There is very few bands around in today's hardcore scene that can make a claim to some of the things that Ensign has done and accomplished since their humble beginnings in 1995. They've been all over the world, playing shows in Canada, Ireland, Japan, Europe, and the U.S. extensively. They've recorded many records and have appeared on many compilations as well as having done national and international tours with friends such as Sick of it All, Good Riddance, Eyelid, AFI, Kill Your Idols, Adamantium, and Stretch Armstrong, just to name a few. But one of the most interesting facts about the band is that they haven't had a single original member since 1997. How many bands do you know of that can stake a claim like that, huh?
Their original line-up didn't last past their 1995 self-produced demo. Founding members Chris Ross (drums), Walt Svekla (bass), and John Fraumberger (guitar) searched out a new vocalist and ended up finding, then Sick of it All roadie, Tim Shaw. Shortly after Tim joining, they made a weekend trip out to California and not long after that they found a home on Indecision Records.
Their first self-titled debut 7" came out in 1996 and was a big turning point for the band. They finally had a record out and so the endless touring began. Walt had decided that his part in Ensign had reached its end and stepped aside so that they could find a new bass player in local New Jersey scene guy Nate Gluck (Strength 691, Vision). Not to long after Nate's joining, Chris Ross left the band as well and was replaced by recent Seattle transplant Ryan Murphy (Undertow, Ten Yard Fight).
The new line-up got in the studio and released a new 7", Fall From Grace, in the summer of 1997. Just about the time that the EP was coming out they were already in the studio recording their seminal first full length, Direction of Things to Come. The Direction record came out in the winter of that year and it really helped to establish them as a band to take notice of.
The last original founding member of Ensign, John Fraumberger, quit the band that year as well. He left the band so that he could pursue his teaching degree and so now once again, a member change. Stepping up to take John's place on the endless amount of touring that they had to look forward to was Ensign fan and friend, Ryan "Mackenzie" Donoghue. Kenz was a great addition to the band it was with this line-up that they really got out there and busted their ass on the road.
Sometime in 1998 the band decided to switch labels in the hopes to broaden their fan base as well as to try something new. Ensign signed with Nitro Records that year and released two records with them. Around the same time, they recorded one last time for Indecision in the form of a split 7" with Death By Stereo and put together a collection of all their earlier recordings (their first 7"s plus comp tracks) as a CD entitled "Three Years Two Months Eleven Days" which is the time span they were on Indecision.