Never wishing to waste those generic AF touring/writing/retrospect questions on a band as good, as weird and as humorous as Twelve Foot Ninja – and much like last year’s piece of a similar name – I recently did up some questionably idiotic questions for the Melbourne prog-metal band. As expected, guitarist Steve “Stevic” Mackay gives back as good as he gets.
And who knows, maybe one day I will ask the guitarist and Twelve Foot Ninja some serious, well-thought-out questions. But for now, this will have to do. Some people might find this cringey and/or illogical, but some people can fuck right off.
So, first of all Stevic, how busy have you lads been lately?
Well, that all depends on your metric. Comparative to a one-armed trombonist playing Thunderstruck or a one-eyed ferret watching 9 rat holes?
Either way, I guess that’s pretty busy. You are/were on tour through Europe, India and Nepal. What are the grandest sights and finest culinary delights that you’ve tasted?
I get out of the bus and go into the venue. On days off; I’m working on other shit. Can’t say I’ve climbed any mountains or participated in any guided tours to report on. Re: food… I’m pretty happy with anything that isn’t bread.
When you’re on tour, how do you stop from killing each other and going off at one another for even the smallest of “transgressions”?
I think the trick is to not let small transgressions go. We have a system called “the Almond of truth”. Any shit left out anywhere bigger than an almond cops 30 burpees or $10. Infractions are recorded, trials take place, punishment is dished out. “The Interbeing” from Denmark are touring with us and they’ve fully embraced it. The bus is fucking spotless.
Whatever keeps the damn thing clean, I suppose. Who cops the most flak in the band? As in, who is the brunt of all jokes and is the figurative (or even literal) punching bag of the group?
The luminous position of “brunt” is earned through actions.
Right. Would you say that 2017 was the absolute best year ever for Twelve Foot Ninja? Or much like a post-Sabol/Barretto/Tull Periphery-era, the best is still yet to come?
Without the ability to see into the future, I cannot confirm nor deny 2017 is the “absolute best year ever”. We’re all paradoxically the oldest we’ve been and the youngest we’ll be… so anything’s fuckin anything isn’t it!?
Life sounds kinda… limitless when you put it like that. So, do you think that there are people out there who think to themselves: “Wow…I’m alive at the same time as Twelve Foot Ninja!”?
I think there are people out there who think all sorts of shit. I saw a woman on TV that couldn’t stop eating toilet paper; a fully grown man who wanted to live his life as a 9-year-old girl; some other bloke who fucks his car… I’m sure there are people out there that think they’re Papa Smurf so yeah, maybe someone has thought that. I wonder whether Jay-Z ever said, “this is my fiancé Beyonce” and then thought, “Fucking hell ey!?”
I’m just going to throw it right out there, what are your thoughts on the same-sex marriage postal vote Australia’s been having at the moment?
I know some terrific couples (who happen to be gay) that would like to get married. I’m all for it.
Same here! Also in keeping it political, what are your feelings towards Trump?
He’s a maniac but look at the bright side, anyone can do anything if they set their mind to it.
Yeah, if he can do it, practically anyone can. Stepping away from the minefield that is politics. After re-watching the ‘Mother Sky’ clip recently, I have to ask, do you all still have a deep, burning quest to dance? If not, why do you hate being happy?
Rohan does. We’ve incorporated this into our show actually.
What do you make of this comment on your ‘Shuriken’ video on YouTube from one Felipe de Jesús Meléndez Valencia: “It sounds like a bastard child between Faith No More and Meshuggah baptized by Mr. Bungle”?
All comments on YouTube are like farts in the bath. They come from arseholes, stink more than usual, then disappear completely. In saying that, I love all of those bands, so… thanks Pepe Jesus!
If it weren’t for being in this band, what other positive avenues or even destructive tendencies would you have funnelled your money, efforts and time into? Or have I made a mistake in referring to Twelve Foot Ninja as a positive outlet?
I reckon animation for me… can’t speak for the others. Russ would probably be a motorbike racer – is that what they’re called? Motorbike racer? You know what I mean. What Valentino Rossi does.
Yes, a motorbike racer, that is a profession. Now, as per a one-off comment in the ‘Sick’ film clip, have any of you actually worn or touched a tartan shirt in real life? And if you haven’t, how does it feel to be phonies?
I’m wearing a tartan shirt right now. I’d slap you with my glove if I wore one.
I stand corrected! What did you think about the ‘Don’t Stop‘, the new track from Nothing More (AKA “NUFIN MOR”) that featured Jacoby from Papa Roach? It wasn’t shit, I thought – the vocals really make that track work.
Those guys work hard and deserve their success. We’re pals.
Away from music, who is the best video gamer out of the whole band? (Note: not the one who games the most, but the one who is consistently the best of the lot).
I’d propose I’d smash everyone at Halo and Mortal Kombat and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t let them sleep until I did. Kin plays all sorts of games. Russ would destroy me at any Racing game – He’s got a fucking steering wheel and shit. Damon is the video game equivalent of a bag of hammers and Ro gets the most improved award.
Stevic – if the band’s film clips weren’t directed and produced by your fine self, do you think they’d be better and/or normal?
I definitely think they’d be a lot more “normal”. Maybe that would be better? Dunno. Any music video makers out there want to make a clip and find out?
Well, it seems to be working fine so far. Also, Stevic, how does it feel to be bald? That’s it. That’s my full question.
How does it feel to have all of your hair on one side of your head? Do you feel asymmetrical? Does the shadow your head casts take the shape of a circumcised penis when you distribute your hair evenly on both sides? Are you hoping to be cast as a lost boy extra for a Peter Pan reboot?
Re: question… feels clean.
Holy shit, that’s the best remark I’ve ever gotten in an interview. I ain’t even mad!
Now, with a Melbourne show in January to cap off the ‘Outlier’ cycle, I was thinking that you should announce that you’re breaking up right before the final song, finish off what will be a great set, get people invested in a now-defunct band, and then come back to TFN in two to three years time and get better offers, larger reactions from media, way more invested fans, and bump up that booking fee figure and rake in some more dosh. How does that sound? Yay? Nay? Maybe?
Nah, that’s a shit idea.
Fair enough. So, the final question now. Why do you think that old mate Tim Price keeps fucking asking me to interview you guys every six-eight months? Do you feel he is trying to insinuate something between us?
I reckon a publicist’s job is to procure “publicity”. Perhaps that is his motivation? I don’t really give a fuck either way. Does anyone even read this stuff?
Twelve Foot Ninja will be returning to Australia for one night only at Melbourne’s 170 Russell on Friday 12th, January 2018. Tickets are on sale now!