Bane Interview
This interview was made in Paris the 20th of November 2005.
Caroline has met
Aaron (vocals) and Zach (guitar).

Could you tell us something about this new tour?

Aaron : We haven't been here to Europe since 3 years, it's been a long time since we've been back here a lot has changed, many more kids are coming to the shows, probably the smallest show on this tour is the size of the average show when we were here 3 years ago, and there's so many more kids, and we never travelled on a bus before, so that's really new and exciting for us, and we're very good friends with both bands that we're touring with so everyday is really like a big party, you hang out with your friends, and then you play your show and then you just get back on this bus and hang out some more so, it's very different than any tour I've ever been on before, it's been the easiest tour in my life, and one of the most fun.

"The Note" is your ninth album, what is the most change in this new album? Are you satisfied of the result?

Zach: yeah, I mean, this is the album that we wanted to make, this is the first record that we put out since 4 years so we kind of decided to get back into the practice base, it was like "alright let's write a record", we knew that Give Blood, who was out before, was very well respected and did very well and we were kind of "whoa, we're gonna fucking blow that shit out in the water" and at the same time make the exact record that we wanna make. It's definitely different than give blood, but if you like Give Blood, I think you'll like this record. We're absolutely happy with this record. I think we're probably more satisfied than we've ever been with any record.

Your lyrics on the precedents albums are full of social and political sense, this one is more personal, is "the Note" more of a concept album for you?

Zach : I don't think it's a concept album, I think that what we tried to do, lyrically, I think it's just kind of written from a personal view of what was going on, I guess it's a little darker.
Aaron : It captures where I am, I think that every song that I write just captures where I am at that time, and I didn't mean for this record to be so much more personal but I think that a lot of the issues that I was struggling with last year and this year where maybe a little bit darker and a little bit more introspective you know, like looking inside myself instead of looking around me, having to wrestle with the fact that a lot of things in life change and people that you love die, or people leave, and you can't change any of that so… When it was all set and done and I looked back on the lyrics I was like "whoa, it's sort of a dark record" but it wasn't intentional, it's just where I've been at mentally for the last couple of years.

About the cover art, there is a kind of comic strip, which illustrated the symbolic of the lyrics, how you find this concept?

Aaron : I don't know, Pete, the bass player, and I, we just wanted to do something very visual that maybe sort of told the story but that left the story maybe up to the person who were looking at it, to sort of decide what it all meant, we didn't want to tell you what was inside "the note", we wanted you to sort of come up with your own conclusions, we just wanted to have a layout that kids could look at more than once, that wouldn't be the typical hardcore layout with pictures of guitar players jumping in the air, and X's on hands and all…

And a broken and bleeding heart…

(laughs) exactly!! And a bunches of skulls!! We really wanted something different that you could look at 3 or 4 times and maybe every time you looked at it come up with something new.

And after this 10 years of music what sens could you give in the act of playing hardcore music in 2005 ? Political implication? Musical sens ? Social sens ?

Aaron : That's a good question! And it does become a little bit harder to maybe, it's hard, to hold on to the reason that you started playing hardcore music for, when you were very young, because time has changed and hardcore has become very popular and very marketable, and if you do the right thing and if you walk the right path, you can sell a lot of fucking records now, you know, and that's never had any reason to do with why kids started punk and hardcore bands ten years ago you know, so there's always a sort of struggle going on you know, you have to keep hold to the reason why you did it, when it didn't matter to you to sell only ten records, that you only wanted to get on that stage and play that music that meant so much to you, and now it became a little more complicated when you have to think about not only doing it because you love it but trying to sell records and to, you know, to make sure that all the people that are supporting you, like the record labels and all are gonna be ok, so it's kind of different, (talking to Zach) I think you might answer better than me.
Zach : I think, I don't really know, why were still into it? I think we kinda always try to stay true to the path that we always wanted to take, you know what I mean, as far as Bane goes, even though hardcore is more popular know that it has ever been, we're not selling that many more records than we ever have, but we've been lucky to be a band that kids kinda stayed faithful to or whatever, so we're able to tour, kids come out without being a band that sold a hundred thousand records or whatever you know, more importantly than anything, what we always try to do is just keep our music emotional and what were doing with it is what we wanna do with it and make sure that whatever we're writing and whatever we're playing is kind of, we need to be able to feel what we're doing, you know what I'm saying? When doing this record, we kinda threw some songs together, a demo of five songs, we came out of that studio, and things didn't really feel right, and I think if we stayed on that track we would have just been writing a record to get a record out and try to sell records, so we kinda scrapped that all demo session, and we were like "I can't go on stage and fake what I'm doing, I gotta be able to feel these songs and the emotion has to be there". From the very beginning we had that emotion, and we still do, so I don't think that being commercialized or whatever, we're happy that it's getting so popular, the kids that are coming into the scene and are feeling their heart in these bands will still be here in five years, the kids that don't will go back to listening Britney Spears or whatever they'll go back to. I don't feel much different than I did then years ago.
Aaron : That's one thing about Bane, we've always been a pretty selfish band, we never worried too much about what everybody around us expected of us, I think we learned pretty early that hardcore kids are gonna change quickly and are gonna grow out of this and turn their backs on you whenever they want to so you can't spend your time worrying about what they expect from you and we just started doing what felt right to us and fuck everybody else, if it felt good for us then we just did it and I think that's why we always managed to sound a little different than an average hardcore band and maybe that has cost us some fans but in the end it has kept all of us inspired, I still feel as excited about being in the band and making songs and playing shows now as I did 8 years ago, it still feels the same to me because I think that we've never been afraid to challenge each other and to write things maybe just a little bit different than the average hardcore band you know, so for me that's what kept it going, it's never gotten stale because we've never fallen into some groove, something like "this is what we have to do, we have to write songs like this", like when it was time to write the note we didn't even really think too much about what we had done with give blood, we were just thinking about what was gonna be exciting for us right now. That's probably why be were able to last as long as we have, we never worried about anybody but ourselves.
Zach : Our record label has really been great with us too, supporting us, always be there, of course they wanna sell as many records as they can because that's their job but they've never pushed us to do something we didn't really wanna do, we've always been able to call a shot, they've always understood.
Aaron : Bane is gonna do things Bane's way and they just have to live with this. Maybe we're not selling many records as they hoped that we would, but I think they respect us as people because we did things the way we wanted to do them.

