Following the release of their debut album Silent Machine in 2012, Melbourne’s Twelve Foot Ninja have been obliterating audiences around the world. After a successful crowd funding campaign that made the world record books and the launch of an extensive Australian tour, we decided to sit down for a chat with guitarist Stevic to talk touring, music videos and raising awareness of cyber-bullying.
By Meghan Player
Hi Stevic! How are you?
Things seem to be getting busy again for the band – it seems like you’re constantly up to something – how hectic have the last twelve months been?
I don’t want to speculate, but I would say the past 12 months have been about 85% hectic. A couple of Aussie headline tours, Aussie Fear Factory tour, European & U.S tour, writing, recording, storming, transforming, norming all that shit.
Of course, last month was pretty epic for the band, with the release of your video for Ain’t That A Bitch – you must be stoked with the end result and the response the video has received?
It’s been an incredibly positive response to a project/video we are very proud of.
You turned to your fans to help crowd-fund the video – raising $45,000 in the process – were you surprised/overwhelmed by how many people got on board?
Overwhelmed; yes. Surprised; no. We knew our supporters would collaborate with us on this project, that is why we chose the crowd funding platform. It is a video that is free for all to view – anyone in their right mind would not spend so much money on something like this, so it seemed the perfect mission.
Prior to raising the money, did you have any plans/ideas on what you wanted to include in the video? Or did you decide after funds were raised?
It was completely written, storyboarded and planned in quite a lot of detail. We wouldn’t compromise the commitment of our supporters by going into something half cocked.
Were there any ideas that were perhaps too big or too expensive that you weren’t able to include in the video?
We decided to leave out bullet time 3D photography and wire air manoeuvres in the fight.
The video also has an important message about the issue of cyber-bullying – is this something you’re hoping the band [and video] can help raise awareness of?
Absolutely. Clearly the content of this video is designed for entertainment as opposed to being an instructional video , but we wanted to portray the infamous ‘keyboard warrior’ in a way that is supported by a lot of scientific research. Cyber bullies are generally damaged individuals that hide behind the anonymity of the internet, hoping to seesaw their self-esteem by putting others down. Nobody can stop this behaviour, but targets can view it from another perspective: perhaps feel some sympathy for these pathetic fappers instead of giving weight to their vitriolic words.
The launch of the video has also coincided with your ‘Troll Burger’ tour – which kicks off very soon – are you looking forward to hitting the road around the country again?
Definitely! Incidentally, did you know the phrase “hit the road” is about horse shit?
You’re no strangers to touring across the country – is there a particular place to play that is crazier than others?
We’ve been pretty lucky with our shows to be honest. We haven’t found ourselves playing in a barn to a bunch of inbred mutants yet.
The Algorithm will be joining you on this tour – of which I’ve only heard good things – are you looking forward to heading out with them?
Shit yeah. The Algorithm are sick! There is nothing like them in Australia, so I really encourage people to check them out!
All the excitement of touring and new video seems to beg the question what is next for the band?
We are doing a tour of the U.S and playing some massive festivals with bands like Korn, Slayer, Motorhead, Guns N Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, Mastodon, Gojira and shitloads more. It’s nuts. Working on new material. Coming up with crazy videos. Plotting. Scheming.
So you’re working on a new album at the moment? Can you tell us anything about it?
Yes. Anything said would sound cliché but it’s some of my favourite Ninja material to date and I cannot wait to show people.
Finally, what can people expect on the upcoming tour?
Twelve Foot Ninja performing a bunch of songs and giving it everything. Algorithm melting everyone’s faces. Some quality local supports. All bands coming together to provide an eclectic, polished, entertaining night of music and frivolity. I am pretty sure anyone who is single will meet their soul mate on this tour. Anyone with problems that could be solved by a great gig will experience their problems being solved.
Many thanks to Stevic for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out the dates/venues for the upcoming tour at: http://twelvefootninja.com/