We had a conversation with ANTIOCH. Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
1. Tell us a few things about ANTIOCH (Members, Starting Year etc).
Nick: We are Antioch. We’re a Canadian Heavy Metal band. We’ve been around since 2013 with four releases to our name (one EP and three full length albums). Our lineup has consisted of myself (Nick Allaire) on vocals, Jordan Rhyno on bass guitar, Alex Dupuis on lead and rhythm guitars, and Brendan Rhyno on drums; however, for our most recent release “Antioch IV: Land of No Kings,” I recorded the drums due to scheduling issues.
We strive to pay tribute to the Gods of old who helped pave the way for Heavy Metal. Anyone who listens to us would be able to immediately hear those influences. I believe that while our music has that NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) sound, we distinguish ourselves away from being a “throwback” band. We have our own unique twist on what we believe to be the greatest form of music ever created.
2. You have recently released your New Album ''Antioch: IV Land Of No Kings''. What is the Feedback from your audience as well as from the Press?
Jordan: The feedback has been great so far, especially since many of the reviews and comments have all been from fans. Getting their response is what truly matters in the end. When people from some other part of the world is reaching out to you or taking the time of day to say something positive about your music, there is no better feeling.
Nick: The overall feedback has been extremely positive. We’ve managed to create something that has garnered us new fans, but something that has also pleased the fans that have been with us since the beginning. It’s always a challenge to try to evolve as musicians and not just rehash the same album we released a few years ago while simultaneously making sure not to deviate from the sound that personifies the band itself. The amount of people that reached out to congratulate us on the album or to tell us which songs they loved most brings a smile to our faces.
3. Why did you release your CD on your own (Private Release), instead of searching for a label?
So, what you prefer Label or DIY and why?
Jordan: It's interesting you mention that because quite a few people have already pointed this out to us. The biggest thing is most labels already have all the albums they are going to release for the year completed by June, and that's when mixing for Antioch IV finished. We’ve been toiling away at this son of a bitch of a record since early last year, so for us, this bastard just needed to be released. We could have sat on it, twiddling our thumbs, listening to 90’s Saxon, waiting to get a response from a label, maybe wait until next year to release it or we could have just released it on our own. We opted for the latter.
We aren’t opposed to working with a label either, we just haven’t found one or they haven’t found us.
Nick: We release DIY because we want to keep writing and releasing kickass music. It was never our goal to find a label, nor was it our goal to avoid a label either. If we come into contact with one and we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement, then so be it. Until then, we refuse to put our music on hold. Sure it’s more expensive to do things ourselves, but we owe it to ourselves and to our fans to find and way and keep pressing forward.
4. Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Nick: Growing up, I preferred CDs. I was given a CD player for Christmas so when school finally came around, I remember listening to a bunch of my dad’s old CDs on the bus every day. Bands like Styx, Boston, Guns ‘N Roses, Blue Oyster Cult, Kansas, and Ozzy helped steer me towards discovering Thrash Metal in high school.
I mostly prefer digital formats now. I can keep my entire collection of metal on my phone and listen while driving, traveling, or anything really. I have a few vinyls but they’re mostly for collection purposes. It seems like most people consume music digitally but tape and vinyl are making a resurgence among collectors.
Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Beast In Black. They seem to have a really good thing going for them in the world of Power Metal. I’ve also been relistening to the latest Powerwolf album while enjoying some older Blind Guardian.
Jordan: My ears are basically destroyed. Ever since I got “WWF The Music Volume 3” in 1999, I’ve been listening to music at full volume through headphones. So I don’t care as much for the warm tonal intricacies that vinyl has to offer. Tape is fun and brings back a lot of fond memories, but unless you enjoy hiss on your songs, it’s not the best. I’m also very impatient when it comes to music. Sometimes I’ll just listen to a certain part of a song on repeat for hours. If I did that with vinyl and tape, they’d be ruined in a matter of days
Ultimately it’s digital for me. When I get into an band/artist, it’s usually one song in particular that I’ll play over and over and over and over again. Right now I’m really digging deep into Krokus, so I’ve had “Easy Rocker” and “Fire” on repeat for the last two months.
5. Your music style is Heavy Power Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Jordan: We think of ourselves as a traditional heavy metal band. It’s less confining. Our main influences are Judas Priest and Manowar. Those two are the base of the band in terms of influences. Priest is why we do different types of songs on all our records. Naturally there are going to be some people that are going to poo poo face the idea of a ballad, like our new song “The Man Who Made the Mountains” But if Priest and Manowar are okay with putting ballads on their records, then why can’t we give it ago.
