Interview: Antioch

Young bands dedicated to traditional metal have a permanent place on our blog. This category also includes the Canadians Antioch, who released their EP Antioch V on 14 May 2021. It is obvious that we wanted to have a chat with the guys. Jordan (bass, guitar) and Nick (vocals) answered all our questions. We even have an exclusive revelation for you… so read this interview carefully.

André: Hi, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?

Jordan: Thanks for having us, André. We’re doing alright. We just sold out completely of our first EP this morning. It has been a long time coming, but it’s a fond moment nonetheless.

Nick: We’ve been having to mail out a LOT of merch since the EP’s release. I’d say things are going great so far. Thanks for taking the time to interview us.

I’m sure there are still some readers who don’t know Antioch yet. Please tell us something about your band history so far.

Nick: We’ve been around since 2013. We have two EPs and three full-length albums. They’re numbered from 1 to 5 and they accurately reflect the journey we’ve had so far as a band. It still surprises me how much we’ve grown as musicians since the first release. We started off as two friends and two brothers coming together to make (what we hope will be) metal history.

Jordan: There’s nothing out of the ordinary that any other band at this level hasn’t experienced. Really boring stuff. If people are really interested, start backwards with us. Start with our new album Antioch V. Get a grasp/concept of what we are about. Then move back a couple years to Antioch IV: Land of No Kings and then Antioch III: Wings and Warlocks. Start with the last song on each record, make your way to the first song. And proceed until you’ve reached the song “Phantoms of the Sky“ on our debut.

How would you classify yourselves stylistically?

Jordan: Heavy Metal. If we have to get nit picky, Traditional Heavy Metal will do.

Nick: We’ve always called ourselves Heavy Metal. Subgenre enthusiasts like to classify us under NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) and others have even called us Power Metal. We’re just a Heavy Metal band. If others have more specific categories for us, I don’t mind.

Jordan: What would you classify us as André? There’s no wrong answer.

I think “Heavy Metal“ is a fitting label. Which bands would you describe as your most important sources of inspiration?

Jordan: Judas Priest, Accept, Manowar, Iron Maiden. There’s no surprises really. It’s lots of pieces you pick up here and there, knowing what you like and what works with the band. On this record, since it’s my first on guitar, our previous guitar player Alex was a huge inspiration. This is the band I’ve always wanted to be in and Alex had that specific way of playing and feel that the surrounding guitar players in our area don’t have or prefer not to play. So as Bob Ross would say, “it’s time for your bravery test”. I picked up my casino gold Gretsch and tried my darndest to do justice to our previous releases. If you were to ask me who my guitar inspirations were i’d say Rolf Kasparek, Wolf Hoffman, KK and Glenn, and finally: Alex Dupuis.

Nick: Jordan pretty much summarized it perfectly. As for my individual vocal influences, some might make perfect sense and others may make you tilt your head in confusion: Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Eric Adams, King Diamond, Bruce Dickinson, Devin Townsend, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Dani Filth, and Klaus Meine are just a few that come to mind.

Jordan: Hold your horses! I knew you were a fan but you’ve never mentioned Mr. Filth as an inspiration before. A breaking discovery, exclusive to the Epic Metal Blog.

We will of course highlight this appropriately!

Nick: I am a mysterious one.

Let’s move on to your current record, V. How did the recording process go? I suppose the pandemic didn’t make it easy for you either.

Nick: Provincial lockdowns in our area have been pretty strict during the course of the pandemic. So, getting together to record an album was a bit of a challenge. Our last two albums (Antioch III and IV) were home recorded so we’ve been pretty familiar with the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach. Instrumentals were taken care of by Brendan and Jordan. When we were able to get together, Jordan and I recorded the vocals. I recently built myself a vocal booth, so we were able to get some crisp vocals recorded this time around.

What may fans expect? What is special about V?

Nick: Antioch V is a love-letter to anthems and anthemic bands from the 1980s, though not intentionally. It’s just the way the album turned out. It’s catchy, it’s fun, and it’s bit more gritty with the vocals than Antioch fans may be used to, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re incredibly proud of the songs we came up with. There are even thrashy elements that headbangers will gravitate towards. We hope audiences will be singing and shouting along when we play these songs live.

Jordan: What’s special about Antioch V? Probably not much. You’ll either like it, not like it, or be indifferent. I’m so indifferent to new music these days, I can only tell you if a song is good or not. I could sit here and spin you a tale about how it’s our best record and it’s the hottest thing to come out in 2021, but that’s really fucking lame when bands do that. I think it is our best to date, but that’s not up to me. That’s up to you guys, the listeners, whether it’s something or not. This is just for us personally, but it’s our fifth release. That’s big for a band like us, since most bands in general call it a day this far in. It hasn’t felt that long, but when you look at the scope of it, 5 releases is impressive, for a couple of metalheads from Ontario who just wanted to rock out.

Can you name a favourite song?

Jordan: It changes. Before the record was out, it was “Demon Wick“ for me, “A Facade At The Third Castle” for Nick and “Cloven Hooves” for Brendan. But when others enjoy your music and single out songs like “Hang The Eagle “ or “On A Ledge”, it’s hard not to follow suit. Glen Tipton once said in an interview his favourite album was British Steel. Since that’s where it all came together for them in terms of popularity. Something along those lines. At the time, I thought that was kind of a lame answer. I now understand better what he meant. You’re happy that people enjoy your music, which in turn makes you enjoy those songs more. But I personally love all of Antioch V.

