Sims intent to 'seek and destroy'
What's the difference between ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and North Queensland Cowboys enforcer Ashton Sims?
Apart from the bleating obvious, their priorities are totally different. While they both suppose three keys to happiness in life, one's involves rugby league, Metallica and family.
You can probably guess which.
Growing up on large property on the New South Wales' South Coast, the Sims boys were taken with the heavy metal band from an early age. Having little else but a small tape player with 'The Black Album', Ashton said between games of backyard footy and music, there was little else.
"Metallica has pretty much been my life. I always say I have three loves and they are my wife and kids, rugby league and Metallica. Nothing comes in between them," Ashton told NRL.com.
"Metallica is there through the good times and the bad times of growing up and being a rebellious teenager like I was. We didn't have a television growing up, we used to borrow CDs off my mates or I used to get them to record the music. And that just reminds me of childhood, man. It reminds me of hard times and times that made me the stronger man that I am now."
The next step he will take with the aid of Metallica, wife Nicole and their three children, Kobe, Alani and Isla, is a next career adventure in the form of a two-year deal with English Super League side Warrington Wolves.
Reflecting on his impending move to the other side of the globe next year, Sims has coined it a 'Seek and Destroy' kind of moment.
"'Seek and Destroy', 'Whiplash', those songs are a little bit emotional. The lyrics aren't totally reflective (of the move to England), but it's more about a time of change in my life, that's also what I get out of it," Sims said ahead of a return to the familiar pastures of Kogarah on Saturday night, where his NRL career began with St George Illawarra in 2003.
"I used to love listening to 'Seek and Destroy' when I was younger because I was a bit of a rebellious teenager.
"I used to listen to it before a game too, because that's what I try and base my game around. The chorus is probably it – 'searching, seek and destroy' – it's probably the sort of mindset I like to have on the field."
When asked why he will take his career to Europe, Sims said it was a matter of contract security, and while he was in talks with rival NRL clubs, it was apparent they only wanted him on a one-year deal.
"I've got my wife and kids to think about now and this opportunity came along and I just couldn't say no, it was an easy decision to make," said the 29-year-old.
"I didn't want to leave here but I wanted to have a bit of security in my life and I didn't want to be in this (off-contract) situation again this time next year. I want to go to a place where I'm still enjoying my footy a lot. Money is secondary to happiness and I just want to make sure my wife and kids are really happy.
"I really enjoyed myself over there in the World Cup and for a big successful club like Warrington to call me and ask for my services, I couldn't really say no. Especially talking with their coach Tony Smith, he really sold the place big time to me and I just had to take the opportunity.
"The quality of football is really good over there, too. The people who play over there (from the NRL) know it's a really good comp and I'm certainly not going for a holiday for two years. I'm looking to be a part of a really successful club and hopefully win a couple of trophies."
It was in last year's Rugby League World Cup where Sims took a shine to Britain, and although his Fijian Bati went down to the hosts 34-12 in the group stages he would form friendships with soon-to-be teammates and fellow forwards Ben Westwood and Chris Hill.
"I've played against two of their English internationals over there, Benny Westwood and Chris Hill, and we had a good battle and I had a lot of respect for them after it," Sims said. "I also know Roy Asotasi and I've always loved him as a rugby league player and the opportunity to play with Roy was also a big thing.
"There's also a good crop of young guys coming through at Warrington, Tony (Smith) was saying, so hopefully I can be there and help them come through like I think I have helped the Cowboys here."
In keeping all three loves of his life fulfilled in a foreign land, Sims says he will look to tap into the origins of British heavy metal dating back to the late '70s.
"Hopefully there are still a few metal heads over there. Going back a fair way in the late '70s and early '80s, there was a new wave called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and there were a heap of bands: Anthrax, Tygers of Pan Tang. Big bands that came through at that time, Diamond Head were probably one of the biggest.
"Surely I'll find a few left-over metallers over there I can talk to."