But the influences are always ever growing. I could see on future songs, bands like Blue Oyster Cult and Alice Cooper having a stronger impact on the song writing. We had a lot of fun recording “Death Valley Nights” and “Brutal Planet” on this record, featured on the Canadian CD release, so I can see some of their songwriting styles leak into our own.
Nick: Like Jordan said, we’ve always thought ourselves as more of Traditional Heavy Metal band, but people are going to categorize where they think things fit, especially when it comes to metal: everything seems to have a subgenre. I’m sure there will come a day when people think Antioch is more of a Neo-Traditional Non Symphonic Classical Heavy Metal Power Ensemble or something like that. We just like to play Heavy Metal and we’re going to continue to do so.
Influentially, we’re a bit all over the place as individuals. As a band, we have a common core set of influences: Priest, Maiden, Manowar consist of our holy trinity of sonic influence. We sprinkle other influences from the way Alex might play leads, Jordan writes bass lines, Brendan’s drum style, or the way I experiment with certain vocal styles from some of my personal inspirations.
6. Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed?
Jordan: Time and Money
Time is the biggest because no matter what it is, you have to allocate time to make a band work. Whether it's practicing for gigs, the gigs themselves, recording, preparing for recording, emailing countless people, searching for things you need, it all comes down to time. But it’s not really that bad if you love doing those things. If you REALLY want to do this, you’ll always make the time and it will never feel like a chore. If you don’t want to put forth the effort, don’t be bitter when it doesn’t work out.
At first money can be a big sacrifice. Especially when we started out, none of us had disposable income. But we always put the money we made back in the band. What were huge costs early in our career are not as big of concerns/worries, since we’ve gained enough of a following.
Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
Jordan: Yep, lots of time and lots of money.
Nick: Time and money have been major sacrifices. Missing work, missing social events and sacrificing relationships in order to put all your time into the music. As with any art, music is a passion and if you’re passionate about it, there isn’t much you’re unwilling to sacrifice for it.
Also, music wouldn’t make you choose between it and your girlfriend...
7. Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Nick: We’ve had some incredible performances at home and out of town. We’ve had the chance to meet some incredible people, perform with some amazing bands, and make a lot of friends along the way.
That being said, I don’t think we’ve experienced our perfect, ideal show. To me, a perfect show would be us performing at a moderately sized venue (I’d prefer a couple hundred people who love us more than a couple thousand who have no idea who we are) where it’s packed wall to wall, people have their fists in the air and are headbanging till they’re sore. The audience is chanting and singing along and we’re just feeding off of each other’s energy.
Plus if we could open for Priest, that would be pretty awesome.
We’ve been incredibly thankful for what we’ve been able to accomplish so far and where we’ve been able to perform, but I don’t think we’ve found that magical performance just yet.
8. Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Nick: That’s a difficult thing to answer. Honestly, most of the time it really depends on luck and connections. Knowing and meeting the right people can do wonders for a career in the music industry and metal is no exception to that. Would we be in a much better place if we happened to have some friends at Napalm Records? It’s not a guarantee but it wouldn’t hurt our odds.
Marketing is super important with so many bands out there trying to do the same thing (arguably, we haven’t been the best at this). Despite my griefs with it, it seems that heavy social media presence is a necessary thing at this point too.
Jordan: One, the way to gain an identity is you should have a really fucking cool logo. Get it professionally done if you have to and somehow make it look chromey. If it doesn’t look good with chrome, it’s not a good logo, go back to the drawing board.
Two, it helps to have a gimmick of some sort. Even a non intentional one like having women in the band. Four to five dudes jamming it out in their band shirts isn’t good enough for the casual fan. Women is where the money is. They will post excessively on social media and get followed by creepy weirdos. Who will ULTIMATELY, listen to your band because they have huge erections for your band mate.
Nick: Gimmicks are always a decent idea provided your music has grounds to stand on. Bands like KISS, GWAR, Slipknot, etc. have all found success in having their appearances tied to the music and the performances as a whole. Black Metal has embraced this concept entirely by adopting a widely similar appearance among the bands. Appearance is somewhat integral to finding success in music. You can’t really go out there in Average Joe clothes and rocking jeans and a band t-shirt is done by so many bands now that it can sometimes hurt you to adopt that for yourselves.
