Stevic MacKay – Twelve Foot Ninja ‘New Ways of Story Telling’

Twelve Foot Ninja is one of Australia’s most creative and sonically exciting bands. You could describe them as heavy metal but that wouldn’t be doing them justice. In fact, there’s a whole Reddit thread on what genres they encompass and if you described them as metal fusion, progressive metal, funk metal, djent or even experimental metal, you’d be getting somewhere close to the truth.

It’s been five years since we’ve had any new music from TFN but the time has come! The fellas have a forthcoming album, Vengeance, which is out on October 15 and oh boy, have they been as busy as a cat burying shit on concrete.

We caught up with Stevic MacKay, the creative mind and guitarist, to ask him a whole bunch of questions about what they’ve been up to, including why it’s been so long between drinks.

“After the last album we did quite a bit of touring and it’s kind of hard to write the way we do on the road. We wrote a lot of material and whittled down to exactly what we wanted, so this album is the compendium of those choices. Short answer is that we were picky with the songs and it probably isn’t a commercially wise way to be, but we just want to make stuff that we dig and hopefully other people dig it, too.”

The band really have thought outside the box with this record, not only releasing an album, but a graphic novel, an actual novel, and they created a video game that unlocked the music video to one of their singles, ‘Long Way Home’. We asked Stevic how TFN even begin to conceptualise these ideas and he went on to say:

“I really think there are limited ways that you can grab people’s attention in this day and age so it’s always about what would be interesting? What would be remarkable? What would be worthy of someone going, ‘Oh did you hear about that?’ And that’s a fun brainstorming exercise to role play that conversation: ‘Oh did you hear that XYZ band released their music by doing this?’ And then you fill in the gaps. Finding new ways of story telling and trying to entertain people is part of the fun.”

Vengeance Graphic Novel out now!
The Wyvern And The Wolf out October 15!

Now, it can seem like a lot but there’s no need to worry that you’ll miss out or won’t understand the album if you don’t read the graphic novel and vice versa. Because Twelve Foot Ninja is like a swimming pool. I’ll let Stevic explain.

“With the band, and to use a weird analogy that I’m not even sure will work but I’m gonna roll with it, but it’s kind of like I always wanted the band to be like a swimming pool. And it has the kiddie wading part where you can just put your ankles in and that’s it, but if you jump off the edge you realise it just doesn’t end. That’s kind of like how I wanted it to be.

Because some people don’t want to invest in all of this extra stuff and they’re happy just listening to a tune and that’s cool. And other people really like being immersed in something. And I think we’ve built a bit of a community of people who are interacting with each other and speculating on what things mean and why they’re there, and that’s the enjoyable part because it’s forging a relationship that’s a little bit more substantial than the superficial ones.”

Cool, huh! For the full interview, check out the audio below and dive deep into the Twelve Foot Ninja world. Go on, the water’s warm.

Interview by Ebony Story

And they have a couple of shows lined up! COVID-19 permitting, they’ll be hitting up Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne on the following dates:

Thursday, October 14 – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide
Saturday, October 16 – The Princess Theatre, Brisbane
Thursday October 21 – The Croxton, Thornbury Melbourne

Pre-order Vengeance here.

Twelve Foot Ninja – Vengeance tracklisting

1. Start the Fire
2. Long Way Home
3. Vengeance
4. IDK
5. Shock to the System
6. Gone
7. Culture War
8. Dead End
9. Over and Out
10. Tangled

About Ebony Story (141 Articles)
Wall of Sound Music Journo & Podcast Host // Loving the heavy heavy

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