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Revenge Of Shinobi Lobster Quadrille Interview - International Mixtape Project
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Revenge Of Shinobi Lobster Quadrille Interview

Meatbreak - 2007-05-28 07:23:10

This interview is to be published in athe forthcoming June issue of The Lobster Quadrille Magazine:::

In a basement venue in Brighton one torrential night in May, lights are switching on behind the audiences eyes; heads nod and hips shake, limbs star to flail, gently at first then a frenetic momentum takes over as a distinct euphoric noise pours from the speakers. There are aspects of Animal Collective haunting the echoing voices, a propulsive !!! element in the rhythms and Outhud's psychedelic aura permeating throughout, but these are token references. The culmination of these elements is embodied by Brighton's Revenge Of Shinobi in a way which defies direct comparison.

Every so often a band appears, inconsistent to the crowd, with a sound that is hard to define yet with a vision and purpose that cannot be more explicit. While nearly every band these days seems to write songs to dance to, it is rare to find one that makes dance music almost by accident. Champ opens with heavily reverbed notes vibrating over the slow sinuous rise of keys in the background. A kick drum begins a foreboding march then it all picks up, clanging guitar chords raking across hi-hats and snare until it all drops out to a chugging chord rhythm and the vocal loops start. Disorienting, melancholic, majestic. Not the usual staples of dancefloor filling music, but Seb, Thomas, Craig and Dave's "noisy dancing music on guitars, drums, casios, wails, hoots and lalalas" is anything but standard fayre.

People of a certain age will remember fondly the 16-bit classic Sega epic the band take their name from. I ask them whether this was hard to agree on or whether there were any other games they could have co-opted. "I don't know about that" Seb replies. "At the end of Ninja Gaiden, however, you refuse point blank the attentions of a beautiful and absurdly busty woman, before turning into some bird made of energy and flying off. This precise moment is a major influence on our music."

Revenge Of Shinobi have a very distinctive sound; the image of a bird of pure energy is not so hard to imagine when seeing them play in the flesh. Perhaps it's this sense of freedom in flight that allows the band to avoid adhering to any styles or belong to any group. "A lot of the bands we like, especially current ones, aren't really easily comparable to anything else" says Seb. From previous conversations with members of the band, the subjects of outsider music and the DIY scene always seem to crop up and there is an audible overlap with the circuit benders and effects laden noise freaks operating around the world. "That is something that we find really appealing, even at the basic level of 'is it pop music or experimental music' or whatnot."

The band returned from a tour of northeast America in May. One of the inspiring things about the DIY scene is how collaborative and accommodating members of it are to each other. Seb explains how the tour was arranged: "Some friends of ours, a band called Hotel, Hotel, they toured here and stayed with us, and we put them on in Brighton, so to return the favour they booked an entire tour for us. Pretty good deal. We went down and up the east coast, started in Philly at a crazy place called Queen of Sheba's courtesy of these guys who put on shows in a house usually, called the Danger! Danger House, went down as far as Charlottesville, Virginia then back up through Providence and NYC. The venues were all pretty interesting, people are getting creative with where they put DIY shows on over there - we played in a bookshop, a junkshop, some pretty sketchy bars, a tea house, a restaurant while people ate overpriced food".

These venues perpetuate the idea that the DIY scene in America is an impressively tenacious as well as creative thing, I asked why the same thing doesn't exist in the UK, at least in as aggressively coordinated a way. Of the Americans and independent gig culture, Seb says that they are "More helpful and friendly,less concerned with scenes maybe, although apparently that's not entirely true. People are much more used to finding it hard to get to shows, making an effort - the place is huge, you have to drive everywhere! No-one walks anywhere." With that in mind, maybe it isn't necessary for the UK to host such Guerilla style gigs, and why when bands like The Libertines and Cribs were making such a show of them a few years back it was more media circus than a vital part of the scene's lifeblood. I ask whether Revenge Of Shinobi see themselves bringing anything back to the UK and whether, with our short distances between cities and reasonably liberal arts culture, we need it at all "Everything over there is so cheap, we brought back loads of stuff! Big up our super currency!" jokes Seb. "Over there everyone is really can do. I feel like that was a real benefit to see"

So with an international tour in the bag and rapturous receptions every time they play, including formation dancing to the entire encore at one show, isn't it time to release something soon? "We'd love to, but nothing planned yet. Someone out there, put a record out for us! We need 0,000 per track for Timbaland to produce, that's all!"



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