Aaron Dalbec from Bane also plays in a band called Converge. So when Ellen and Christian did the interview with Bane in Zug (Switzerland) on September 30th (check that one out on this site) they decided to ask Aaron some things about Converge, too…

O.k. Aaron, let’s talk about Converge. Could you please introduce yourself and your band-mates?

Aaron: All right. I’m Aaron, I’ve been in Converge for seven or eight years and Converge has been around for ten years now. The other people in the band are Jake (voc.), Curt (guitar), Nate (bass) and we just got a new drummer called Ben. He’s the best drummer we’ve had so far.

Are you guys all friends or are you just in the band together?

Aaron: I’ve known everybody except for Ben for about ten years actually. He just turned 20, the others are around 25. I’ve been friends with Jake for about ten years, Curt the same.

How many releases has Converge had so far?

Aaron: We’ve had our first 7“ which was self titled. I’m definitely not on it and I’m glad...

It sucked?

Aaron: Ahm,....yes! (laughter) For that time it was good. After that we did the ‘Halo in a Haystack’ LP, which was only about 800 records made and then we did another 7“, then ‘Petitioning the empty sky’ 7“ and then finished the CD with actual stuff on it.

Which label did that?

Aaron: Ferret put that out originally but Equal Vision re-released it. Then we did the 5“ which is just two songs. Then we did ‘When Forever Comes Crashing’, then a European 7“ before we came over here. Lost & Found originally released the ‘Caring and Killing’ CD and then Hydrahead re-released it because like every other band Lost & Found work with they screwed us over. It was the time when nobody really knew who we were so Lost & Found wanted to put it out so we were glad someone did it. I can’t really count the compilations on which we were.

What about the stuff on Relapse?

Aaron: We did that (shows a record), and then I also did the Converge/Coalesce 7”, I put that out about two or three years ago.

Do you want to comment the sound on the split with Agoraphobic Nosebleed?

Aaron: It liked that one the best.

You like the production?

Aaron: Yes, the level of the sound is a little bit quiter but...

But there is a lot of bass.

Aaron: Does it come crashing? If it comes crashing it’s a lot of bass.

Well, if I put it on my CD changer in the car the only thing you hear is bass.

Aaron: Really? Maybe it’s the mastering, I don’t know. I have to listen to the CD, I only have it on tape.

Maybe I should change systems. Well, never mind. If you put out a new record in what dimension does it come out ? You said that a 7“ was only 1,000 so when Equal Vision puts out a record how many would that be?

Aaron: I think, they usually do about 3,000 to start off but it’s always a few more. I think they might do 5,000 now, I’m not sure.

Can you live off your music?

Aaron: No, I work fulltime too. When I’m home I work at GAP, the clothing store.

Like Al (...Al from Shelter again !) ? He works at GAP too...

Aaron: Yeah, I work with Al !

If you work fulltime and you go on tour for a couple of months, do they keep on rehiring you?

Aaron: We come back whenever we want. I was gone for like three months last year and when I came back they gave me a big raise. Al and I both work from 5 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. It’s kinda hard to find people to do that. I work from Monday to Friday, then I come home and go to practice like two or three times a week and then we have shows almost every weekend.

So all the people from the band live in the same area?

Aaron: Yeah, within like an hour of each other. Curt and Ben live in Boston, Nate lives north of Boston, and Jake lives in Rhode Island.

How many tours have you had so far?

Aaron: Actually it’s been five, I think. We try to go on tour every year.

How many times have you been to Europe?

Aaron: This is my third time. I came with Ten Yard Fight in January ’98. Converge came last year on their first European tour and this is the first Bane tour. We really have a hard time touring with Converge because the other guitarist is a biomedical engineer and he has a recording studio. He’s a very busy guy.

Did he record your stuff?

Aaron: Yeah, he records most of our stuff.

What’s the name of his place?

Aaron: Godcity.

That’s nice. Is it in Boston?

Aaron: Yes, Boston area. It’s 20 minutes outside the city.

Who writes the music in Converge?

Aaron: Curt wrote the majority of the music before, like he wrote most of the stuff and we kinda put little parts here and there. The last record and the new stuff that we’re working on we’re all writing about equal share. Jake writes all the lyrics.

If somebody would sent you to a deserted island what three things would you choose to take with you?

Aaron: I’ll bring music, a dog and books.

No girl?

Aaron: Well, I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment...

Aha, that’s why you came to Europe, right?

Aaron: Yeah, you got me...(laughter).

What’s your favourite record?

Aaron: That’s really hard but my top five would be the first two Jane’s Addiction albums, they’re probably my favourite records at all, Turning Point, Misfits ‘Walk among us’ and Dead Kennedys ‘Give me convenience or give me death’ because these last two were the first Punk Rock records I’ve ever bought.

