We're a hardcore band that's been around for almost 10 years now. We started out as a side project of a band called Converge. Their guitar player and their drummer wanted to do something a little different and a little bit more hardcore and a little more I guess spirited. They wrote some songs and it took them a little while to find somebody to sing which was me. Then we had to find another guitar player and a bass player. The first couple of years it was just kind of slow. We did a demo and a couple of 7 inches and just played locally around Massachusetts. I guess it was around '98 when we finally hooked up with Equal Vision Records. We put out the first CD and we did a tour and things started getting serious. That's the way it's been ever since.
You guys are out of the Massachusetts area. There are a lot of really good bands coming out of that state.
It's been that way for a long, long time. I think that good bands breed good bands. When your average kid goes to shows and the local bands are a level above the average type bands, then it just makes them work a little bit harder. I think it just keeps kids motivated and keeps them trying new things. We've always been really lucky around here, around Boston. Having a wide variety of cool bands from Converge to Piebald to Cave In to In My Eyes. Just been really lucky.
You guys have put out four albums.
Yeah, this is our fourth.
When you guys do an album what inspires you?
I think it's just where we are with our lives at that time. Four years ago we wrote Give Blood and a big thing that was going on for us is that we'd been a touring band for the last couple of years and we were all sort of overwhelmed and excited by what that meant. To have so much of our lives be spent on the road and in a van and away from home. I think a lot of Give Blood reflected that. That was where we were at that time in our lives. Then when it came time to write this record, that wasn't so much what we were all about anymore. Maybe we've been doing it so long it wasn't so much worth thinking about or just wasn't going to reflect so strongly in the songs as where we were now. Now we're a little bit older and we've seen some relationships come and go and we've lost some loved ones. Some people have just got married. I think this record maybe came off a little bit more maybe mature or just based on where we were at in our lives now. I think that's the way we do it. I know that's the way I do it lyrically but I think the music is the same thing. It just reflects where you're at in your life. We don't worry too much about trying to write stereotypical hardcore songs or we don't worry about what's popular now. What do the kids like. What makes them excited now. We're not really worried too much about that shit. Just check ourselves and see where we're at. That's what comes out.
It doesn't matter what the kids are into right now. It's up to you to get them into something else.
That's sort of the way we've always operated on. We don't figure that they would come to us. That if what we were doing came from the heart and if we were being honest with ourselves then there would be somebody out there that would respect us for it. Make it a little bit more of an adventurous way to do things than to do what's popular now. What isn't going to get us laughed at or made fun of or raise eyebrows. I think a lot of bands get together and all they want to do is just instantly be accepted. They don't want to ruffle any feathers and they don't want to walk the hard path. I don't know. I think a lot of the stuff comes out sort of stale and generic because of that. We've never wanted to be that type of band.
I don't think we live in a period of time where you can't ruffle feathers. Besides that, ruffling feathers is what wakes people up.
I think that's what punk rock was supposed to be all about. That's why we invented it. We've always been all for that. It seems to be that there are too many bands that don't use it as an avenue to do just that. To stir shit up and to make people feel uneasy and to make people question the state of their lives. There are too many bands that get together and they just do exactly what's been done before them. They think the exact same type of lyrics and nothing really changes. I just don't see how there's anything very punk rock about that.
Absolutely not. I like people asking questions because that makes other people uncomfortable. That's a cool thing.
Tell me about The Note.
The Note has just been a long time coming. We didn't mean for it to take so long. A lot of things happened since 2001 when Give Blood came out. We lost a drummer which meant we had to find a new drummer and see if he was going to fit. We had to go through that. Then some of the dudes in Bane started side bands. One guy started a band called Silent Drive. Then Aaron Dalbec joined a band called Lonely Crime and they had to go through the beginnings of those bands where they had to write songs for them and play shows with them and Bane took the back seat for a little while which was fine. We had really been going full steam for a few years. It was okay to take the back seat and let these good guys do some different things creatively. We just knew that eventually we'd all meet back up and write the new Bane record. It just felt like the years really flew by and before we knew it, we were like shit, we got to get a record out. The kids are going to forget who we are. We've been playing this same slew of songs for a long time. Last year I buckled down and started writing. We wrote it just so that we could continue to be a band. We knew that we weren't done yet. That we still wanted to tour. That we still loved the shows together. That if we were going to do that, we needed a new record. That's the whole point.
Yeah, besides that if you have a good thing going, why stop now?
