When Bane were on tour in Europe, Ellen and Christian decided to go see them and do an interview with these guys. So when Bane played in Zug (Switzerland) on September 30th they grabbed Nick Branigan and Aaron Dalbec from Bane and asked them some questions…

Nick, could you please tell us your personal history with Bane?

Nick: I was a Bane fan before I was in the band. Bane had have been around for about a year and a half before I joined. I was a kid and went to shows in Massachusetts. I played drums in a couple of bands that had played with Bane, we all knew each other. I knew Aaron from Converge and I had just seen those guys around. We were all sort of friends. One spring they called me up and asked if I could come on tour with them for their first U.S. tour. I was so psyched. It was only supposed to be one tour then they would get another drummer because I was in another band, I’m still in, and Bane would probably take up too much time but it just worked out and we all became such great friends. It’s a great chemistry in Bane, so we’re proceeding to dominate the world!

Who else is in Bane?

Nick: It’s me, Nick, Aaron Dalbec on guitar, Zach Jordan on guitar, Pete Chilton on bass and Aaron Bedard.

When did the band itself get started?

Nick: Late ’95, 1996.

You’re in another band, Aaron’s in Converge; what about the other members?

Nick: Zach and Pete were in a band called Barrette for a while. I think Barrette started around the same time that Bane did. Since then Barrette’s broken up. They did a couple of U.S. tours and a Canadian tour and then they called their quits. Like any great band that goes unrecognized while they’re around, people love them now. Since they broke up, people totally revered them in every way but they’re starting a new band. I think they have about five or six songs they hope to record soon.

Which style?

Nick: I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them. I have only heard a couple of songs as I walked on in the practicing a couple of times. It’s really cool, very melodic, very heavy, thick, sort of moving. It’s cool though.

How many releases has Bane had so far?

Nick: Officially there’s four releases. Three 7“s, one CD compiling the three 7“s and then our first CD. The first CD was a compilation of all the 7“s. First two were brought out by Aaron on his label, Life Recordings.

Aaron, did you put out anything else besides Bane?

Aaron: Yeah, I did those two. Then a Converge 7“ and I just put out the Hope of Conspirancy 7“ and CD.

How many tours has Bane had so far?

Nick: This is our sixth tour with Bane, but our first European tour though. We’ve done four full American tours, one west coast tour and a Canadian tour.

Are you happy with the European tour so far compared to the U.S.tours?

Nick: Yes, although it’s a very different environment. It’s like a culture shock. You go to one country and it’s a completely different culture, language and way of thinking. Then you go to another one and it’s a whole new thing. It’s cool.

Do you have the impression that you get good responses from people over here?

Nick: Yes! Kids are awesome here. They’re really warm and I hate to say it but they’re a lot nicer than some kids back home. You get treated better as a band by the promoters of the show and I think that kids tend to really appreciate what you’re doing. It might be because kids in Europe are a lot more encouraged to travel when they’re younger. So they might know what it’s like being on the road or stuck in a van and live out off a bag for a while.

As an American band you’re treated special over here. In America you’re just another band touring.

Nick: Exactly. It’s hard to tour in America because of that reason.

Do a lot of people go to shows when you tour the U.S.?

Nick: Yes, it’s getting better just because we’ve toured our asses off and tried to set our marks. Hopefully people know that we’re not just, I really hate saying that, a passing cliché kind of band people like to pigeonhole and love for certain categories. Especially in Europe kids like to define themselves by terms such as Straight Edge or Old School, New School or Emo. In America it’s getting a little better but we hope to sort of ignite some surfeit like to break away from that path of categories.

Who writes all the music in Bane?

Nick: The main song writers on the last LP were probably Aaron and me.

Are you on drums then or do you also play guitar?

Nick: No, we sort of sit together and get something done.

Aaron: We practice a lot and then someone comes up with a part and...

Nick: Usually we try and shape and shift it. You can almost tell which one’s written by who. The songs which are written by Zach are a lot more sweeping and melodic. The ones by Aaron and me are a lot more hardcore but also like this stop and go kinda stuff going on.

It’s a little bit in the vein of ‘Converge’ though.

Nick: Yeah, you can tell where it’s ripped off from.

Metallica and Converge, right?!


Nick: Aaron has been in Converge for eight years that probably made him play in a certain way. When we start writing I do think a lot more about sequencing and that’s where that comes from.

Has the Hardcore scene changed a lot since you started as a band?

Nick: We all have been going to hardcore shows from the early ‘90s. We have no real bearing on like what it was like to go to shows in the late 80s. We didn’t get the chance to see those amazing bands like Judge, Youth of Today or the Bad Brains, Bold or Killing Time. We got to see bands like Burn and stuff. They were blowing our minds, you know. It changed for me because I’m getting older.

How old are you guys by the way?

Nick: I’m 21.

Aaron: I’m 26. Aaron the singer is 31, Zach and Pete are 23.

Nick: We’ve been all weaned on early 90s hardcore which is a lot different than hardcore now. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it and I think that it’s not that much different. In Boston especially you’re brought up to think that certain bands wouldn’t be considered as hardcore at all, but they would play hardcore shows and would be accepted in the scene. There’re so many outliner rules and we all came from that. We had to learn that Hardcore can mean pretty much everything. Like a band called Get High, they unfortunately broke up...

You were in ‘Get High’ too?

Nick: No, but they’re from Boston.

Yeah, we know Al Garcia-Rivera (drummer in Shelter and former Get High drummer), that’s why I’m asking...

