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Interviews : “I’m glad our adrenal glands are still reliable” – An Interview with Kin Etik (Twelve Foot Ninja)

By on November 17, 2017

Twelve Foot Ninja – Kin Etik

Melbourne’s mighty masters of metal and rock ‘fusion’, Twelve Foot Ninja, released their second opus Outlier just over a year ago, and since then have been traversing the globe, bringing their spectacular live show to highly diverse nations and audiences along their way, places most Australian rock acts never see. As the Outlier touring schedule draws to a close, frontman Kin Etik reflects back on what a tumultuous, draining and exciting 15 or so months it’s been.

“It’s a heap of fun, and eye-opening,” he recalls, “It can also be stressful on the body, and mind. We just came back from an experience in India, where due to scheduling, we had about 10 hours sleep in 4 days. We were running on fumes. But we would get up on stage every night, and give it everything we could. We were completely exhausted, but adrenaline is an amazing chemical, and I’m glad our adrenal glands are still reliable!

“For the most part though, it is enjoyable. We played in Russia, Ukraine, and Nepal for the first time, and they were the biggest shows of the tour.”

He has one very standout memory from the tour that he chooses to relate. “A couple of us had a night out in Kiev, with a brilliant Ukrainian band, Jinger,” he remembers, “they took us out for dinner, and beers. We watched a great Russian band who have been around for 30 years, called Tequilajazz, at the Sentrum club, where both us and Jinjer played at the previous night.

“They then took us out to a traditional Russian sauna, where they prescribed us vodka shots, beer, and dried fish. And we were slapped down in the sauna with Banny venik, or bath brooms made of leaves, in 80 degree heat, after which we had to jump into a cold pool, followed by more vodka, before leaving, and meeting up with Tequilajazz back at our hotel for more drinks. It was the best night! Maybe not for the liver, but my pores were grateful.”

To celebrate the end of the Outlier cycle, they are playing one single massive hometown show in mid-January, before they bunker down once more and plan their next move as a band. The show features a stunning lineup of Australian progressive music talent, with Brisbane’s awesome Caligula’s Horse and guitar-shredding instrumental act I Built the Sky also on the bill, and he can’t wait for January 12th. “We’re feeling good about it,” Kin Etik enthuses, “there is nothing quite like playing for a home crowd, and I can’t think of a better way of tying a bow on the ‘Monsoon Tour’. Other than winning the lottery.”

That next move will be getting stuck into writing and recording album number three, and follow-up to the extremely well received Outlier, although fans should possibly not be expecting it surface for quite some time yet. “The album is in pre-embryonic stage,” he reveals, “we’ve had a couple of dates, a few wines, but haven’t made it to first base yet. We’ve been preoccupied with playing shows, and promoting Outlier, which has only been out for a year.”

As far as the long term future is concerned, Kin Etik feels the band’s career is very much in their own hands, although they have some other wilder, more unconventional ambitions for themselves. “The future is squarely on our shoulders,” he states confidently, “which is where it is supposed to be. In a band, everything costs money, time, and relationships. As long as it feels right, and we can make it work financially, we will continue.”

“I think a Broadway musical may be on the cards,” he follows up, with tongue firmly in cheek, “a partnership with Lego, a clothing line labelled ‘Geebus’, an internationally syndicated romcom…the sky is the limit.”

Catch Twelve Foot Ninja at their exclusive Melbourne show on Friday, 12th January 2018 with special guests I Built The Sky and Caligula’s Horse. Tickets on sale now! Let everyone know you’re going by attending the official event page.

For more information, head to the official Twelve Foot Ninja Facebook page.


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.