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Questions by Terry Spoiled
Answers by Tim Shaw of Ensign

1. Please introduce yourself, and tell us your role in Ensign.
My name is Tim Shaw and I sing.
2. Tell us how you got the name Ensign
Actually the first guitarist for the band was the one to name it. That was about 2 1/2 years ago. He found a definition of Ensign in the dictionary that meant comittment, but I've never seen it. The guy who named the band was only in Ensign for a few months.
3. What bands did you grow up listening to?
I'm pretty old, 29 to be exact, so when I first got into this is was a little different. The very first bands I was exposed to were bands like GBH, The Exploited, Discharge, and, Broken Bones. Then early on I was also into stuff like Slayer and Venom. If you listen to the first Slayer record or early Venom it's total punk rock. After a while I just found myself more into bands like AF, Staight Ahead, and then later SOIA, Killing Time, GB, and so on.
4. What do you think about the fact that many HC bands have lost there punk roots, and opted for the more metallic sound?
I actually like a lot of the metal stuff in hardcore, some of it's just really heavy. Like, I really love Hatebreed. I think that record rules. There's also a part of me that realizes that the metal thing is so over done and that a lot of bands are afraid to play fast, more punk sounding stuff. I think it's important to realize where all of this has come from. Any band playing this type of music, wether it's metal influenced or more punk, needs to realize that this all used to be just hardcore/punk. What I'm trying to say is it all came from some the same place so you can't deny your roots.
5. I understand you're in the studio right now? Are you recording a new album?
Actually we just fininshed the new LP yesterday. It's called "Cast the first stone". I'm really happy with the way it came out. The production came out great and I think the songs are the best we've ever written.
6. Is the record going to be on Indicision Records?
The new record is coming out on a label called Nitro from CA, it's the same label as our friends in AFI. Over the last year we really just felt the need to be on a label that was full time and Dave only did Indecision part-time. Indecision was a great label to be on and Dave always went all out, but we got to a point where we were on tour all the time. We just wanted a label that was full-time, just like the band. There were a few other things but nothing really major. It was a really hard decision to make, because Dave is like family to us. Indecision, Dave, and Ensign have been through everything together. Dave's such a rad guy and the last thing we wanted to do was dick him over. Our options were really limited where to sign. We weren't into Victory, or Revelation, just because of stuff we've heard from some of their bands. When Nitro came to us they said we just want to sign a hardcore band that wants to tour all the time and see what happens, plus we have some good friends that work there. The only drawback to the whole thing was is that Guttermouth is on Nitro and that band sucks! I guess you're never going to like all the bands on your label.
7. Who would you consider to be the hardest working band right now?
Without a doubt Sick Of It All. 15 years and they've never let up! That's something to be proud of. I think we work pretty hard also. Last year we were on the road for almost 9 months.
8. How did you hook up with Pete Koller?
He's been one of my best friends for years. I roadied for SOIA for about six years. All the SOIA guys really look out for us. Lou even sings a song on the new LP and Pete helped us iron out some of the rough spots.
9. Is anyone in the band Vegan or sXe?
Everyone in the band is straight edge and we're all vegetarian. I do have to stress one thing, to us straight edge is a really personal philosophy, it's not a reason for gang violence or narrow mindedness.
10. What's your favorite city to play?
There's a lot of them. Montreal, Canada is really good. Anywhere in Southern CA, Virgina Beach, VA, and anywhere in NJ. There's just so many places that we have a lot of fun at.
11. How do you feel about the lack of unity in hardcore today - all the my crew vs your crew shit?
It's total bullshit. I understand "crews" to a point. If you've got a group of friends who hang out all the time, who look out for each other, that's cool. It's when it turns violent that it's just fucking stupid. I mean it's usually a bunch of middle/upper middle class suburban white kids try to play inner city gangster. It's just really pathetic. It's supposed to be us versus the outside world, not each other.
12. Are you a Devils fan at all?
You know what I HATE HOCKEY!!! Everyone I know loves the sport, I just don't like it at all. Russ from Good Riddance is the biggest Devils fan I know!!!!
13. Who's you're favorite rap artist?
Will Smith, I know that's not hard or tough, but I just like his last record. I also like DMX, so I guess that's tough.
14. Well I guess we'll rap this up. Thanks for the interview. Any last comments?
Hey thanks a lot for the support it means a great deal to us. Check out Kid Dyanamite, Reach The Sky, and, the new SOIA. Support you local scenes and your local bands. One last thing we'd like to wish our friend Matt Leveton a speedy recovery.


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