Do you have you something to say about the world situation in 2005?

Aaron : I think it's really scary; and it's really scary living in America because the information that we get is so limited, the media is so censured, and I think we're lied to all the time by the politicians that run our country, that we're never really getting the straight facts to what is going on. So I feel almost sort of out of touch with everything that's really going on politically. For years and years and years now, I just feel that I don't know who's telling me the truth, but I know that I live in a basically evil country that's being run by evil men who are only interested in profiting and keeping the rich and powered. I've done this personal job that was to pay attention to things that are close and personal to me and trying to give all my heart and emotions to my friends and family and the band, and I probably haven't been as active as I should have been politically but I just think it's so fucking depressing to try to fight a battle that is so big and so hard to win and almost nobody that I know cares to do anything to really get involved you know. Today at the Eiffel tower there was a huge protest of all those people with signs, there were young people everywhere and you never see that in America, maybe a little while after the war broke out you saw a little bit but, most people in America are just happy to stay quiet, stay home, eat fucking cheeseburgers and watch tv and go to bed, that's the way our country likes it. Everybody quiet and sedated.

But we're in sort some of crisis in france, there are riots in the suburbs...

Aaron : We've been hearing about that! The young kids are pissed!

Cause in France the suburbs are not for rich people, it's some sort of ghettos, there has been an accidents a few weeks ago, two kids got killed in an electricity station because they were chased by the police, the were quite young and they haven't really done something wrong, but in those ghettos there's a lot of tension between the kids and the police so they just were scared, and people realized that there is a problem with the death of those kids so now cars are being burned down and the kids fight the police.

Aaron : It's because the kids feel like they have no future, there are so many areas like that in America, if you were born in that area your chances of doing anything of your life are so so small but those kids usually don't rise up and fight back and protest against the police, they usually just turn to drugs and shooting each other, it's just like the violence stays contained in those little areas and the police, and the politicians, and the powers to be don't have to worry about it, they're killing each others so nobody cares.

No they don't kill each other here, they just fight the police, maybe even shoot the police.

Aaron : it's strange to say, but I think it's a better alternative, at least they are speaking out…

And conscious of the problem.

Aaron : Exactly! In America you don't see that very often, the poor stay poor, and just do whatever they can to get good sneakers or gold chains or whatever they have to do, it's really sad…

Would you consider yourself a politically engaged band?

Zach : No, at least I'm not!
Aaron : It's so hard to even be politically conscious coming from America, because all of your information is blocked, they won't tell you the truth about what's going on, they never tell us about how many soldiers were killed in the were this week, you never see their faces, there are like thousands of 18 or 19 year old boys fighting in Irak and Afghanistan right now and many of them are dying and you never hear their names, you never see them on tv, it's just kept quiet all the time. So it's really hard to get upset about what's going on politically because you're not getting any information.

What do you think about the rise of new political hardcore bands like Strike Anywhere?

Aaron : It's awesome, I think punk and hardcore do go hand in hand with being angry about political and social issues, I think it's a beautiful thing. I wish more young people would get involved and get excited about fighting back.

What do you think about the bands that are in Crimethinc? Are close from them?

Aaron : we're not close, sadly it's a very different scene in America, it's really separate, you don't play with those type of bands too often, it's sort of sad.

