Metal stars ALIEN WEAPONRY are embraced by fans and critics internationally as one of the current generation’s biggest names in heavy music, especially in their home country of New Zealand, where the band has achieved nearly household name status. This May 2021, the band plans to uplift their local fans in a completely new way by performing in unity with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at two special performances, taking place in Kirikiriroa Hamilton and Ōtautahi Christchurch.
The performance events, billed as ‘Stronger Together’, will be a unique musical experience for audiences, the NZSO and ALIEN WEAPONRY. The concerts are ALIEN WEAPONRY’s first with an orchestra and NZSO’s first collaboration with a metal band in their 75-year history.
The Kirikiriroa Hamilton performance will take place at the Claudelands Arena on Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 PM NZ time, and the Ōtautahi Christchurch performance will happen at Town Hall on Saturday, May 29 at 7:30 PM.
As made evident with their breakout 2018 Napalm Records release ‘Tū’, ALIEN WEAPONRY delivers emotionally and politically charged stories of conflict and grief with a warrior-like attitude, with many of the songs sung in the indigenous language of te reo Māori. Some, including the high-octane Kai Tangata, incorporate taonga puoro (traditional instruments of the Māori people of New Zealand). These standout blended elements of band’s music are poised to make ‘Stronger Together’ an exceptional evening for all in attendance. Lead vocalist and guitarist Lewis de Jong, drummer Henry de Jong (Ngāti Pikiāo and Ngāti Raukawa) and bass player Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds (Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Wai and Ngāti Hine) can’t wait to play with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, led by renowned New Zealand conductor Holly Mathieson.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Lewis de Jong says: “I’ve always loved the idea of incorporating orchestral music with contemporary music, and when I heard that the NZSO wanted to collaborate with us I was really excited. I think there is going to be a very interesting mix of people who come to the show, mixing the metalheads with the classical music fans. One thing for sure, the mosh pits will be insane.”
Bassist Tūranga Morgan-Jones adds: “Being trained as a classical pianist when I was a child, I’ve always wanted to play in the true orchestra experience. And now to be able to be a part of something involving the talented team of the NZSO, I am super excited, and I’m so glad I get to join it with our passion for heavy metal too!”
NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs says audiences will be blown away: “Classical and metal share much of the same DNA. Many of metal and hard rock’s biggest names, including Eddie Van Halen, loved and took inspiration from classical composers and performers. Metallica’s live album ‘S&M’ with the San Francisco Symphony sold in the millions.While we’ve collaborated with some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best-known bands and artists, for us to finally play with a metal band of ALIEN WEAPONRY’s calibre will be one of the highlights of 2021.”
For information on the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and this event, visit www.nzso.co.nz/alienweaponry.
ALIEN WEAPONRY have made headlines across the world with their unique fusion of thrash metal and their native language, te reo Maori. The band was recently featured on the cover of Metal Hammer UK, occupied the #1 slot for 13 weeks on the Devil’s Dozen countdown on SiriusXM Liquid Metal, their debut album ‘Tū’ was voted album of the decade by Finnish metal magazine Tuonela, and American metal magazine Revolver named ALIEN WEAPONRY one of the bands most likely to break out in 2021.
In Denmark, they were welcomed to the Copenhell Festival by a crowd of 10,000 doing a haka in their honor, and opened up for Slayer in Stuttgart, Germany on their final European show last year.
While the world has been in lockdown, the band has been in New Zealand, writing and recording their second album, anticipated for release soon. Stay tuned for more news!
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With thanks to Maric Media