Twelve Foot Ninja have announced the departure of vocalist Nik “Kin Etik” Barker. He will be exiting the group following their upcoming Australian shows.
The band said the following:
“IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Our vocalist, Nik Barker (Kin), has made the difficult decision to leave Twelve Foot Ninja. Below are statements from Nik and Stevic to elaborate personally. In the meantime, here are the key points:
– We’re all alright, everyone is still good mates!
– Twelve Foot Ninja will continue with Stevic, Russ and Ro.
– All Australian shows are going ahead with Nik (and new touring bassist, Dave). Planning of a final AUS tour with Nik is in the works. Sign up to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on any announcements: www.twelvefootninja.com/sign-up
– Twelve Foot Ninja remains committed to our European tour in 2023.
– Twelve Foot Ninja will be looking for a new vocalist. Visit www.twelvefootninja.com/newsinger
Barker also issued his own statement:
“After 14 years, hundreds of beers, a few albums, and a couple of tours, with my favourite knuckleheads, I have made the difficult decision to end my tenure as vocalist of Twelve Foot Ninja.
Being a member of TFN has allowed me to travel the world, meet, and connect with a multitude of awesome people, and experience things that most would only dream of.
To those who have supported me over the years, and have believed in me when I couldn’t, you have my eternal gratitude.
As to the “Why?” The creative tension between Steve and I has contributed to some great music that I’m truly proud of. But also, it has taken its cumulative toll and I feel creatively fatigued in this particular dynamic.
It has reached a point of taking more than I feel I can give to it, and this would eventually be to the detriment of the music. I’m proud that we were able to make our differences work for so long, and to still come out the other end as good mates. I have so much love, and admiration for Steve, and his work ethic. He has pushed me to grow in a lot of ways, and I thank him for his patience, and persistence.
However, as hard as it is to leave, I feel ready to step away from this role. I will continue with TFN into 2022, and together we’ll find a killer singer to take my place, and join the band on this next phase of its evolution.
I’m looking forward to smashing out the remainder of my shows with the lads, and close out this chapter, in celebration. It’s the touring side of being in a band that I love the most, and it has been awesome to tour with TFN, and all of the bands we have had the pleasure of sharing a stage with.
This will be an emotional time, as I’m going to miss these magnificent bastards.
I know this will be disappointing, and may draw the ire of some, but you must know, that this decision was amicable, and not taken lightly. I ask for your understanding.
Guitarist Steve “Stevic MacKay added:
“I had a couple of explanations lined up in consultation with Nik…The best one was an elaborate ruse about Nik following his passion for soap making…But we decided truth is more appropriate given the disappointment we know some of you will feel about this announcement; and to those people…we wanted to provide more than the obligatory cut and paste “band member leaving post” out of respect for your support, and your attachment to this band.
Nik and I are very philosophically different. I’ve cultivated a culture prioritising best objective driven outcomes above personal emotion. Nik, like a lot of creative people, is primarily driven by emotion (i.e. what “feels” good). I am not like that, and although the resultant collision of these two values has positively influenced our music; it causes a lot of friction in the process, and after 14 years, the cost/benefit ratio for Nik isn’t stacking up. Which I completely get.
I subscribe to the idea that nothing great can be achieved without discomfort…However, the operative concept is; what does “great” even look like? How is it measured? And then one has to reconcile with the fact that answers may differ person to person. Cost vs benefit is subjective.
“The most important question of your life” https://markmanson.net/question (written by Mark Manson) extrapolates on this better than I can in a short post. Suffice to say, not everyone’s version of what is beneficial matches the appraisal of the cost (or risk) to obtain said “benefit”.
In summary: I’m like a robot programmed to attack tasks until the desired outcome is reached, and Nik is a spiritual earthling who wants to be happy…And in this industry, with the return we get…I can’t blame him for wanting something more. He’s a dad, he’s a talented dude and life is too short to be unhappy. I speak on behalf of everyone in the band when I say we love him, we want the best for him and his family, we support his choice and we look forward to our last upcoming shows with Nik.
I just have two requests of anyone reading this:
1. Please don’t hassle Nik. Relentless pestering from complete strangers is not going to alter his decision. If anything; celebrate the closing of this chapter of Twelve Foot Ninja with him (& us).
2. Please don’t hassle band members. We just want to enjoy our time with Nik still in the band and look forward to finding a killer new vocalist.
We understand a lot of people will be upset by this news and it’s possibly redundant to point out…but this is more impactful/important to us than anyone else. So if you feel compelled to give us advice, or complain directly to us; I humbly suggest you refocus that energy into a discrete Alaskan Pipeline.
Thank you for understanding.
Lastly, as much as we’re sad that Nik is moving on, we’re also grateful for the rare opportunity to have a year’s notice to find a new singer. We are energised by the prospect of finding someone totally new whose voice will blow our minds and inspire us to write new music that will blow yours. We want everyone to be blown.