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Interview: Alien Weaponry - Level One Tour

Interview: Alien Weaponry - Level One Tour

Annabel Kean / Wednesday 18th November, 2020 11:12AM

Brain-blasting Waipu trio Alien Weaponry take their killer brand of Te Reo heavy metal on the road this month and next, celebrating the rare privilege of Aotearoa's Level One lifestyle. Recent additions to the same management roster as Slayer and Gojira (RSE Group), siblings Henry and Lewis de Jong and new bassist Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds haven't quit soaring since dropping their award winning debut album in 2018. Rightly saving his voice for the tour, vocalist Lewis de Jong joined me for a chat via email and dished the goss on all things Alien Weaponry in 2020. Wander down the page for the interview, and wrap your eyes around the full tour run down here...

UTR proudly presents...

Alien Weaponry - Level One Tour

Friday 20th November - Totara St, Tauranga
Saturday 21st November - The Factory, Hamilton
Friday 27th November - Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch
Saturday 28th November - Starters Bar, Dunedin
Thursday 3rd December - San Fran, Wellington
Saturday 5th December - Powerstation, Auckland (all ages)

Tickets on sale now via

Annabel Kean: So cool that you recently performed at the Auckland Town Hall. How did you find playing your music in such a big venue? It can be pretty echoey in there.

Lewis de Jong: The Auckland Town Hall is one of the venues I’ve always loved. I went there for a couple of shows as a kid and always imagined myself playing on that stage so it was a surreal experience being able to play there. It is such a beautiful venue and the huge pipe organ looked awesome in the background of us playing. As for the echoes, well our FoH guy Hammerhead always makes us sound good.


Awesome cover of Troy Kingi's 'Mighty Invader'. Can you talk me through your process for that? Did you try out any other versions?

When we first started working on the song, we tried to find something that worked well without sounding the same as the original or just forced. Eventually we decided to take a different approach by using an already existing song of ours and working it into Troy Kingi’s Mighty Invader. It worked better than we could’ve expected.

What have you been up to during lockdowns?

I watched all of the last Air Bender with my partner Lexi, attempted to play saxophone, got my dreadlocks done, went skating almost every day.

What's it like working with management who are based all the way in LA? Has it changed the culture of the band?

It’s been pretty smooth so far. We have still been doing what we are doing, writing the album and being Kiwis. Our new management doesn’t want to change the culture of the band, they like us the way we are, and I think that’s one of the things that made them want to take us on, because our culture – both Māori and NZ – is a bit different and unique. We won’t really be able to truly gauge the impact of the new management until we are able to tour overseas again, but wherever we are in the world, we have always aimed to be 100% professional, so nothing has changed in that respect.

Was this the first year you were all old enough to vote? How did you find that process? Reckon you'll be writing any songs about the new government?

This is the first year that I have been able to vote. Henry my brother is two years older than me, so he was eligible to vote but there were no elections, so it was his first time voting too. As far as new songs go, we don’t know at this point what we are going to write about next, so you will have to wait and find out.

How have you found transitioning into life at level one? Do you have any fears around travelling?

It’s been great going back into level one, as I turned 18 during lockdown and didn’t get the chance to celebrate, so it’s nice to be able to go out with my friends. I feel pretty safe in New Zealand, but would definitely feel a little nervous if we were to go overseas right now.

I see you've already got a bunch of festivals lined up for next year. What are you looking forward to out of those? Which bands are you most excited to see and why?

I’m really looking forward to Nova Rock and seeing System of a Down, Killswitch Engage and Jinjer. Really excited to see Gojira at Mystic Festival. Also looking forward to seeing Metallica and Mastodon at Aftershock Festival. Most of these bands I’ve seen live before and they have been really good, but I’m especially excited to see Metallica and Killswitch Engage as I’ve never seen them live before.


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