The Anti-Qs try to leave their egos at the door

Niagara offers more than just the Falls

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009


LEANING AGAINST THINGS MAKES US HIPPER THAN THOU. The Anti-Qs, coming straight out of Niagara, play the Embassy this Friday night.

Niagara Falls’ The Anti-Qs have been fortunate in their brief time together: the Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha produced their debut EP, critics love their catchy hooks and feel-good rock ‘n’ roll sound, and their fan base already includes renowned artists like singer-songwriter Ben Lee and Canadian rockers The Trews.

“I think [we’ve been] lucky,” says Ryan Dobbin, The Anti-Q’s lead singer/songwriter. “But we also work for what we get.

“I think a hobo might be a little less lucky than us, but it’s about playing the odds and controlling what you can. You try 10 different avenues and hopefully one works.”

Though the band " brothers Ryan and Nathan Dobbin (guitar), Nan Goold (bass), Mike Wilde (drums) and Todd Linthorne (keyboards) " is now a close-knit group, Dobbin says it was an “anti-band” when The Anti-Qs first formed.

“I didn’t want all the shit that goes along with being a band,” Dobbin says. “At first our mentality was ‘let’s just make music and we’ll figure out how to play the songs’... and we got all sorts of different musicians to play on our songs.

“Now we’re a bit more focused and write the songs with the idea that we’re a five-piece rock band.”

Dobbin says the band only ever has minor fights.

“We all live together, so we’ll be about to play a show and I’ll be like, ‘you didn’t fucking do the dishes today,’ but those aren’t the major problems,” he says.

“I’ve found that bands break up because they get full of themselves and make it about their egos rather than the music. It’s like, ‘leave your egos at the door.’

“Do it for the music, not your ego.”

The Anti-Qs try to remain open-minded and just focus on making music, Dobbin adds.

The band recently recorded four new songs, and Dobbin says fans have responded well to them.

“We’ve been playing [the new songs] at shows and the songs have been getting people up and dancing,” Dobbin says. “So people have been enjoying them, and I like them and the whole band likes them. And then it makes [playing] the old songs more fun when you’re doing new things.”

Though Niagara Falls isn’t known for its independent music scene, Dobbin claims it’s changing.

“Niagara’s a funny scene,” he says. “We played a show the other night, and there were two stages. On one stage there were a bunch of bands that were supposed to be cool. They were all ‘this is what rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be’...and their image smacked of effort.

“Then on the other stage, there were some great bands, very talented and all around good people. I think the Niagara music scene is improving, at least with the type of music that I like.”

The Anti-Q’s play at the Embassy Friday night with fellow Niagara Falls-based bands Sleep the Season, Policies and Procedures and local act Ostrich Syndrome. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.

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