Alien Weaponry: Thrash Metal and Te Reo Māori
Fewer than four percent of New Zealand’s population are Māori language speakers. Three teenagers from rural town Waipu have become unlikely heroes in the fight to preserve the indigenous language by making heavy metal inspired by Māori history.
VICE embeds with Alien Weaponry in the build up to the release of their first album, from the garage on the de Jong family farm where brothers Henry (drums) and Lewis (vocals and guitar) and their friend Ethan Trembath (bass) rehearse, to catching the bus to high school, working at the local mechanics and bringing in the washing for mum.
We also road trip to Lake Rotoiti for an overnight visit to Otaramarae where the brothers reconnect with their iwi [tribes] Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Raukawa. It’s a chance for the band to immerse themselves in the culture and history at the core of their music, and consider their personal part in the resurgence of te reo Māori as it struggles for survival.
Producer: Ursula Grace
Production Company: VICE NZ