What’s the last record you bought?

Aaron: Actually the last record I bought was when we were here and it was Manowar ‘Kings of Steel’ (this guy knows what’s true metal – Stefan) and two In Flames records. In Flames is a great band. They played the Friday before we left in our hometown and it was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. That’s why I bought the records.

What’s your favourite movie?

Aaron: Star Wars. I like the new one but they could have done a better job. The next one will be better I bet. There were good things in Episode 1 but also a lot of bad things, like dialogues and stuff. Also True Romance is one of my alltime favourites (yeah, this movie’s great – Stefan).

What was the last book you’ve read?

Aaron: Charles Buckowski’s ‘Post Office’, ‘The Outsiders’, this book called Microserves (or something like that - Stefan) by David Copeland, the one who did Generation X. Issa from Good Clean Fun loves it and I ran out of books so I started reading it. When we went to Auschwitz I got a couple of books. One was like diaries from SS officers, I’m reading that right now.

What’s your favourite author?

Aaron: Probably Clive Barker. He wrote ‘Hellraiser’. I like Buckowski and Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Short Stories’.

Did anything funny happen on the last Converge tour? Strippers backstage or anything…?

Aaron: No. We had some problems with our drummer. He bummed us all out and acted like a total jerk. Then we decided to kick him out. He was super sick and being a total baby about it. We wanted to bring him to hospital but he refused. Then finally one night we played the biggest show we’ve played in North Carolina, it was like 300 or 400 kids there and we played three songs and he was like ‘I can’t do this anymore’ and just left and climbed outside. We brought him to a hospital and while he was in the hospital I called a friend and asked him if he could play drums for us.

Have you ever toured outside the U.S., Canada or Europe?

Aaron: No. We were supposed to go to Japan in January but it fell through. But I’m hoping actually that Bane’s gonna be going. Equal Vision’s been talking to somebody out there so hopefully in spring we’re going there with Bane. But it’s so hard to get over there.

But if you have somebody who promotes the tour you don’t loose money. People pay like 30-40 $ to get in to shows. They sell T-Shirts for 30 $s over there, it’s incredible!

Aaron: You know, we came with Bane’ over here and we knew that we’d loose money. Well, we knew we wouldn’t make any money personally. But as long as we can pay our plane tickets back and pay off some of our merchandise debt, that’s all we care. We got to get to Europe, you know what I mean?!

If you use your time! Most bands have the chance to visit beautiful old ancient cities and all they do is stay in the hotel, you know.

Aaron: When we’re awake we’re walking around. Like in Rome, we spent forever walking around in Rome. You have so much history and tradition over here. Almost every building in Europe is older than in the U.S. It’s great for us to see all these things!

Where do your ancestors come from?

Aaron: France and Scotland.

Do you feel French a bit?

Aaron: No, not really! (laughter)

You didn’t take French in High School?

Aaron: No, I didn’t have to take a language. You don’t have to do that in Massachusetts. Coming over here we all feel pretty dumb because a lot of people speak at least two or three languages. And none of us can speak another language! I’d really like to learn another language, maybe someday.

Have you ever considered going to college?

I’ve never been to college but I want to. When I graduated from high school I had to pay everything on my own, which is good, I mean it helps you to learn about responsibility. Then I was playing in an band and we were going on tour. My mom’s never been out of California. I don’t even know how many times I’ve crossed the country, probably about fifteen times. I tour as much as I can ‘cause I know I won’t be able to tour forever. I’ll do this as long as I can and then go to school.

Which subject will you choose?

I don’t even know. I’m sure when I’ll stop touring I’ll do something related to music. I wouldn’t wanna do an office job. Even if I had a record store and making just enough money to live, that would make me happy. Maybe I can do my record label and do bands, I don’t know.

Do you have already plans to record a new album?

Converge is working on a new record now. We started writing a bunch of new songs before I left. I sat down with the other guitar player and showed him some stuff I had. So they’re working on some stuff now. When I get home hopefully we can record a new LP soon.

Any favourite producer for that album?

Not really. I mean Brian McTernan, we did our 7” in his first studio in Massachusetts. He did the Bane stuff up to the last LP. I like working with him a lot. Curt’s actually really good to work with, too, our other guitar player. I’d like to work with Steve Evetts, the guy who did like the Saves The Day record, the Hatebreed record. Right now he’s in Brazil doing the Sepultura record. There’s a couple of studios I’d be excited to do stuff in.

We’re coming to the end of the Interview. Could you sum up your sex life in thirty seconds?

Aaron: That’s about it ! (laugther)

(Ellen & Christian McNamara)