform at Wacken before Henry was 20, what were your feelings about that when you achieved it? What is your next goal?

– Henry De Jong
We were all blown away when we found out we were playing Wacken last year. Our goal was to play there before I was 20 and we ended up playing there when I was 18. So I think we smashed it and we can’t wait to get back there; come back to these festivals and play a bigger time on bigger stages for more people hopefully and maybe have another album under our weight as well.

What can you tell us about the future of Alien Weaponry?

– Ethan Trembath
We’re not too sure… Close future : we know that we’re going back to America to tour with Black Label Society and The Black Dahlia Murder. That’s gonna be fun. We’ll do that for about a month, I think. Then we’re hoping to do some headline shows as well.

– Henry De Jong
Maybe another album at some point. When we’ll have the time to write, we definitely be keen to get some more music out there for you guys.

– Ethan Trembath
Recent recent future,we are gonna release our new music music video for a song called Blinded. I’m not sure when. We actually haven’t even seen the video but we know it’s gonna be an awesome video because we have a good old friend working on it as we speak. So yeah should be good.

For the public who does not know you yet, what would be the song you would recommend to them? Is this your favorite? If not which one is it?

– Ethan Trembath
I’d say “Kai Tangata” because it’s our heaviest song and also our best representation of our mix with melody and metal. And if not “Kai Tangata” then probably “Ahi Kā” because that’s our most recent song.

– Lewis de Jong
“Holding My breath” also is cool !

We arrive at the end of this interview and as always, we leave you the last words of this one.

– Ethan Trembath
I was like to say : if you’re deciding that you’re going to write music, stay true to what you are passionated about and don’t write stuff to make money or to please anybody. We always have rules in our band : Write good songs, practice songs, stick together and don’t be a dick. You can decide to follow those if you like. That’s kind of the basis of Alien Weaponry.

– Henry De Jong
I think that applies to anything in life. Do what you’re passionated about and do the best you can. Just stay true to yourself !


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