Behind The Scenes: Injured Ninja - 'The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields'

Behind The Scenes: Injured Ninja - 'The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields'

Veteran Boorloo avant-noise-rockers take us behind the scenes of their epic new live concert film that is a “Doom Rave’” re-telling of the ancient Mesopotamian tale The Epic of Gilgamesh

Image credit: Still from 'The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields'

The word ‘epic’ tends to be thrown around a little loosely - I’m just as guilty as anyone of using the word to describe something that in reality is not worthy of such an adjective, however this is not the case when regarding a literal epic, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. An ancient Mesopotamian poem that features kings, wild men, gods and themes of death and immortality, the poem was the perfect inspiration for an expanded version of Boorloo experimentalists Injured Ninja’s raucous live shows.

With the band forming in 2007, in 2009 The Epic live expansion saw a heap of drummers join the band in performing, resulting in a visceral wall of percussive sound and an unforgettable live music experience. Since then, The Epic has been performed and refined over the years, with the modern version first performed at the 2021 Perth Festival that saw the band further explore “the proto-biblical tale of life, death and consequence in the context of our modern relationship to nature, industry, and greed.”

With the focus shifting as much to performance as it is the music, The Epic’s continued development has seen the addition of local hip-hop icon MC Mathas as the gravelly-voiced Sayer, legendary Australian drummer Cameron Potts (Baseball, Babayaga), and prolific Boorloo keyboardist Nikki Dagostino (Selfless Orchestra).

Taking this journey even further (literally and figuratively), The Epic teamed up with Drew Goddard (Karnivool) and the denizens of Coolgardie as part of the Barefoot Bands project as they headed out to the deteriorating remains of a gold rush era train station. Alongside a throng of artists, cameras, drones, lights and microphones, the cinematic, apocalyptic, and musical retelling was captured as The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields - released now as both a film and stand alone record.

To celebrate the release of The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields, Dominic Pearce - Vocalist and Bass player from Injured Ninja / Vocalist and Drum Leader in Gilgamesh took us behind the scenes of the shoot:

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Production in Coolgardie was based out of an old abandoned train station that Drew Goddard at Barefoot Bands has converted into a studio.

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We shot the desert scenes at dawn the same day of the evening performance. It’s a special feeling dragging grown adults out into the freezing cold on little sleep just to get good light.

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Coolgardie was a literal goldmine of old colonial infrastructure and heavy machinery - super useful when you’re making a post-apocalyptic film with environmental themes.

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Cara Teusner-Gartland preparing for the show. Much of the costuming for the project involves clay, which is a fantastic material to slather all over your band in the middle of a cold desert.

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Wayne Bird from the Coolgardie Men’s Shed operating the lifter carrying our massive Enkidu effigy, led by performer and drum leader Oscar Harris.

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Drum leader Jacob Fry steering the procession. Gilgamesh is an experiment in community building. For many in this photo, who had only joined the band and learned the songs that morning, this is the part of the night they started wondering what the actual fuck they had gotten themselves into.

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This is Kel and Claire. They play truck.

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Make-up & costume artist Emile M. Smith preparing “The Sayer”, played by iconic Perth MC Mathas.

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Certain sequences required forests, meaning shooting closer to Perth, but alongside the pipeline that runs from Boorloo to the Goldfields. Mathas’ character acting skills are actually incredible, both his voice work, and his physical performance.

ALBUM ART Injured Ninja Epic of Gilgamesh Live in the Goldfields fotor 20231207114234

Injured Ninja's new album The Epic of Gilgamesh: Live in the Goldfields is out now

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