Yeah, that's exactly it. We still love it. We're not getting any younger and it just felt like if we're going to continue to do this we have new songs and we still have a lot to say and we still felt real creative and inspired as far as writing new songs. We just finally got to a point where we buckled down and we did it and this is what came out. We're pretty happy with it.
Are there any particular songs on it that you really like a lot?
Yeah, there's a song. It's the fifth song on the record called "End With An Ellipsis" and I'm really, really proud of this because this is not like any song we've ever written before. It's really sort of a slow mid-tempo song. It has a lot of emotion to it both in the music and in the vocals. The way I sing it. It came out differently than any song we'd ever written before. I'm not sure how kids are going to take to it but I'm really excited about it. I'm really happy that we challenged ourselves to write a song that didn't sound anything like any song we'd ever written before. We just let ourselves go and see where we wound up. I'm really proud of it. It's really fun to play live and I'm excited to start now that the record is out to see how kids are going to respond to it. It's just really reflective on what it's meant to be in a band for this many years and to realize that it's going to end some day. It's going to be a hard thing to face. That one day we're not going to have this anymore. You can't spend so much time worrying about that because then you're not enjoying it while it's happening.
You're not having fun.
You have this inner conflict where you want to enjoy it while it's happening but at the same time you're sort of sad because shit, we're definitely closer to the end than we are to the beginning and it's going to be a sad day when this band is done because I love it so much and I love all the guys involved and all the kids we've met because of it. That song is real special to me. There are others too but I just think the record as a whole, I'm just really, really proud of that we pushed ourselves as far as we did. I think the lyrics came out pretty strong. I think it'll be fantastic to see how the masses are going to respond to it. The record came out Tuesday. Hopefully kids are buying it and then we're going to start playing shows this weekend. We'll see if the kids are as excited about it as they tended to be about our other songs. I really hope they are.
You guys are heading out on the road tomorrow.
Tomorrow, yeah. We just do a little weekend tomorrow. It'll be fun. We haven't played any shows since the tour ended. I guess that was in April. It'll be good to play a couple of shows and then the following weekend we play a few more to get warmed up to tour which leaves in the middle of June.
You guys are going to be playing at CBGB's. Why do they have to close down?
I don't know. I had heard that rumor that they're going to have to close down eventually. CBGB's goes through that every few years. It's just a part of the deal with them I guess. I hear it over and over again and I know there's been big stretches of time where they haven't been able to do shows. I don't know. We'll just see what happens I guess. Hopefully they'll be open when we show up on Sunday.
That's such a New York landmark.
So true. We'll see. I've been hearing that since I was a kid that they have to close and that they're shutting down. It's always there when we show up so hopefully that will continue for at least a little while longer.
At least through the weekend.
Exactly. It's sad to think that may be the last time that we ever play there but who knows. It would be a great loss to the city and to punk rock as a whole. It would just be a really sad thing because it's one of the greatest clubs that I've ever, ever played. Despite all the history and all the great things that have happened there, the club is just built for shows. It sounds amazing. The stage is perfect. It has that great New York City vibe to it. I'd hate to lose it.
It looks like you guys are doing some Canadian dates and some dates out on the West coast.
Yeah, we haven't been up into that part of Canada for years so we're really excited to hear about that. We're going to be going back up to western Canada way because there are a lot of kids up there. There aren't a lot of bands that make the trip so when bands do come through, kids are generally really excited.
Yeah, I hear a lot of people don't go through there.
Yeah, the border is kind of a pain in the ass and generally bands from the East coast if they're going to do it, they'll stick with the eastern Canadian cities like Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto. I don't think a lot of the West coast bands venture much past Vancouver. We're excited to get up there and play some of those little towns. I know back to Winnipeg. We haven't played there since 1999. I'm really excited to see what's going on up there.
Your last tour date is at the First Unitarian Church of Pennsylvania.
Yeah, we played there a few months back at the start of the Combat Kid tour and it's such a great club. There are so many cool kids in Philly. The shows are always packed. I love to play Philadelphia.
What are you guys doing after the end of this tour?
Usually at the end of a long tour, we take a few weeks and just separate and get on with our own lives and like I said, some of the guys are married so obviously they want to spend time with their families. I think we're going to in late August do some support stuff where maybe we open up some shows for Poison The Well and I think for Stretch Armstrong also. I don't think any of that's really been confirmed yet. We've just been talking about it. That that's what we'd do next. We would do the headlining tour, take a few weeks to get our heads together, and then go back out and do opening slots for bigger bands and bigger venues. Play to kids that we wouldn't normally get to play to. I'm excited.
Sounds like it. Any other thoughts or comments?
That was great. Thank you so much.