As ever, we’re going to try and cover every single Jäger, New Blood and SOPHIE stage band before Bloodstock kicks off on August 9th. Your chance to check them out and start planning which bands to get there early for!
Trust us when we tell you that this is bound to result in some frustrating clashes because, as ever, there are some great bands on these three stages.
Our thanks to all the bands for taking the time out to answer our questions!
Alien Weaponry – Sophie Lancaster Stage, Sunday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from a tiny town called Waipu, which is in Northland, New Zealand. It’s more of a village, really. But Henry and Lewis have whakapapa (ancestry) from Rotoiti, in the central North Island, which is the home of their Ngati Pikiao tribe.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Henry and Lewis wrote their first song together when they were 8 and 10 years old. Ethan joined the band when he was 10, and we have been playing together publicly since then.
Where does the name of the band come from?
When Henry and Lewis were 8 and 10, we had just watched the movie ‘District 9’. We were talking about the alien weaponry in the movie and decided it would be a cool name for a band. We googled it and found there were no other bands with that name, so we grabbed the URL for alienweaponry.com.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We would describe our musical sound as groove thrash metal. What makes us unique is that about half our lyrics are in Te Reo Māori, which it the native language of New Zealand. We combine elements of haka and traditional Māori instruments with metal to make our own sound. Our lyrics include a lot of political and social commentary, especially about New Zealand – both historical and contemporary.
What’s your live show like? Why are people going to watch you instead of another band?
Well, there are only three of us, so we go pretty hard on stage. We call Ethan the windmill; and you will see Lewis and Henry doing things like whetero (a kind of grimace where the eyes go big, as in haka) on stage. Lewis is always inciting the crowd to do crazy things, so our shows are pretty wild.
Have you played Bloodstock before? If so, when?
Haha, no. We are only 16, 16 and 18. We are currently touring Europe and we actually only played outside of New Zealand for the first time on 5 July this year. We stopped in Australia on the way to Europe and did 3 shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
How/when did you find out that you’d be playing the SOPHIE stage?
I guess it was earlier this year, probably when we got home from school one day. We already had quite a few festivals and shows booked in Europe, but we really wanted to come to the UK, so we were stoked to hear we would be playing at Bloodstock. The Sophie Lancaster stage is a pretty special place for us to be playing our first gig in the UK.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
We released our debut album, Tū in June this year, so you will be hearing songs from the album. Our set is 45 minutes long, so we will have to miss out a few, but hopefully people will be happy with the ones we play. We’ll be picking the songs that get everyone moshing hard live.
Which other band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Gojira! We have already checked and we are not clashing with them, but they play on Saturday night, when we will still be travelling from the Netherlands, which we are a bit gutted about.
What are you working on at the moment?
We have just started a 2 month tour of Europe, so that is keeping us pretty busy at the moment. When we get back to New Zealand, Ethan and Lewis have some school exams, and we have already started writing songs for our next album, so we’ll keep doing that. We will be touring New Zealand and Australia over our Summer (December/January/February) as well.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
When we played in Melbourne recently a guy actually broke his ankle in the mosh pit, but he stayed to see the rest of the show before he let his friends take him to the hospital.
Jager, Hobgoblin Ale, Red Bull, Kingstone Press Cider, Kaltenberg Beer or Bulleit Bourbon? And, yes, we’ll be counting all the votes!
Two of us are not old enough to legally buy alcohol, so we’d have to say Red Bull. Henry hasn’t tried either of the beers but he thinks he’d prefer the Hobgoblin Ale.