Ask any Aussie Metal fan if they know and love Twelve Foot Ninja and I suspect that most will not only say Yes but there will be an OMG and a swear word in the sentence as well. This band has a massive underground following and absolute loyal Facebook fans. They have gained well deserved international attention due to their insane live shows and their album ‘Outlier’ is more diverse than any other metal album that I have listened too.
2016 was a massive year for Twelve Foot Ninja and while I am writing this I feel this is an understatement. I ask Ro his thoughts on 2016. “Letting Outlier off its chain was a relief. Our Aussie tour with Disturbed was our first taste of Arenas & this was off it’s head for us! Listening to bizarre and thoroughly entertaining stories from Sevendust’s drummer Morgan Rose while touring with them in the US. The ARIA Awards were an interesting and memorable experience… We were in Honolulu sipping on Pina Coladas when we found out we were nominated for an ARIA actually. Our flight unexpectedly detoured on our way home from L.A because some dude on the plane was sick… It ended up being one of the best days of our lives. I started to question if we’d entered a ‘Lost’ scenario and actually crashed & died. You’re right though, there are a fair few mention-worthy highlights for us and awesome to reflect on!” I thought it would be fair to inquire whether or not the guys looked after themselves and had some time off and Ro ensured me that they did. “Most of the Christmas break was spent preparing for the tour, but there was a week or so in that period where everybody went back to their little mouse holes to do whatever it is that re-energises them. “
Sadly 2016 was not a great year for the music industry with us losing so many of our well-loved inspirations and mentors. I asked Ro if there was one in particular that hit him hard and whether he agreed with me that it was a crap year in this regard. “Yes! I know! What the actual fuck? Couldn’t get out of ’16 without it snagging a couple more legends at the very end as well. They’re all terrible losses. It wasn’t that long before Glenn Frey’s death that I saw The Eagles perform at Rod Laver in Melbourne.” Well that just sucked.
Getting back to the ‘Sick’ tour, they are one show down already, at my fav venue, The Corner Hotel. I asked Ro what the crowd was like at that show. “It was genuinely the most energetic and loudest room of people we’ve played to in Melbourne, to date. Especially given the circumstances; the air-con was broken and it was a 37-degree day. Everyone was drenched and smelt like wet onions and it was awesome!” When asked why people should come along and see their show Ro answered “Cobwebs are dusted. Russ will actually be at his kit ready to go when the first song starts this time. The atmosphere at our shows at the moment are off the charts – and that has more to do with our fans, than us. I think we’ve hit this sweet spot where our audiences give back as much to us and each other at a gig as we give to them which makes for a highly electric atmosphere. This means we have a good time and it shows. Well that says it all!
I had to ask Ro about the insanely good music video for ‘Sick’. He blamed it on Stevic, or should I say passed on the credit? Stevic takes charge on all of the clips! Most of ‘Sick’ was filmed out in Strath-Bogie (middle-of-bloody nowhere), a sneaky muddy road off about a KM into the bush. We smashed it over 2 days separated by about an hours sleep! The whole weekend actually had a bit of a creepy vibe about it. I spent most of the time in a dress as this ‘Susan’ character, taken hostage by Stevic’s character (Geezer). There’s some farked up behind-the-scenes footage that miiight come out sometime soon, I’ll let that speak for itself. Now that would be cool to see!
Lastly I wanted Ro to know that I felt that they handled the uproar about the category of Aria that they were nominated in with grace and maturity. Others, mainly fans thought that is was an outraged that a band that was not really metal won it. When discussing this Ro said “It was important for us to reiterate to everyone that we never expected to win & we were sincerely grateful for the nomination. We write unusual shit, so, the fact that it was acknowledged at that level is great. The Facebook reactions come down to the obscurity around the category definition and failed expectations. The category definition is pretty loose which makes it pretty easy to misinterpret. I think there was a general expectation that any one of the other bands in the category would win because they all fit the generally accepted definition of Hard Rock. King Gizzard isn’t heavy so there was a massive expectation gap that led to a barrage of complaints.
I appreciated Ro’s time, I know their time is precious. I encourage you guys to buy a ticket and head to one of their shows, it does not matter if the end result is smelling of wet onions! Their reputation precedes them as one of Australia’s top bands to go a see.
Hope the tour goes well for Twelve Foot Ninja.
Written by Jen Rees.
Twelve Foot Ninja have released the names of all the bands that are supporting them on the ‘Sick’ Tour. (See below)