Shinobi Ninja Bless Up Listening Event | @ShinobiNinja @RDNMKSStore @RDynamiks
Saturday night, Brooklyn rock band, Shinobi Ninja, hosted an intimate listening party of their new Bless Up album at the lifestyle boutique shop, Rdnmks, located in Bushwick.
Shinobi Ninja is known for their high-energy performances and unique, eclectic sound. The band also consists of a fun and jolly bunch: vocalist Baby G, bassist Alien Lex, drummer Terminator Dave, DJ Axis Powers, guitarist Kid Shreddi (also known as Maniak Mike) and vocalist Duke Sims (who plays a killer guitar as well). Who I went to kick it with for a bit.
"We were playing music basically around Hell's Kitchen in 2006. We all became friends around that time. We were at Forever Fields Studios on 44th Street and 9th Avenue. It was a lot of fun. G was taking a vocal class, D.A. was engineering, my brother became the intern who then became an engineer. Me, Mike and Axis had another group called Wax Machine. We were playing there. One day we made some demos with D.A. and we were like 'What should we call it?' We thought we should call it Brookyn to Babylon, which was the first song we really did. Then one day, Mike comes in and says 'It's Shinobi Ninja, guys.' We're like 'What? It's the craziest name I've ever heard.' Then we did out first show and people loved the name. I'm like 'Dave, why?' and he says 'Shinobi is my favorite game when I was growing up and Ninja because the place where we made the first demo, my mom's house, looked like a ninja house, the way it was designed. So.....Shinobi Ninja."
Bless Up consists of 11 tracks, sending the listener through an excurion of genres such as hip hop ("Brooklyn Craze"), punk ("Subcon"), funk, metal ("Bang Bang"), reggae ("Bending Spoons"), electronic and rock ("Programmable Animal").
"I feel like someone was smoking weed when they made some of the songs," Baby G says jokingly. "I feel that every song is different. I mean we are always smoking, but I feel like some songs, definitely with 'Bending Spoons", you feel like you are in another place, like you're on the beach, and you're like 'smack it up!" You know what I'm saying, or even if you're just a at barbecue, you're just like "smack it up!"
"'Funday" is basically about living the life we live," says Duke. "I feel like a lot of songs just like...you end up living where the fuck you're living. Like when Neil Armstrong got on the moon with the American flag....Dude was definitely having a funday!"
Baby G credits a lot of hip hop and r&b acts as her inspirations. "I'm into Mary (J. Blige) and Janet Jackson and I have an older brother so I love Method Man and Busta. And this guy here (Axis) is a DJ and DJs play all different styles of music and the drummer DJs as well, so with that, it's like it opens us up. We're not a metal band. We can do that if we wanted to, but we can do pop music as well."
"I don't know what is being alternative to, but I was thinking more of a hard drive," Duke breaks down. "In a hard drive, you have all styles of music, it's just a matter of what you choose to zone in on and play. I can be like 'I'm gonna play this style of music' and kill you with a playlist or whatever you zone in on, but that hard drive is about 'x-amount' big. When you are first starting the music game or anything in life, you just don't really have a parameter of what is the whole thing. your hard drive is in megabytes. When you get older your hard drive gets in gigabytes, then it gets into terabytes. If you're at terabyte level...well, you need to stay humble of course, but you start to get a black belt level of things because you have really focused your life and stayed dedicated to this music game. So then, what music will you make? What your music will sound like? So when you hear it, you will be like 'Whoa, that's deep.' And that's my analogy."
Shinobi Ninja is currently playing SXSW and will be playing Brooklyn's legendary Knitting Factory April 1st.
Bless Up is out now on iTunes and you can grab you physical copy on the Shinobi Ninja website.
Photos by Earl Mauldon
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