“Nothing makes me happier than seeing a group of young guns carrying the torch for heavy metal … Alien Weaponry are not only carrying it, but they are raising it damn high.”
– Sean McLennan, Overdrive magazine
Alien Weaponry’s (Niel de Jong) debut album Tū will be released worldwide tomorrow Friday 1 June 2018, with New Zealand fans being the first able to purchase it in stores and through digital channels from midnight.
The album is already making waves internationally with it being added to 42 radio playlists in the USA making it the number 1 "most added album" on both American metal charts this week and landing a coveted slot on the "Devils Dozen" playlist on SiriusXM's Liquid Metal show.
New Zealand activities around the release will be on 2 June, however, and include an evening show at Galatos Ballroom in Auckland, preceded by an in-store signing during the day.
In addition to performances by the band and several guest artists, the Galatos show will include an exclusive preview of a documentary on the band, made by VICE as part of their Zealandia series. Doors open at 8pm and tickets can be purchased in advance through Eventfinda for $20.
Earlier in the day on 2 June, the band will be in store at JB HiFi Queen St from 12-1pm to meet fans and sign copies of the album.
The album’s title, Tū, is a shortened form of Tūmatauenga – the Māori god of war. Guitarist and lead singer Lewis de Jong explains the thinking behind the choice.
“Quite a few of the songs on the album are about battles or conflict,” he says. “So we wanted to acknowledge the influence of Tūmatauenga in our work. About half the songs are also in Te Reo Māori, but since thealbum is being released internationally, we wanted something that would be easy for people worldwide to say and remember.”
His brother, drummer Henry de Jong adds, “Tū also means to stand strong and proud, to stand for something; which we think is important as a band and as people.”
As well as being the name of the album, Tū is the name of the character on its cover, which was designed by Barny Bewick. The image features traditional moko kanohi (facial tattooing) on the lower half of the face, topped by the metal helmet of a Viking and the horns of a Celtic warrior.
“While we call him Tū,” explains Ethan, “he represents the warrior ancestry of all three of us – I have Celtic and French roots; and Lewis and Henry have Māori (Ngati Pikiao/Hinekura and Ngati Raukawa) and Viking heritage.”
Their latest single "Kai Tangata" has had over 360 thousand views on Youtube in just over a week with the band having 129 thousand listeners on Spotify this month alone.
After the album release, Alien Weaponry head overseas for a festival tour of Australia, Europe and the UK; with more shows in New Zealand and Australia planned for summer 2018-19.
Tū can be pre-ordered HERE through Napalm Records. CD’s and vinyl will also be available in New Zealand through JB Hi-Fi, Marbecks, Real Groovy, Mighty Ape, The Warehouse and other record outlets.