Earlier this year, Southern hemisphere tech metal wizards Twelve Foot Ninja came to the UK for the first time to allow us to experience their skills in all their glory. Unsurprisingly, the entire tour sold out. While they were here, they caught up with very own wizard, Matt Hill, for a discussion on a raft of topics.
Thanks very much for sparing some time for us today. Firstly, and arguably most importantly, Does the Twelve Foot Ninja have a mortal nemesis?
Stevic: Yep! The Twelve Foot Ninja has 7 mortal nemeses. More on this later.
How did the band come together initially and how did Rohan become the 5th member?
Ro: The internet. Stevic and Russ played in a band together called ‘Flow’. Damon and Kin responded to Stevic’s ads online… I joined the band through a YouTube clip. I did a rearrangement of one of their earlier tracks called Manufacture of Consent. A few Halo death-matches later I was on board.
What was the first album you ever bought and what has been the most influential / important album of your adult life?
Russ: Motley Crüe – Feel Good, first and most important album to me.
Kin: I can’t actually remember my first album. I think it was Kiss- Alive 2. Ohh actually, no, no. Yeah Kiss- Alive 2. I think. Most important, probably Frank Sinatra & Count Basie – it might as well be swing.
Did the response towards crowd funding for “Ain’t That A Bitch” change the planned video and what video (concept) would you do if money was not an issue?
Stevic: It didn’t change our plans. If money was not an issue, I’d probably do a full CGI extravaganza or something.
How did the tour with Fear Factory come about?
Ro: SiriusXM host and absolute legend Jose Mangin introduced our music to Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazeres. From there, Dino pushed to have Ninja support their Aussie run of their Demanufacture tour..
If you could do a tour with any artists (current, dead or disbanded) who would it be with?
Ro: Between the five of us there are fucking tons. I’d love to tour with Deftones. Let me leave it at that.
Damon: KoRn or Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kin: Steely Dan.
How does the writing process work for you guys and is there movement towards a new album?
Ro: Ideas are flowing for the third album. We’re still in the Outlier cycle, so it’s early days.
If you had to cover a whole album what would it be?
Ro: The Shaggs – Philosophy of the World.
If you could finish your final show right now with one song, what would it be and why?
Damon: if it was one of ours it would be One Hand Killing. Someone else’s, maybe Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley?
Whilst many influences are evident in your music, is there any one album or artist who helped define the early sound more than any other?
Ro: I think I can safely pin a lot of it down to Mr Bungle. Stevic listened to shit loads of Mike Patton’s stuff in his musical upbringing.
There is a refreshing element of relaxed and genuine visual humour with the band; do you feel the (various) music scenes are all too overtly serious?
Kin: Yes, yes I do.
Ro: It’s good to take the piss. The ‘band’ concept is funny in itself. Zooming out it’s actually quite lame. Music nerds told to look like they could win a UFC fight. The lot of us would get fucking pummelled.
What’s the greatest city you’ve visited outside of Australia? What global city would you advise we all avoid?
Ro: Don’t avoid anywhere mate. Go check it out. I loved Quebec in Canada. We’re all really looking forward to Barcelona.
Every band has a horror tour story or experience; what is yours?
Damon: we took off about 3 years of our life breathing in sulphur fumes on a bus last year. Bus had no room to pull over on the highway and this intense smell of rotten egg was coming through the vents. Bus ended up on the side of the road, but we made the gig…just! Happy ending.
(if applicable) – Who is your favorite Simpsons character?
Kin: Probably Krusty. I like Krusty. He’s troubled… deeply troubled.
Ro: I’m more on the South Park train… that being said, bloody Homer…
Lastly, the Shuriken (guitar) is incredible; how did that situation / partnership come about and can I have one if I get a TFN tattoo on my nether regions?
Stevic: 10 years of using Line 6 gear in different ways led to a natural partnership. Regarding the tattoo, get it and we’ll talk.
You can check out Rock Sins’ review of Twelve Foot Ninja’s excellent London show at The Camden Underworld on this link. More updates from the Twelve Foot Ninja camp as and when we have them!