By Danny Kresnyak
VANCOUVER – It has been ten years since Ninjaspy released their debut LP, Pi Nature. In the time since, they’ve toured extensively, released EPs, a concept graphic novel and been the only band on record to play both Armstrong Metal Fest and Victoria Ska Fest in the same month. Now the brotherly trio of Joel, Adam, and Tim Parent are ready to unleash new material with their sophomore album Spüken.
Speak + Puke + Shuriken = Spüken
The chorus to “Speak,” the first single off Ninjaspy’s new album offers a simple question, “Are you gonna speak?”
“It’s about finally saying what you need to say,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Joel Parent in a sit-down interview at an East Vancouver “nerd bar.” He explains the meaning behind the album’s title: “It’s about the purge of all negativity and all fear that’s holding you back.”
According to Parent, the problem for some is “everyone is afraid to be the first one having fun,” perhaps due to a national identity crisis. “Maybe we’re just too fuckin’ polite to say what’s really on our minds,” too afraid to use our words as weapons. This record is about getting over that.
Parent claims the band “went through hell,” over the past decade. He’s a recovering addict and credits the camaraderie of music and the birth of his first child with giving him the strength to finally find his true voice.
Amongst the weapons carried by the ninja warrior, the most famous must be the Shuriken, also known as the throwing star. Often seen in Kung-fu films and anime classics, this weapon is instantly iconic. A precision instrument when placed in the right hands, the result is total devastation. In the hands of the Ninjaspy, Spüken lays waste to the preconceptions and forced identity often demanded from popular music and scenesters more concerned with sight over sound.
On stage, Ninjaspy demonstrates a high-energy synthesis of sonic technical mastery with bushido acrobatics to connect with a devout crowd. This connection reaches its apogee with the band’s crowd-favourite chug-a-long, “Hit By A Cement Mixer,” off of 2007’s Pi Nature.
Spüken was released digitally on April 14. In the time since our interview, the Parent brothers and their tour managing sister Cassia have embarked on a coast-to-coast tour to support the record. Spüken was produced by legendary Vancouver hit maker “Gggarth” Richardson who has recorded the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Rise Against, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Taylor Swift.
Ninjaspy will hit the stage at the Rickshaw Theatre for a homecoming LP release show on June 24.ninjaspy, Rickshaw Theatre, the Rickshaw