shinobi ninja shines a light from brooklyn to babylon

August 23, 2010
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You can’t help but move your body to the groove and energy of a new young band, and that’s why you will have no choice but to shake it to Shinobi Ninja. The band hails from Brooklyn New York and has a streamlined sound that is equal parts rock, rap and reggae. The band also has a TON of energy/intensity on stage. As they prepare to release their first full length disc (they have an EP out now) guitarist Maniac Mike and drummer Terminator Dave (who is also his twin brother) gave me some insight into their band and put me on their own pathway from Brooklyn to Babylon.

Shinobi Ninja Shines A Light From Brooklyn To Babylon
Interview David Carr for CWG

From the live footage I have seen, the band seems to have a ton of energy on stage. What brings about the intensity in your live shows?
Terminator Dave: We are a total DIY band. Being on stage is just what we live for. We work very hard for every gig we get. We book ourselves, we deal with putting up flyers, spreading word of mouth…we work 3-5, 6-8 weeks in order to get on stage for 45 min so when it’s on, it’s on! We are also children of 80’s hard rock! The bands we loved back in the day went nuts on stage, so we tend to go nuts on stage also!

How did the band get together and how long have you been together?
Maniac Mike: We will have been together for two years, this August 17th. Our first show was at the Knitting Factory. We all worked as producers and sound engineers at the same studio. We were making records for other people and we just started rehearsing together and recording together.

Your sound is definitely a mix of different genres. Are all the members of the band into different styles of music?
TD: We listen to all of it! We throw song ideas out to each other all the time. Everyone’s idea and influence gets heard. If you have an idea, you put it out there. There is a big democratic piece happening with the band and then when we hit the studio it’s go time! We are very Voltron-esque, in that we have all these different people and parts that come together to form this. Our vocalist DA is always saying “shine a light on it” when it comes to free styling and putting our ideas out there.

How tough is it for a young band with an eclectic sound to get their music heard.

MM: New York has a TON of bands playing around the city. We have worked and continue to work very hard to cultivate a big following. It’s tough but we are all over the internet and using Twitter, My Space and Facebook. I put a lot of time into getting this band out there. When I am not recording/producing records for other people I am working for Shinobi Ninja.

Well the hard work must be paying off. You recently got a chance to open for Street Sweeper Social Club (featuring Boots Riley and Tom Morello). How did that happen?
TD: You are not going to believe this story! So I am in grad school at NYU. I was in class and a representative for Live Nation shows up to talk to the class. His name is Harvey Leeds. Back in the day he worked with tons of bands. I got a chance to talk to him and while this meeting happened I was looking for a new studio. I signed a lease with a place that happened to be right by The Gramercy Theater. Harvey was booking acts there. I kept his phone number and I ended up calling him once a week for months, telling him about the band. We finally got in touch with each other and Harvey ended up seeing us live. After checking us out, he just asked if we would be interested in playing at the Gramercy, opening for Street Sweeper Social Club! It’s about the hustle man. We are all working hard to make this happen.

I believe the band is working on it’s first full length disc. When can we expect to see the disc? Will you be touring for the rest of the summer?
TD: We pushed back the release date of the disc from October to early next year. We have a video game EP out and another, regular EP. We will keep touring through the summer and into the fall. We will be hitting the West Coast in October.

MM: We love playing in front of people and we love playing in front of different types of audiences! We have played shows with Mike Posner, with Street Sweeper Social Club. We have done shows at colleges and at high schools! We are building our fanbase and following day by day!

If you are down to check out the hard and work and hustle of a great eclectic band, let Shinobi Ninja shine a light on the party for ya!