By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM
Of course, almost every band that's chasing the musician dream is trying to be the biggest band, and win the awards, but most bands aren't Shinobi Ninja. Brooklyn origins blend the lines between every person in the band to bring a new, unique sound, that's honestly very unclassifiable. Especially with their most recent release, Bless Up.
ACRONYM was lucky enough to slip some questions to one of the band's members, Doobie Duke Sims, and was able to get intel on the eclectic morphing vibes that come from Shinobi Ninja, what it's like having a female frontwoman and dishing on this year's SXSW. Check out the interview below!
ACRONYM: Shinobi Ninja has tons of different backgrounds when it comes to what is brought to the table. Between Baby G's background, as well as Maniak Mike and Terminator Dave's Sound Machine background, how would you say those influences have helped to create the signature sound you guys have?
Doobie Duke Sims: Everyone in the band has their specific music they really enjoy; and then there's a collective group of music that we all enjoy. Its like small lines and big lines. All those lines create the great details that is the Shinobi Ninja sound.
ACRONYM: I can't really compare Shinobi Ninja to any band outright, which is a great quality to have. Sometimes I feel some No Doubt, sometimes I hear some dashes of Limp Bizkit and 311, and sometimes it's just nothing I've heard before. Do you think that your sound, and the fact that it's not cliche, is sometimes harder to pull yourself up in the ranks because you're so unique?
Doobie Duke Sims: Being unique and original and making great art has always been what has brought us up the ranks. We haven't had any management or help on the business side that equaled our band’s awesome output, until recently. Now it's on!
ACRONYM: You just got done knocking out your 6th SXSW. Which trip was the most important to you / shaped a piece of you as a band?
Doobie Duke Sims: SXSW is a journey. It’s all about how thirsty you are. In 2011, it was rad because the thirst was HUGE. And we took over SXSW. We even invented new moves. Like putting stickers on tar pieces in the road. Also, I lurked us on the news. That was super fun!
ACRONYM: You identify heavily as a Brooklyn Band. Do you guys try to mentor other bands from the area when you get a chance, or reach back to other people trying to elevate in your hometown areas?
Doobie Duke Sims: Always. I want to empower and support every artist I meet. Then if you're from Brooklyn, I got extra love for you. Brooklyn is a hard place to be from. I always want to elevate all humans of the earth.
ACRONYM: For Baby G specifically: Is being a frontwoman of an all male band a hard thing / a thing that comes up a lot when it comes to creating music / touring? With women being at the forefront of a gender revolution, would you say that people find you to be inspiring as a chick in rock music?
Doobie Duke Sims: Being in a band with five other dudes isn’t easy. Female energy is different than male energy, especially being on tour and on the road. It's a different pace. People love Baby G. She’s an original. She’s like Raymond. Everyone loves her. And that's beautiful because Baby G is an awesome person and talented entertainer and artist. She is the truth! She’s the one!
ACRONYM: I saw in a previous interview that you guys were doing a video for each song from the new album, 'Bless Up.' How fun was that process, what did you learn, and would you do it again? Also, what is your favorite one?
Doobie Duke Sims: Yes. We’re doing it again. We did it for our second album Escape From New York. Before Beyonce did it, we did it. It just didn’t get the same recognition. We learned it isn’t easy, but it's worth it. I had an idea and vision for ‘You Can Watch the Album in its Entirety” and I love that concept. In today's visual age, you need this. Visual assets. We're just continuing on the path we've set for ourselves as far as visual art equaling aural art.
ACRONYM: You guys have a connection with CannaSmack and even have your own "Shinobi Ninja" flavor - AKA Root Beer. Why did you guys pick the Root Beer flavor?
Doobie Duke Sims: CannaSmack is a super rad company and vibe. The internet connected us -- all positive vibrations. Their hemp-infused lip balm is amazing and we were blessed to do a Shinobi Ninja CannaSmack Lip Balm collaboration. Root Beer is a classic NYC flavor and smell. Some things are built into a classic New York vibe. Like Coney Island or the Yankees. Root Beer is like that.
WATCH: Shinobi Ninja CannaSmack Commerical
ACRONYM: Where do you hope to see your music go within the next few years? Would you be open to being a mainstream band, and do you think that would effect your sound moving forward?
Doobie Duke Sims: We would like to be the biggest band in the world and have many GRAMMY wins. On the heart level, we want to be able to support ourselves with our art and our rock. We could have “sold out” long ago. People in the industry and people working with our band told us to make this sound or that sound, and that it would be better for us business wise if we listened to them. I could never embrace that because I can’t fake this life. I won’t sell my soul for money. We’ll be a mainstream band because the mainstream will embrace us for being great, not because we changed to please some vision of what someone else perceives the mainstream to be.
ACRONYM: What are some of the bigger shows / tours / etc coming up that you'd like to highlight?
Doobie Duke Sims: Our new album 'Bless Up' came out last month. We're planning some festival shows and touring to promote the album. This is a new era for the band because we’re finally being recognized by people with power, the power to shine a light on us. We appreciate that light and we will use that resource for the greater good of the band. There is much to come. Watch the internet like it's a TV show. You can see it all unfolding for us. We love you all, and we will be rocking with you in person soon. The sweat is free. In the future, you’ll be able to grow your own Shinobi Ninja from that sweat. Bless Up! Rock Hood!