Now a lots of theses new engaged bands say that you are one of their influences with bands like Boysetsfire, is that something you're proud of?
Aaron : absolutely! To have influence to anybody ever makes me feel amazing, to know that we influenced anyone, it's incredible!

We know that music is obviously a big part of your life, do you have any other passions?

Zach : I heard Andrew (from Comeback Kid) answer this one ! I was trying to think of something too and I don't really have anything else in my life besides this. I have my home and my music and that's all I have, I don't know what I'll do when this is done, I'm hoping it's never gonna end so…
Aaron : he's too brilliant when it comes to music, to understanding music, that it'll be with him forever.
Zach : If it stops someday, I'll try to be a producer or something and if it doesn't work I'll fucking work in a music store
Aaron : I have an answer for that actually! I'm very passionate about the game poker, that's a big part of my life when I'm not touring, a big part of my friends' life, and when I'm not on the road I'm usually in a casino playing cards. That's not a very exciting answer but it's something totally separate from music that I'm very passionate about for sure.

If you had something to say to the young generation, what would that be?

Aaron : I feel like it's such a weighty question, I wanna say the right thing! I just think "fight back" would be the thing that I'd say, don't be silenced, don't let them fucking put yourself so down that you can't be heard you know. That's what punk rock taught me ever since I was 15 years old, that you have a voice, don't be afraid to fucking use it, don't be afraid of who it pisses of. I wish that all those kids in the suburbs of Paris could hear that, fucking fight back!

Pivot's Questionnary :

What is your favourite word?
Zach : I thought of "Boner" but I gave that away (to Andrew)!
Aaron : "bullshit"!!
What turns you on creatively?
Aaron : I guess courage, people being unafraid to do something totally different, totally original, I think that really inspires me when I see somebody not worrying about selling you know, just going for it.
Zach : I think Life! It's probably a pretty boring answer that a lot of people say. When I write something, it kind of always have to do with what's happening in my life, as far as if I'm sad, sad music is coming out, if I'm pissed of it's the same, I just have to find the right moment to write the right song. I could be mad for a month but nothing is coming out then it's just like "bam!" it gotta come out. I'm most creative when I'm really upset about something
What is your favourite curse word?
Aaron : I would say "twat", it's really dirty
Zach : I wanna say "fuck", I know everyone says fuck but that's my favourite word
Aaron : I don't get to use twat very often, but if you manage to use it into a sentence "whao" you just made that sentence so much prettier! (Laughs)
Zach : well then my least favourite word is twat!! (laughs)
What sound or noise do you love?
Aaron : the sound of a girl breathing in my ear! (laughs) this is my favourite!!
Zach : It's too cheesy!!
What sound or noise do you hate?
Aaron : I'm afraid to even say it 'cause he'll do it whenever he gets the chance to if I say it! The sound of teeth on a metal fork, that's my least favourite sound!
Zach : Harley Davidson's motorcycles! (laughs)
Aaron : we lived right around the corner of this huge biker bar, every Sunday morning, so fucking early, they would rally there, there were hundreds of them
Zach : I could shoot myself in the face
What is your favourite place on earth?
Zach : oh fuck it's hard!
Aaron: I love Rome, but I also love Tokyo, I also love sitting at a poker table, with tons and tons of chips in front of me!
Zach : my bed!
And the one you hate ?
Aaron : The Canadian border (laughs), it's the worst, you sit there and you just hope that they'll let you through, and that they're not gonna charge you money to bring your t-shirts over the border, sometimes it takes 4 hours and they treat you like you're a criminal and you don't even wanna go to that stupid fucking country!! You're sitting there crossing your fingers, praying that they're gonna let you through, and they're definitely gonna charge you some amount of money, it's just a matter of how much, it's the worst!!
Zach : I'd say a police station
Which persons influenced you the most during your life?
Zach : My friends Steve Nale
Aaron : probably an author named Charles Bukowski , he had influence of me for sure.
Who were your heroes when you were a kid ?
Aaron : Rocky, he was my hero!
Zach : I don't know if I had just one hero, I always wanted to be a rock n roll star, so any band! Bon jovi! Hmm, who could be a real hero… My parents but that's obvious I guess.
What profession would you not like to do?
Zach : I once was a phone marketer, and that really sucks!!
That's my job!!! (laughs)
Aaron : In sex shops, there are little rooms with a window where you can see a girl getting naked, and some guys go into those rooms to masturbate, well, I would'nt want to be the guy that cleans those rooms!!! (laughs)
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Zach (laughs) : You lucky son of a bitch!! That's what's he's gonna say!!
Aaron : what is he gonna say to me! I spent my life not believing in him and tell people that he doesn't exist, I hope he says "it's ok, you were a good guy, come on through, it's okay, I understand, you were trying to do the right thing, come with me dummy" (laughs)

Interview Caroline
Translation Caroline

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999