Jordan: For the aspiring black metal boys and gals out there, instead of wearing corpse paint and dressing in all black, don corpse paint and wear purple. You’re sure stand out amongst the cvlt.
Nick: A thematic gimmick is something that many bands have made work for them. Sabaton, Ex Deo and Civil War have taken historical conflicts and events and essentially created their own subgenre. Alestorm has also become the epidemical Pirate Metal band. Lagerstein and Swashbuckle are important players in the subgenre too, though it’s worth mentioning that Running Wild are the forefathers of piraty metal and they are fantastic.
At the end of the day, before working on a gimmick or a way to stand out, you need to make sure you can write and perform well. Making good music is the first step in being a band. Try to have fun too, otherwise… what’s the point?
Jordan: In terms of being unique musically it’s pretty much all been done. Having a gimmick sonically/thematically works if you can pull it off. Maybe we should start recording and performing with sand constantly pouring on/flowing from our instruments. Nick could sing with a bunch of sand in his mouth. Sand Metal.
Nick: Sand Metal… we might be onto something there.
9. Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
Nick: Bandcamp has been great for us. They’ve been a great source of revenue for digital and merch sales. We were even featured in an article on Bandcamp’s website featuring up and coming artists in our genre. It was a pretty great feeling.
Bandcamp allows anyone to sell their music and generate and income which is incredible. While they do take a small percentage (as any business would), I find that they’re one of the best online platforms for music. Other revenues such as iTunes have been pretty great for us a while. Streaming services are great for getting the music out there, but unless you’re a multi-million dollar pop artist, you’re not really going to see any revenue from Spotify and similar services.
My advice: get the music out there, get it in front of people. Play shows in your hometown until anyone who would like you , and then start playing out of town until your hometown demands you come back. Hopefully by that time, everywhere outside of your hometown wants you to come back too.
Make sure to put yourself out there online. Reach out to webzines, radio stations, fans of similar music. Most people won’t give you the time of day, but the special ones will. It’s hard, unforgiving work, but it’s worth it.
10. Tell us a few things about the New Underground Heavy Metal Scene in Canada (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Jordan: We really fucking suck and don’t follow the Canadian metal scene. We know its booming, we know all these great bands playing our style of metal are popping up all over the country. Like Riot City, Traveller, Emblem, Iron Kingdom, etc. But again, we are horrible when it comes to being in the know of what’s happening. As far as a metal club, everyone reading this should join join the Anvil Metal Pounders Union and show your metal on metal devotion to a true gem of Ontario steel!
Nick: We’re actually not too aware of the metal scene in Canada (I know: we suck), but many people have likened us to our brothers-in-arms 3 Inches of Blood. Unfortunate that they’re no longer together. We would have loved to play a show with them. Canada itself is a bastion of really great metal. Acts like Anvil, Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Annihilator, Kataklysm, Crimson Shadows, Exciter, Voivod, and Gorguts are just some of the names that come to mind when discussing Canadian metal. We’re hoping Antioch can become just as a recognizable of a name.
11. Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Jordan: Nope, but we are criss cross applesauce on the floor, waiting for you to tell us all about it. Let’s not generalize, get to the nitty gritty. Give us the gossip. Go!
Nick: Not too much aside from some of the bigger bands to come out of Greece such as Firewind, Rotting Christ, and Septicflesh. If you know of any Hellenic metal bands we should check out, send them our way!
12. What are your future plans?
Jordan: As right now, waiting for you to give us all the dirt on Hellenic metal scene.
Nick: Antioch has a lot of fans in Greece, so any dirt on the Hellenic metal scene would be great!
Now that Antioch IV is out, we’re focusing on that. We have some internal things we need to deal with at the moment too. Other than that, we’re in talks about getting Antioch IV distributed physically at home in Canada and around the world so that’s exciting.
Maybe there’s a tour in the works? We’d love to tour Europe one day but none of that is planned right now. The future is unknown, but we’re charging swords first into it.
And when that’s all taken care of, it’s time to write Antioch V.
13. Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Jordan: Thanks for chatting with us, we hope to be in your neck of the woods sooner than later.
Nick: Thanks for taking the time to let us chat with you and your readers.
If you want to check us out, Bandcamp is the best place to hear our music. If you’re into old school Heavy Metal or Power Metal, you might enjoy our music. You can support through there, CD Baby, iTunes, and most other online platforms. We have physical merch through our Bandcamp as well. Thanks for helping keep metal alive!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.