From playing in bands in the 80s and early 90s to studio work and mentoring, Niel de Jong is no stranger to the New Zealand music business. But his current role as manager of the teenage thrash metal band Alien Weaponry is taking his career to a whole new level.
The Waipu three-piece – made up of his sons, lead singer and guitarist Lewis (15) and drummer Henry (17), and bassist Ethan Trembath (15) – are about to embark on a major European festival tour following the release of their debut album Tū on the renowed Austrian metal label Napalm Records.
de Jong’s work in helping take Alien Weaponry global was honoured earlier this year when he won the international achievement prize at the NZ Music Managers Awards, but he knows that the hard work is just beginning.
“They are looking forward to Europe, though it is kind of two edged sword,” de Jong admits. “It’s a little bit scary as well.”