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Monday, April 11, 2011


Interview with 'Christina Monk' Aka - 'Ninja Spice', 11 Apr '11

Please tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and creating music ?

I've been making music to some degree since around 84, when I got into electro. stuff like afrika bambaataa, egyptian lover and hashim. and early hip-hop. I made hip-hop for quite a while with increasing influences from other types of music, including jazz, funk, reggae, and later on jungle. After hearing chu ishikawa's soundtrack of "tetsuo II, bodyhammer" I got interested in industrial, and as I became increasingly frustrated by the decline of the hip-hop scene from being counter-culture to the lap-dog of capitalism, i started to replace it with industrial more and more.

The name 'Ninja Spice', is this a cheeky poke at thoose vile Girls that peaed everyone off in the Ninety's ?

No, it's a homage to the musical geniuses who inspired a whole generation in the nineties. particularly ginger spice (Geri Halliwell - ambassador for the UN if I remember right).

How would best describe your musical approach, and writing style. Are you a person who collects from whats around you, or more a book worm, and film buff ?

I do use samples from films, and did a film degree, but most of my song meanings come from my reaction to things that happen around me, either locally or nationwide. But some tracks will go more into the realms of fantasy and so might be inspired from ideas in films or TV shows (particularly "Being Human" and "Doctor Who")

If you had to Assassinate the 'Spice Girls', but save one. Who would it be, and what demise would the others meet ?

It's tough. it would be between saving ginger, or sporty. I think ginger, but it would be a close thing.

Prior too 'Ninja Spice', have you worked or been a part of other bands ?

Not really, I used other names before, but they were even worse names than Ninja Spice, so I'd rather not say. and it was before the days of the Internet, or me having any proper recording equipment at all, so nothing I did then survives, or probably really would have deserved to anyway.

Where would you say you draw your influences from. Has there been one artist in your life that really drives you ?

It's changed through the years. at first, definitely Egyptian lover was a big influence, then early hip-hop like public enemy, ultra magnetic and overlord x. Over the last 10 years though, which is probably the most important, my biggest influence by a really long way was chu ishikawa, who is criminally underrated, but still a legend for many. Lately 'Angelspit' and 'Combichrist' to a very large degree. Also 'BAAL', 'Modulate' and 'Punish Yourself 'are influences. And 'Skinny Puppy.' but it is very hard to emulate them!

Have to mention 'Kill Leona', any one person in particular, or just a Fictional character. What the story behind this, dark track ?

Leona Lewis. She won X-factor a few years ago and I got sick of hearing her. One time I was in a pub and she came on the juke-box and I started spitting blood. I got into a huge row with some guy and said at some point, if i could have her killed I would. or at least give her throat cancer, a few people got quite offended and I very nearly got thrown out. (Anything X-Factor, deserves a painful death)

'Kanashibari', or 'Sleep Paralysis !!!. What made you write a track around this bizarre disease. Is this something you've actually witnessed, or even suffered from ?

Yes. I had it for a while about 20 years ago for a long period of about 5 years. At the time it wasn't very well known about (or at least spoken about) in the west so I was quite freaked out, and the only people who I spoke to who knew what I was talking about were Japanese. so I knew it as kanashibari for years before I'd heard the term "sleep paralysis".

'Kirikaeshi', simply a cutting movement used in 'Kendo', is Japanese culture something that really fascinates you. Have you ever visited or studied their Culture?

I've not visited as I'm penniless and passport-less. I really would like to though. to be honest, I think I'd be frustrated just going a few weeks though. I think I'd rather try living there a while if I could. as for the culture, I watch a lot of Japanese films, and listen to Japanese music. For a long while I've been interested in both modern, and traditional Japanese culture.

Where would you say you draw your visual side from, again I guess the kitch, the kinky and Fetish culture. Be it the ,'Cyber Goth' look, you look bloody amazing ?

I tend to mix my image around and go through phases too. I've often had a cyberpunk look even, before I knew what it was. when I was about I wanted to be a punk with pink hair, but my parents wouldn't let me for some reason or other. Even though I only knew one song of theirs, I liked the look of 'Strawberry Switchblade'. for a while I started getting closer and closer to the Japanese Lollita look - even before I really knew about the scene. Lately I tend to be going for a sort of cross between Punk Lollita and Cyberpunk. My style icon would probably have to be 'Amelia Arsenic' from 'Angelspit'.

So far there loads of material, between various sites, has there been hard copy's available. How long have you been writing, is there a Discography, or official siter availible. Is 'Fukushuu' / 'Revenge', you debut as such ?

I see from 'Spineless', you hate the music industry, or certain artists. I have to agree, combination of overpriced music, and ready made crap. Problem is, there's no Soul left, everythings dictated, sterile. Pop Idol, The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, and American Idol. Really are screwing the UK's music style ?

I don't think it's just music. globalisation, particularly Americanisation has been detrimental to many forms of media-culture and society - not just in the UK but worldwide. I think we get it worst because of sharing a language. But in the UK for a while we have been known for being able to make good quality music that can be critically acclaimed and still commercially successful. When we put faith in our own musicians and music scenes instead of trying to emulate. What is popular in 'America' we can make world-class music. Like with the 'Brit-Pop scene - whether or not you like them, 'Oasis' were good at what they were doing, and 'Blur'. and then later on 'Gorillaz'.

Recently there was the thing of British female singer songwriters - most notably 'Amy Winehouse' and 'Lily Allen', who were making music that was critically acclaimed, that sold shitloads of albums and actually deserving it, and it was a uniquely British sound. There aren't many countries that have a music scene strong enough to create genres that spread around the world.

The UK at it's best can do that - look at Jungle/Drum and Bass. That's everywhere now, and still, a lot of mainstream music, particularly the R&B and what used to be Hip-Hop scene has become all about either sex, or money, and nothing more. It's one thing Hardcore rap, or underground Rock using sex and violence in it's lyrics, but where music is aimed at a child and teen audience then it seems a bit screwed up to me. Like a few months ago, I had the telly on mute with subtitles while something was playing on my computer (Yeah, I'm fucking the environment with waste) and there was 'Rihanna' performing live, followed by 'JLS'. 'Rihanna' aimed at probably young adults I'd say, but 'JLS' 100% at children. both songs were about shagging as many people as you can while drunk and rowdy at a club.

Why not Ninja Kill 'Simon Cowell', I'd Paid too watch ?

I don't really blame Cowell. He's honest about what he does, and doesn't claim it to be any more than what it is. What's worse is when someone claims to be more, and are in the end just putting out what is fundamentally the same as every other average act. If i could have someone in music killed at the moment, it would be far more likely to be whatever 'Puff Daddy' is calling himself these days, or 'Gaga', or N-dubz.

So far you have around over 100, song's to boot. what would you say are you're overall favourites. Plus what would you say your fans love the most ?

A lot of the time, annoyingly people will like a track best that I want to forget about, and a track I am expecting will completely blow everyone and everything away will go completely unnoticed. But tracks that seem to have been the most well received lately were...

Ninja Spice - 'Fukushuu', 'God's Work', 'I Bloody Love You Guys', 'Bakemono'

Haru Yasumi - 'Eva Braun's Sex Tips For Girls', 'Ophelia As A Cyborg' I'm particularly proud of specially enhanced 'Silver/Chrome Alloy Battle Chassis'

Thank you young lady for you time.... any last words ?

Goodbye cruel world...

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