In one of the more peculiar stories coming from B.C.’s legislative assembly, Powell River–Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was awarded a Recording Industry Association of America–certified gold record on August 29 for his work on Rise Against’s Siren Song of the Counter Culture. Simons contributed cello to four tracks on the 2004 hardcore album, including the explosive “Dancing for Rain”. He told the Straight that producer Garth Richardson invited him to his home, unwrapped the gold record, and made a nice little speech. “It was really sweet. It’s actually in my office here in Victoria.”
Simons met with the Chicago band during a one-day session in Gibsons. “I think they were kind of pleased that I wasn’t fawning over them and that I didn’t know who the hell they were,” he recalled.
As a kid, Simons played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the CBC Radio Orchestra, before side-lining music to study criminology. To make matters stranger, the NDP MLA also appears on Slim Milkie’s upcoming album, alongside Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. “He was my neighbour in the legislature over here, and we did a comedy routine with cello and tuba,” Simons said with a laugh. “He’s not a bad tuba player.”