Nick: “Facade At the Third Castle” is my favourite from the EP, followed by “Hang the Eagle”. I always love seeing what the fans and listeners gravitate towards when it comes to their favourites.

How has the feedback been so far?

Nick: The reaction has been wonderful. In no small part thanks to Iron Shield Records, Antioch V has landed in the hands of many webzines, internet radio stations, and reviewers. Not everyone is going to love it, but that’s to be expected. We’ve heard WAY more good from fans and reviewers alike. It’s really satisfying to see.

Jordan: It’s been terrific. Iron Shield has done us a real solid getting the word out. We’re very happy and very proud of how this record turned out. It’s been fun to see the confusion on whether Antioch V is considered a full-length. For the records, it’s an EP, but it doesn’t matter, people seem to really like it.

Is there a festival you would definitely like to play at?

Jordan: One of these days I’m going to wake up. I’ll be groggy and unsure whether I want to get out of bed and take a piss, or hold it and fall back to sleep. I’ll probably get up, do what I have to do, then toss myself back in bed. I’ll reach down to pick up my phone and see if we got any new messages. The app will indicate I have one new message. I’ll open the mail app and it will be an email from the organizers of a festival, inviting us to play. That’s the festival I want to play the most. We’ll play anywhere, there isn’t one over the other we’d prefer.

Nick: All of them. All of the festivals. If Antioch is wanted, I want to be there.

Jordan: Our eyes are set on Germany though. Like a stormtrooper in heat. André, where do you think we should make our festival debut? Who would you like to see also on the bill playing with us? Who’s headlining that day?

I think a festival like Headbangers Open Air or Hell over Hammaburg would be great. A festival where there is a good mix of younger and older bands. Headliners could be legends like Metal Church or Riot. I could also imagine seeing you in a package with Riot City or Night Demon. That would be nice… Another topic: The Canadian metal scene is very strong at the moment. Which bands do you like the most?

Nick: Well, my favourite artist of all time is Devin Townsend. I also really enjoy the work he did in Strapping Young Lad. 3 Inches of Blood is another band that comes to mind when thinking about amazing Canadian bands… A shame that they’re no longer active. You have Canadian metal legends like Thor, Annihilator, Gorguts, Anvil, and Voivod that have been pumping out classics for years. Not to mention all of the Canadian bands that exist outside of the metal genre that kick so much ass. A few other Canadian metal bands I really enjoy: Ex Deo, Varga, Kobra and the Lotus, and Iron Kingdom. We’ve also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a ton of great Canadian metal acts.

Jordan: All of them. If they know the smell of the inside of a Tim Horton’s washroom at 1 am, while trying to finish an Iced Cap to sober up, they are my kind of people. Nick does all his food shopping at Tim Horton’s. I tell him all the time, the grocery store has more options, but he’s not having it. Soup, tea and bagels. That’s all he needs.

Epic metal plays an important role on our blog. What is your opinion about this genre? Which bands do you like?

Jordan: I’m not too big on that term. For us, it’s heavy metal. Yeah the lyrics may lean in a certain direction or maybe there are familiar passages that all these bands do, but the core of it all, is still very much heavy metal. I love Medieval Steel, Manilla Road and of course, Manowar, but I personally don’t classify them any differently than Saxon, Loudness or Riot. But besides the semantics of the term. We love it. I draw a lot of musical inspiration just looking at the covers and logos of these bands. Whether we’ve listened to them or not.

Nick: This is actually my first time hearing the term “Epic Metal’“ Had to do a bit of research into what the subgenre classification is. Manowar has been one of my favourite bands for years now so that’s one I’m familiar with. I’ve been really into Power Metal since I was a teenager, and while many of the songs sound epic to me, I’m not sure if they would be described as Epic Metal.

Last question: Which five albums would you take with you to a desert island?

Jordan: This is a great question because there’s a lot to think about. We have to set the duration to forever and we will need variety. As well, the records would be running on solar power. If it’s running on batteries, we’re screwed. This isn’t going to be a matter of favourites, but rather a matter of getting all the moods met and itches itched.

  1. Running WildPile of Skulls, pretty much playing “Treasure Island“ on repeat.
  2. Judas PriestPainkiller, we need something ferocious and pounding to get the adrenaline going in the toughest moments
  3. Judas PriestScreaming for Vengeance, the chains will need to come off at some point
  4. DemonThe Unexpected Guest
  5. The OST for Bloodsport

Nick: Only five? Damn. Okay… I won’t be 100% satisfied no matter which five I pick, but here’s what I’d take with me:

  1. Judas PriestScreaming for Vengeance
  2. Devin Townsend ProjectEpicloud
  3. GloryhammerLegends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex
  4. Manowar Kings of Metal
  5. Mercyful FateMelissa

Jordan: Excellent! We have two copies of Screaming for Vengeance in case one gets scratched.

You can never have enough of that! Jordan, Nick, many thanks for this interesting interview! Hope to see you at a live gig one day.

Check out Antioch on Bandcamp.

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