The Median Man had the pleasure of interviewing Nick, the vocalist from Antioch earlier this week:
- Why do you play the music that you do?
Nick: when I was old enough to start appreciating music, I started listening to my dad’s old rock albums. I was rocking out to Deep Purple, Styx, and Boston when I met Alex (the guitarist of Antioch) in high school, and he introduced me to bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and many other metal juggernauts. From that moment, I knew I was a metalhead. I ventured off and discovered the kinds of metal that stood out to me. Even though my taste in music has drastically changed over the years, my love for metal has never faded.
I’ve experimented with playing other genres of music, but nothing gives me more joy, fulfilment, and excitement than playing heavy metal. It’s indescribable. There’s an intensity to it. A raw power. I never feel more alive than when I’m behind the microphone with a roaring crowd in front of me.
- Antioch is quite an unusual name, what made you choose that name?
Nick: coming up with a band name is often one of the most frustrating experiences for bands to endure. It’s an unspoken code of honour not to take an active, established band’s name. So, that limits the names available, for sure. In a lot of instances, a name suggested in a joke will end up being the one that sticks. I’m actually a bit fuzzy on the details, but I believe we chose Antioch because of the “Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I’m also an avid history buff, which makes Antioch a very desirable band name, as the city of Antioch has a deep history that spans hundreds of years.
- How do you approach song writing and did that change for Antioch IV?
Nick: We’ve never had a consistent song-writing approach. Sometimes, we would be practicing and just come up with something right then and there. Other times, Jordan or Alex might come up with a riff or song idea and we’ll work it out right there. Regardless of how we start working on a song, each member adds their own spin and the track until it’s a fully fleshed out song.
With Antioch IV, it was a somewhat different experience, at least for me. Our drummer, Brendan, was unable to record drums for the album, and we only had a short amount of time to get our guitar parts recorded. The responsibility of recording drums fell on me. I have been drumming since 2009, but I’ve never recorded drums for a metal album. It was an incredible experience, which makes Antioch IV a very special album to me.
- What do you do to stay enthused and engaged in the music industry?
Nick: we’re not the best when it comes to the whole “engagement” thing. We need to up our social media game, for sure. I personally don’t like it, but it’s essential to any band wanting to be successful. What keeps me going is the fans. We have many people out there who we’ve never even met who sing our praises in reviews, comments, and purchases. Their support means the world to me and keeps my spirits high. Even on my lowest days, a random comment on one of our songs, or a fan reaching out to say they enjoyed our music means the world to me.
- Are there any themes that you focus on during song writing?
Nick: we’ve explored many themes in our music; some common and many, many uncommon themes as well. War, fire, and battles often find their places in our lyrics, but many people might not know that we’ve writing songs about romance, learning, and card games. We’ve also paid homage to many influential figures in our lives through the music and lyrics. Antioch has an extensive lore of creatures and characters that we’ve brought to life through music. We try not to take ourselves too seriously when it comes to writing our lyrics. We want to tell interesting stories through our words. Stories you may not have heard before. Sometimes, the lyrics are a bit tongue-in-cheek, and other times, the lyrics explore darker, more serious topics. We hope that every song brings something different to the fold.
- What plans do you have for the future?
Nick: the future is unknown for Antioch. We’re beyond proud of what we accomplished with Antioch IV; we kept true to ourselves while simultaneously evolving our writing style. Maybe the stars will align and send us on a world tour to conquer the masses. Maybe a comet will strike us dead. Who knows? All I know is that Antioch will continue to write and play heavy metal.
Some immediate future goals would be to get picked up by a label (provided the deal is worth it) that can help get us out to Europe and beyond, where heavy metal truly reigns supreme.