Nick: Al loved Get High, they were an awesome band! They played a lot of shows up to a lot of different kids and turned people on to their music by not really following any sort of regiment. So hardcore is not only a style but also...

Aaron: ...a way of thinking.

What about Straight Edge? Do you consider yourself sXe? What does sXe mean to you?

Nick: I wouldn’t put any term on Bane. Especially not Straight Edge! You have to face the certain consequences if you gonna put a term like that on yourself. If you call yourself a Straight Edge band you’re put on a list. You have to fulfill that sort of prophecy.

Aaron: Straight Edge kids won’t go to see certain bands and certain kids won’t go to see a Straight Edge band.

Nick: That’s the way it is since the beginning of Punk Rock. Especially just the way that we all have different ideologies and we all feel different ways about almost everything, so there’s nothing that we can agree on. Not politically, really not even musically. Yet we’re on the same boat and we’re in the same band, I just think that Straight Edge is not that limitless. Not to mention that the members of the band aren’t all Straight Edge.

What would sXe mean to you if you had to define it? Lately there’s been a lot of talk about what’s sXe and what’s not.

Nick: If I had to quote Ian MacKaye I’d just say ‘Don’t set rules’. It’s not some book that you follow. It’s just a stupid argument. If people are gonna argue with you about that, you should just walk away from them.

Aaron: Most of the people who argue about that, won’t be Straight Edge two or three years later...

Nick: Straight Edge can be anything, it’s just that what it means to you. And if you feel in your heart that that’s what you are and that that’s the way you wanna be for the rest of your life, then you don’t need to set limits. Don’t worry about it, it’s not the biggest thing in life. To some people it is, they would be dead without it. I know a lot of people like that. But just don’t take it as sort of a political fight. Just be yourself.

Since you guys are from America, can you say that there’re some major differences between Europe and America concerning shows, audience, popularity etc.?

Nick: Like I said, kids seem to be a lot cooler. There’s no real major difference with shows and with playing. It’s all like get up, play, kids will be amused, kids won’t be amused, kids will go off for you, kids will look at you...it’s the same way in the U.S.

Aaron: Seems like kids appreciate bands a little more than home. I mean not everybody in the U.S. doesn’t but it seems that they take you for granted.

We’ve heard from a lot of bands lately that they don’t just come over to Europe to play music but also to tour girl’s bedrooms. It’s a sincere question: Is there any reputation in the U.S. that European girls are easy to get?

Nick: I can’t point fingers or name names but the sad truth is that there’s dudes in bands that just wanna fuck.

Aaron: But they do it also in the U.S., they do it everywhere...

Nick: They’re dudes that are good in finding the girl that will go to bed with. It shouldn’t take away from their music, they might be musically a good band or whatever and they might be good people but it’s a weird thing. I don’t really think about it.

A lot of bands we saw preach the Straight Edge on stage, be sincere to people, be honest, be kind and after the show they go home with another girl.

Nick: That’s simply hypocrisy but if someone comes to Europe just to fuck around then they’re not really experiencing Europe. Well, they’re experiencing it in another way. They’re in a totally different world than I am. Another state of mind so I can’t really tell why they’re doing it.

Any funny tour stories? Did anything surprising happen?

Nick: First show on tour we played in Hamburg and Green Day showed up. At least two dudes from Green Day. They wanted to come to see us, they were totally nice and humbled. They went off to the dancefloor, it was so weird.

Did you put them on the guest list?

Nick: No, but they drank our free beer. What else is kinda cool? Italian border was pretty fun.

Aaron: Yeah, we got searched at the Italian border. They took all our stuff out off the van. We expected that a couple of times. They even searched our dirty laundry.

What was the best and the worst show you’ve ever played?

Nick: Best show was this summer at the Hellfest in Syracuse. There were probably 250 kids screaming all our lyrics, going crazy. That was the most breathtaking moment in my life. We all broke down and cried after the show because it was such a amazing thing. And the worst show we’ve ever played was in North Carolina where there was like three people there. I mean there were three people inside and about 150 outside because there was a fight. Like when we played in Philadelphia this summer there was a huge riot at our show. It had nothing to do with us, it was unprovoked by us. These guys from Philadelphia came over to start fights. Chairs were flying, people were very brutal. That was pretty lame. Each show that ends up in a fight is probably a worse show.

Aaron: The show was actually done when the fight started. The show was done because Aaron, our singer got hit in the eye by Zach and was bleeding everywhere. They jumped at the same time and crashed together. Zach’s pretty wild.

What about the band plans? New record? More tours?

Nick: Yes, we wanna set a new record and we’re planning an American tour. Every tour we’ve done has been organized pretty much by ourselves. We wanna branch out a little bit so we hope to tour with bigger bands then. We recorded two new songs before we left. They will be on a split 7“. Another song’s gonna be on a European 7“. Indecision’s gonna put that out that split and Backfire Records’ gonna put out a compilation. Hopefully what we plan to do is like maybe get a live song or record an LP or CD with all the new songs on Equal Vision. They don’t really know that yet but it’s in our heads.

And the new records gonna be on Equal Vision too?

Nick: Yes!

So you have a contract for a couple of records?

Nick: No, not really a contract.

Aaron: We have a verbal contract.

Nick: Yeah, but they’ve been really cool to us. They’re amazing people. Over the years we’ve become more reliable to each other and they really support us though. They have total faith in us. We showed them that we were willing to tour our asses off and we wanna write good songs.

(Ellen & Christian McNamara)