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A decade of metal fusion

Vancouver band Ninjaspy play an all-ages show at The Green April 30
Photo submitted Ninjaspy plays an all-ages show at The Green in Vernon on Sunday.

Often when people think about heavy metal, images of massive, tattoo-laden men with hair down to their knees head-banging to sounds of pure aggression appear.

But, as Vancouver metal trio Ninjaspy will demonstrate during their Sunday show at The Green, there’s more to the genre than the onslaught of sound.

With songs that mould together reggae, surf, metal, and more, Ninjaspy is on tour for the release of their second full-length album, Spüken, which dropped April 14.

“It’s our first full-length album in 10 years,” said Ninjaspy vocalist and guitarist Joel Parent. “It’s like we spent 10 years swallowing everything life threw at us, then we threw it all back up again, and are now able to listen to the blended, half-digested version of it.”

Over the past decade, Ninjaspy has done a lot to allow outside genres to infiltrate their airtight sound, and Spüken accomplishes this more seamlessly than ever, said Parent.

Even the band’s name, Ninjaspy, is reflective of their musical fusion.

“It was an early conversation. A friend asked, ‘Who would win in a battle to the death, a ninja or a spy?’ (I said), ‘They should become an unstoppable ninja-spy.’

“It wasn’t just a completely silly name,” said Parent. “Ninja philosophy runs parallel with my thoughts. “It’s a multifaceted (philosophy) that can really apply to any area of life.”

Parent is studying the art of ninjutsu, which has influenced some of the imagery and wordplay on their new album.

“But we’re not a band that only sings about ninjas,” said Parent.

In 2014, Ninjaspy launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $15,000 to fund Spüken.

The band began recording in November 2014 and had to sift through a decade’s worth of material to narrow it down to 10 tracks.

“These 10 songs span a decade, so there are a lot of different feels happening from song to song that represent what we got into over the years,” said Parent.

Spüken was recorded and mixed sporadically over a two-year period in Vancouver, with occasional teasers released along the way.

“Recording albums is a ton of fun, but playing live is everything,” he said. “It’s where you’re truly sharing the music. I like everything (about) playing live. That’s where everything happens.”

And Parent feels the stage is where Ninjaspy shines.

“We’ve got quite a long history,” he said. “We’ve got some good chemistry. It’s definitely our strong point.”

It’s a chemistry the trio is excited to share at The Green, having seldom played in Vernon before.

“It’s been a long time coming. (It will) be like getting to know everybody all over again. I’m excited to see what it’s going to be like.”

And for Parent, being on the road and sharing the music is what it’s all about.

“(I) just want to share what we create with as many people as possible, and at the same time see as many places as possible and not break the bank doing it.”

Ninjaspy plays Sunday at 6 p.m. at The Green at the Village Green Hotel, 4801-27th St. Cover charge is $10 at the door. This is an all-ages (with chaperone) show. For more information, visit

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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