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The path of the ninja: Interview with Stevic of Twelve Foot Ninja

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Making their second touring appearance in the states, Australia’s Twelve Foot Ninja (TFN) hit the festival circuit this year, including Carolina Rebellion. On May 4, the Aussie quintet played to the massive 100,000+ Rebellion crowd to a much fanfare and a warm reception. Fusing element of multiple genres with a heavy undercurrent, TFN are the kind of band that renews your faith in the concept of fusion rock. Their music is both moving and groovy, weaving several pieces of sonic fabric into one elaborate quilt of sonic sensation. Basically, you have to hear them to get it and once you get it, you never forget it. A few months ago, the band released their crowd-funded video "Ain't That A Bitch." In the video fans get a metaphorical glimpse at the hard work and dedication it takes to produce an album, the perils of Internet trolls, and the consequences of trolling too hard.We were lucky enough to get a chance to talk with TFN guitarist, Stevic, about the band’s recent adventures, hanging out with musical legends and fighting the trolls.

How did you guys enjoy Carolina Rebellion
Stevic:
It was awesome. Carolina rebellion has probably been the biggest response at a festival so far. I mean all of them that we’ve done have been great, but that one was particularly awesome. It was just a great vibe with the crowd and then we wet over to the Jager tent. We were supposed to be there for just half an hour but we ended up being there for about two hours, I think, because there were just so many people that were into the music.

Were there any bands you were looking forward to at Rebellion?
Stevic:
Nothing More we actually played a few side shows, club shows, with those guys and they were really cool. So we enjoyed sort of checking them out because we were more and more familiar with their material. Overall it was great, I don’t think I can single out anything in particular!

You guys won “Best New Talent” at The Golden Gods. How psyched were you about that?
Stevic:
That was really surreal because Kin and I, the vocalist and I, attended because they didn’t have a huge set up so they couldn’t bring every band member from every band. So, we just went along and we had no expectations because we were up against some huge bands. Chino from the Deftones and his side project (Crosses †††) and Joey from Slipknot and his side project (Scar the Martyr), and we’re like, 'there’s no way we’re gonna win this.' So we were just honored to be there and experience it. Then, just before we went onto the black carpet to do some media stuff, the girl that was sort of showing us around just nonchalantly went “Congratulations.”…We were completely spun out. We had no idea up until that point and even when she told us we were skeptical right up until the part where we went backstage and there was Carmen Electra and Tony Hawk who had presented the previous award. We went out there and the producer told us not to swear and that discombobulated me. I was ruined at that point, so I just sort of made caveman noises and let Kin try and translate what I was trying to say. I was awesome and just having the opportunity to chat up some credible musos and artists that we’ve looked up to for years was a real thrill.

What was it like to choreograph the fight in “Ain’t That A Bitch”?
Stevic:
The fight was pretty cool. We did have a fight choreographer there because the guy playing the internet troll wasn’t particularly athletic. So I had to do a lot more because he was doing a lot less. If you watch it, he just kind of stands there. I guess it sort of plays into his roll as this lummocksing Internet troll. In that fight, the dude who was the fight choreographer is a well known Austrailian choreographer. He’s actually got one leg, his other leg got blown off. He’s a stuntman (laughs). Yeah, he’s been around the block. Basically I'd throw a few ideas as to what I wanted we played through different scenarios and I just went for it. I actually caught on fire because I jumped into the TV and they set off some explosives and it burned me. So I’ve still got scars on my back. (laughs) But you know, f**k it, you gotta do it, right? (chuckles)

What’s up next for you guys after this tour?
Stevic:
We have to write another album We’ve got quite a lot of material and we’ve started tracking for the next album. So I mean yeah we just have to really knuckle down and get that done and hopefully have another album out the beginning of next year.

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