Friday, April 18, 2014

Ninjaspy Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

These days we are touring western canada and crowdfunding on indiegogo to make a new album this summer! 

2.Recently you have put out a new ep, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous album?

No Kata took us to some interesting new places musically. We explored a lot with effects for the drum & bass style parts, and really got into washy psychedelic dub reggae stuff as well. Basically a natural expansion on genres from what we started with Pi Nature. 

3.There was a 6 year gap between release, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during those years?

We toured on our first album A LOT in Canada. Went through many a tour van haha. For a good three years we toured. Then we went to tour Japan in 2010. After that we wanted to do a quick, short, cheap project to get some new music out. The No Kata Musical Graphic Novel seemed ideal. But then the artwork for the graphic novel took so long due to artist flakiness, before we knew it three more years had gone by. So we wrote and toured the single, then toured the EP without the book, then finally released the book last year. Now we have a lot of new music ready to record a full length. 

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

I tend to write about my ideals, and my emotions. I try to be positive and uplifting, and speak to the troubles i see in the world with solutions and reflections. Most often the things i describe are ways of being that i aspire to, but most often do not accomplish. I write about what i strive for and what i'd like to see in the world, and the feelings i have about the fucked up world in which we live. 

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Ninjaspy'?

Who would win in an international battle to the death, a ninja or a spy? I answered that question by suggesting that combining the ancient artistry of ninjutsu with the modern gadgetry of the spy would be a much better alternative than both of the former fighting to the death. Then i actually started studying ninjutsu. We like to incorporate the silliness and violence of the modern ninja image with influence from authentic ninjutsu training and philosophy. 

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

So many good shows! Always a good time big or small. One of my recent favourites was the No Kata book release in Vancouver at the Rickshaw. We performed the music live in sync video projected images of the book playing on two huge screens. It was invigorating to finally see the completion of that project. 

Our live performance i would describe as heavier and bloodier than any of our recordings. It doesnt matter if there are five or five thousand people, we'll always bring the violent spin kickin fun. Im all about dancing violently without hurting anyone. 

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Nothing concrete but once we have the new album we will be looking to bring it to as many places as possible. 

8.According to the fb page, the band is signed to Zestone Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

Im not sure if Zestone is still around. They were our label in Japan. Very small outfit, really good guys from a band called Lost. They had a few international acts on board. Havent spoken to them in a while though. 

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and other extreme genres?

Its hit and miss. With our mix, people either love or hate us. But those who like us, like us a lot. 

10.When can we expect another full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

The new album we are crowdfunding for on indiegogo will be out this fall. It will include some older material and some brand new songs. It will represent seven years of writing and musical evolution along the reggae metal lines. We've been playing around with a lot of heavy odd time and syncopated riffs then making them into psychedelic dub reggae. 

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

So many influences! Between the three of us, hundreds. All nuanced into the big picture of our sound, if we even have one haha. These days im loving Gillian Welch, early Hatebreed, Blind Melon. My favourite band is Pearl Jam. I just realized i have no idea how the hell i write what i do or why, i just do whatever i want haha. 

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

I study Budo Taijutsu, and read occasionally, big into Tolkien lore. But other than that i work full time and spend time with my family. Between work family ninjutsu and music there really isnt time for hobbies. Im interested in a lot of things i dont find time for! 

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Just that music keeps me going, and i enjoy sharing it with anyone who wants to. If anyone reading this wants to make music with us, donate to our indiegogo campaign and get your voice on our album! 

Joel Parent (Ninjoelspy)

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