TWELVE FOOT NINJA // BEHIND THE BAND [Interview with Rohan Hayes]

//Can you give a brief history of Twelve Foot Ninja and how different you all are now, as opposed to when you began your journey?//

Had our 10th birthday a week ago. 2 EP’s, 2 Albums, the 'Monsoon Tour' is our 7th international tour.

Now, shinier heads and more appreciation for our lounge rooms. Everyone’s getting weirder in my opinion.

//What's the first band who made you love music?//

Bobby bloody McFerrin. Not a band but Don’t Worry Be Happy was the first song to tug at the heartstrings as a little meat bag.

//Who inspires you to make music now?//

Tough ask. Can’t put it down to ONE who. Shit loads of people. Been listening to a lot of pianists like Tigran Hamasyan and Bill Evans lately.

//What are some of the most important things you have learnt while being together?//

1. Listen before you speak. You’ll hear a lot of the profound & insightful statements (dumb shit) that comes out of everyone’s quack holes and if you’re onto it you can capture or document the beauty on your phone!!

2. Rock Paper Scissors is the best decider. There’s never an argument about who gets the first shower or the best bed. RPS solves all.

3. Bring hand sanitiser.

//What's your favourite venue to play? (Australian and International)//

Last year’s show at Margaret Court Arena with Disturbed was off it’s bloody head. Also the Sentrum in Kiev, Ukraine on this tour was a corker!!

//Why only ONE Australian show? Why is it Melbourne?//

The Monsoon Tour was supposed to be for overseas only but we wanted to bring it home. After we fly back to Australia we only have time for one show with everything else going on. Melbourne is our home town so makes sense.

//Where has been the best show to play in Australia?//

Every place has it’s own energy and bloody quirks. We love it mate… But Melbourne’s where it all began for us, so there’s that little bit of sentiment playing shows here.

//When the bloody hell are you coming back to Sydney?//

We almost did on this run but it will have to wait for now. It will happen when it happens.

//Can you explain what goes on during the writing process, how did ‘Outlier’ come to be?//

There really wasn’t one way. To generalise, one of us would bring a song bed to the table, then that song bed would be chopped up and absolutely mutated into a ninja track. If it survived the ‘acoustic test’ (sounded good naked or without production), we’d persevere. Mostly collaborated online.

//Can you explain the recording process you individually go through?//

We recorded and edited our own parts in our own spaces, then handed them over to Stevic for some tidying and final production touch ups before being flung over to Forrester to be mixed.

//What does the ‘Monsoon Tour’ mean to you as a band and which leg has given you the warmest welcome?//

This tour is capping off the Outlier season & we’re hitting parts of the world we haven’t been able to get to yet. Everywhere has been very bloody accomodating, especially India! Reception in Kiev, Ukraine was bloody excellent as well.

//What's your favourite song to play live?//

Oxygen for my own selfish reasons. One Hand Killing for crowd response.

//Would you encourage people reading this to start bands?//

If you’re a glutton for punishment, then fucking oath! Get it done!

//What advice do you have for new bands?//

Line up your ducks and aim before you shoot. Anyone can create meaning out of that.

//How important is it to network with other bands?//

Not as important as it is to be good and write good songs. But yep, finding like minded people is all a part of the journey.

//How did you find your unique style and can you explain how it's evolved?//

The foundation of our sound comes from Stevic exploring the possibilities of the Variax technology. It obviously got a lot heavier since New Dawn (first EP), but there’s a lot more emphasis on the raw composition these days. I think there’s another layer of that to be added for the next album.

//Which has been your favourite music video the band has released?//

I dunno. Probably Ain’t That A Bitch or Sick. ATAB definitely had the most love and attention to detail, also has the least amount of views! I think they’re all dodgy.

//How hard is it to tour and still comply with ninja regulations?//

Piece of cake mate.

//What colour belt do you each have?//

Black belts on all occasions.


Nu Shit


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