INTERVIEW: Bane interview w/ Aaron Dalbec
by Adam Warner
You guys put on an awesome set and the energy was amazing.
Thanks so much man.
The tour is almost over, so how has it been?
It’s been a blast but it’s been long, because before this tour, we did a full Canadian tour with Comeback Kid, Misery Signals & Outbreak. We did 4 weeks through Canada and when that ended, the very next day we started on this one in Detroit. We’ve been out for nearly 8 weeks now. So we’re a little spent, but it’s been a blast. The band Cruel Hand is one of our best friends, we’ve known those kids for a long time. H20, always wanted to roll with them, they’re legends. It’s been great, lot of shows, it’s been fun.
What kind of highlights have there been? Anything kind of stand out in your mind? I mean, aside from getting tackled on stage?
There was a night in Anaheim where the fires were kind of out of control, major highways were shut down, and we had a really big show and it was starting to look like no one was going to be able to make it. And as it went on, more and more kids found their way there. In front of the stage was just packed, it really felt like there was just a sense of triumph. Feeling like the kids found a way to get there, that was real cool. I’m always bad at this stuff, it all kind of blurs together and takes me a couple of weeks to get some perspective. Well, we played a Halloween show in Boston which is our hometown. Most of the kids were from Boston and that was the same weekend as Suicidal Tendencies.
Nice. They’re going to be here in just a few weeks.
Yeah, should be awesome.
As far as “The Note” back in 2005, I know you mentioned on stage that there would be some new release, but is there anything else you want to tell us about that?
Just that it’s time, ya know? We’re focused and this is the first year where we’ve really been talking about it. We’re… I don’t wanna say lazy, but we’re just not the most motivated band and we… like we haven’t sat down together and written a single song in 3 years. We kind of get occupied with other things in our lives and we just kind of stay on the road. It’s hard to tear ourselves out of that and really work and focus on writing. But now we’re talking about it and we don’t like touring in the winter, scary when the roads are bad, I’m sure you know…
Oh yeah, it can be miserable.
Right, so we’re gonna stay home and write songs! Ya know what, if we come up with 4 songs, then we’ll put out an EP. If we’re trucking along to an LP than we’ll do an LP. We’re gonna try and get something out sooner than later.
You guys have been with Equal Vision [Records] since the very beginning. What is it about Equal Vision that makes you guys want to stick with them?
Ya know, we’re just a band that doesn’t ask for much and has never really grown to a point where we needed more than what they could provide to us. And we feel a personal connection with those guys, like I can call the owner of that label on the phone right now and he’ll answer, ya know? We don’t have to go through channels or deal with a bunch of secretaries. Even though their operation has blown up and they’ve put out some really big bands over the years, and we’re definitely the smallest fish in that pond, they still treated us like equals. They have really gone out of their way to understand what we wanted and they’re not looking for us to become bigger and do videos and stuff, we want to stay a hardcore band and they’ve always respected that. They just kept us on the road and kept our shit in print and that’s all we’ve ever asked for. We’re sort of surprised that they still make time for us cuz they’re dealing with some big, giant bands right now. I can’t imagine being with anyone else.
Part of the hardcore lifestyle is to be “straight edge”, how difficult is it to really stay on track and stay on course?
Oh, it’s just such a personal thing for me, it’s not something that I even think about anymore. Bane isn’t a “straight edge” band, we don’t have that as our agenda, we just kind of shed that label years ago. You know, if you talked to any one of us, you’d get a completely different response about what “straight edge” means or how we manage to maintain that lifestyle. Or, there are some of us who don’t maintain that lifestyle. For me, it’s like my arm, it’s an extension of who I am and it fits me in a way that I don’t have to think about it. It like, I know that shit just isn’t for me. I’m just not interested in getting caught up in any of that world. I don’t judge anyone or feel like I am better than anyone, I don’t feel like I’m part of some group or gang or anything. I just feel like someone who has managed to make it through life without all the bull.
Does the hardcore scene seem any different than it was say, 10 years ago?
Sure, it goes through all sorts phases and cycles and goes around and around and has its ups and downs. It really depends on what you choose to concentrate on and look at. I mean, there’s a lot of pettiness, there’s a lot of bullshit, there’s a lot of… ya know…
lot of posers…
Yeah, ya know, high school judgemental stuff. But when you go a little deeper there’s a lot of people who are passionate about this stuff and our music and trying to make a change and make the world a better place. It’s all about what perspective you decide to take and what you choose to concentrate on. There’s always going to be things that are frustrating about it and there’s always going to be things that are beautiful.
Back in Boston, are you guys local celebrities or are you just ‘hey the boys are back home’?
Ha, yeah, we’re just hardcore kids. We’re the kids you see at shows and we hang out with our friends. We’ve never outgrown the sense that we’re just a bunch of hardcore kids playing hardcore music.
Do you prefer being the hardcore kid in the crowd or the hardcore leader up on the stage?
Oh, that’s interesting, I’ve never been asked that before. Oh man, which do I prefer… ya know, I have to be honest, I love to get on stage because there’s some sort of rush about getting on stage and tearing the microphone off the stand and just know that I have everybody listening. There’s something really addicting about that and it’s not very often that I’m on stage thinking “god, I wish I could be on the floor dancing right now”. But there is very often where I’m in the crowd and ‘I just can’t wait to get up there tonight’. Ya know, this crowd is ripe and kids are psyched, so, if I had to chose… ya know its going to sound egotistical but this is the reason I’m a singer in a band. I believe it’s some sort of attention thing, a starved being in side of me that needs to get up there and jump around like a retard. Ya know, when it’s over I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss being able to get up there.
What bands do you look up to and idolize for inspiration?
Minor Threat would probably be the pinnacle. There’s a band from New York city from the late 80’s, early 90’s called Burn and their front man is very iconic to me, like the way he carried himself and his vocal presence was a big influence. There’s a band from San Diego called Unbroken who have been broken up since the late 90’s, but they’re actually going to do a reunion show in May in Chicago and we’re going to play it. Those would be the three big ones; Minor Threat, Burn and Unbroken, for me personally. As a band, I know Turning Point is a big influence for us, and thrash bands like the Cro-Mags and Judge, a lot of classic hardcore bands when we were younger.
What bands would you like to tour with that you haven’t yet?
Blacklisted, a band from Philadelphia, we haven’t toured with them yet. There’s a band from Richmond called Down To Nothing, we did a small run with them for like 9 days and we really, really had the time of our lives with them, so I’d love to more with those kids. There’s a band from Belgium called No Turning Back that I’d really like to roll with. Blacklisted for sure though, they’re out right now with Have Heart, that would be a dream tour for us! I wish we could have been a part of it. I just wish I could see the fucking show for a night.
Well that’s all I got Aaron and it was great meeting you.
Dude, painless! Nice talking to you!