Nathan Simpson – Ancient Heads.

By Ed

AH Logo

Ancient Heads are one of many awesome Straight Edge bands out there at the moment

and I’ve been a fan for a while. It turns out he’s a fan of this zine too, so

I sent some questions over to Nate- this is what we talked about!

DR: Hey Nate, how’s things?

Hey Ed! Things are great! It’s a busy time for the band. We have a bunch of shows coming up and we’re trying to get everything organized for the new record.

DR: AH is a Toronto band, right? When did you decide to start AH, and how is the scene up there in 2014?

Matt and I live in Toronto and the other guys live outside the city. But ya, we’re a Toronto band. I decided I wanted to do a new band in the fall of 2011 when I was finishing my last semester of university. I moved to Toronto in the winter of 2012 and we started jamming that spring.

Nate and Matt photo by Angela Owens

Toronto has a very strong scene. We have a number of really good bands, many of whom are getting some well deserved recognition. There is a really cool DIY venue called S.H.I.B.G.B, the University of Toronto radio station has a long-running show called EqualizingXDistort which supports local bands, and every fall we have Not Dead Yet Fest which is the best punk/hardcore festival in the world!

DR: Is The Straight Edge a big deal in the Canadian scene?

Well, I’d have to say that there isn’t a Canadian scene per se, just the same as there is no American scene. Each city’s scene is independent and unique. In Toronto, I would say that while there are plenty of Straight Edge kids, it’s not a big deal. Straight Edge is a big deal to us though.

June 8 Flyer

DR: What’s AH’s sound and what bands would you say AH liken themselves to?

We are a classic Straight Edge hardcore band in the vein of Youth of Today, Chain of Strength Floorpunch, etc.

DR: All 3 Demos are great; did you get the reception you were expecting with For My Brothers?

Thank you so much. People seemed to respond well to those songs and really that’s all you can ask for.

DR: When did you first start playing out? And who were some of the first bands you played with?

Our first show was October of 2012. Too many bands to list but I’ll say that we’ve been fortunate enough to play with some of our favorite bands.

Emmett photo by Rick Smith

DR: What is the standard subject matter in writing AH songs?

Subject matter stays pretty true to our genre. Straight Edge, friendship, self-improvement, the scene, etc.

DR: How did you guys end on React? Who else has put out your stuff?

Ev heard the FMB tape, liked the direction that band was going in, and asked us to do a record. We are really happy to be working with a label like React. They put out some of the best hardcore going and put a tremendous amount of time and energy into every release.

Matt photo by Nate

The first demo was a split release between the now defunct Blank Stare and our in-house imprint Ground Floor Records. The second demo was on Ground Floor and the For My Brothers single was originally on Ground Floor and then React did their own version of the FMB tape.

DR: Is there a full length in the works?

We recently recorded a 7-song 7” that will be coming out in the near future. It’s at the pressing plant right now so hopefully it will be available sooner rather than later.

DR: What stuff do you dudes all do for work?

Photo by Kaitlyn Kishbaugh

I work an office job. Matt is a newspaper editor. Emmett is a student. Shane hawks cell phones. And Brandon lifts weights.

DR: What are some of your favourite hardcore bands? Who do you still listen to often?

A few of my all-time favorites are YOT, Chain, Floorpunch, Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Judge and Side By Side. I still listen to them daily. But I also love newer bands like Stick Together, No Tolerance, Step Forward, Clear and so many others.

Nate photo by Angela Owens

DR: You collect records right? Who do you focus collect? And what are some of your favourite bits in your collection?

I focus on Revelation 1-25. Some of my personal favorites are True Till Death on green, Burn on pink, SOIA first and second presses, Into Another on purple, and Side By Side first press from Lukie Luke, to name a few.

DR: Have you been involved in any other bands? And is any one in AH doing any other bands?

Everyone in AH has been playing in bands for a while. Other bands that feature members of AH include Wild Side (http://wildsidehc.bandcamp.com), True (http://therealunitededge.bandcamp.com/), and Hired Goons (http://hiredgoons.bandcamp.com/).

DR: Who are some of your HC favourites from the 90’s?

Floorpunch and Ten Yard Fight were practically my whole world in the 90s. The ’97 revival was such an exciting time for hardcore. In My Eyes, Hands Tied, Reach The Sky, Time Flies, Count Me Out, The Trust…the list goes on and on!

DR: You look like you’re a burger and general fast food fan, what are your top five joints? Also what’s your usual order at McDonalds? What other kind of food is your jam? Where’s good to eat in your neck of the woods?

AH1 photo by Lindsey DeLuca

Haha. The truth is that I normally eat very healthy. But it’s nice to indulge in some junk every once and a while. I am a big fan of all breakfast foods, especially sugary cereals. In Toronto, I eat at Bitondo’s Pizzeria (11 Clinton St.) and California Sandwiches (244 Claremont St.).

Top 5 Fast Food and my standard orders:

1) McDonalds – Big Mac, no onions, fries, diet Coke.

2) Popeyes – 3 piece strips, spicy, no fries, diet Coke, 2 biscuits.

3) Wendy’s – Spicy Chicken, fries, diet Coke.

4) Pizza Hut – Large Pepperoni Lovers to go.

5) Taco Bell – Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Fries Supreme, Dr. Pepper or water because Pepsi sucks.

DR: Thanks again for your time dude anything you want to ad? Any shout outs?

Thanks for the interview. I’ve been checking your site for a while and it’s great, so keep up the good work! We should have some new tracks up soon for your listening pleasure. Follow me on twitter/instagram for updates @ancientheads. Shout outs to all our friends and The Straight Edge.

Photography By

Angela owens

Rick Smith

Lindsey Deluca
Katlyn Kishbaugh

Wall Guy art by Codey Thompson

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