Interview: Ensign

interview by seep


Where to find a hardcore band with old school hardcore ethics, but one that isn’t trying to be involved with any youth crew revival movement? You must be looking for New Jersey’s Ensign. This interview was conducted a little while back at a show at the Corona Showcase theatre. Read on…

What are some things you love and hate about New Jersey?
Nate: It’s cool that it has a big city aspect to it, but it’s not as crowded or hectic as New York. I don’t really hate anything about it.

From touring, or visiting, what have been some of your impressions of California?
California’s beautiful. Everytime I’ve come out here over the past six years or so, I’ve always talked about moving here. I love it. It’s warm, it’s friendly, it’s laid back, and it’s fun. But I don’t live here, so that’s just my impression. Everyone I talk to is like, “Yeah right, it’s not like that here!” And they visit New Jersey, and think it’s all great and want to move there, and I’m like “You want to leave California for this!?”.

What’s the weirdest thing to ever happen to you?
It didn’t exactly happen to me, but I was there, involved I guess. We were touring in Florida, and we were shooting these plastic pellet BB guns which we had bought from Japan. Some crazy bum was harassing us, and our guitarist shot him. We got pulled over, and pulled out of our van at gunpoint, by like thirty cops. We were all laid out on the sidewalk while these cops were pointing their guns right in our face. Our guitarist got arrested. The whole thing was so bizarre to me. Just laying there, and looking up, and seeing a cop above you pointing his gun in your face…

Do you have any dirt on Dexter Holland?
I’ve only met him two times, and he was totally nice. First time I met him, they were like, “This is Nate, he plays for Ensign.”, and he was like, “Hey, how are you doing? I liked the record. Welcome to the family.” I haven’t really hung out with him or anything. I expected him to be this rock star dick, and he totally wasn’t.

What’s your favorite movie?
It’s not my all time favorite, but definitely one of my favorites, “The Breakfast Club”. I love all those teen movies from the eighties, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “16 Candles”, “Better Off Dead”. “The Breakfast Club”, is one of the only movies I actually own. I actually went out and bought it. I’ve probably watched it a million times. Oh yeah, I love “Star Wars” too. If you were to ask the singer, he’d definitely say “Star Wars”. He’s a total fanatic. I saw it the first time at a drive inn, when I was a little kid. I loved it, but I have a total eighties fantasy thing going, so “The Breakfast Club” comes first.

Which teenybopper group most deserves to die?
Backstreet Boys. I didn’t support the New Kids on The Block when they were doing their thing. There’s this whole new resurgence of boy bands, and I’m totally not backing it.

And jail bait girl acts.
I have no problem with those.

Like Brittany Spears?
Hell yeah! Like how she’s in that total catholic school outfit in that one But the Backstreet Boys, they gotta go.

Who is the worst actor of all time?
Keanu Reeves. But not when he was in Bill and Ted, or Point Break. He was awesome in both of those because he was playing himself, a dumb surfer guy. But him in every other movie he’s done…awful.

What do you think was the worst hardcore band of all time?
Probably SlipKnot. There were an old Revelation band. The singer of my band would probably say Side By Side or Bold. He hates both those bands.

Have you had any near death experiences?
We’ve been in a lot of close calls on the road. Like we will be flying along the road, and the car in front of us stops suddenly, we’ll slam on the breaks and the back of our van will fishtail. Pretty much just near car crashes.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard about straightedge in the media?
Probably this new thing their talking about, how all straightedge kids are these militant, vegan warriors, going around carving X’s in everyone. Everything that goes on in Salt Lake which gets put on the news, which makes people like me look bad who are just into it as a personal thing. I’ll be watching the news and they will have this monologue going, “It was June 6th, 1997, when Tommy Richards joined the straightedge club”. I’m like what are you talking about, were’s my membership card, and where’s my free t-shirt?

Last words?
Support your local bands, support your local scene. Without them you wont have other bands coming through. Try to contribute something to the scene. Start a band, a zine, instead of just being a bystander.