Bane recently released “Don’t Wait Up”, which will be the band’s last album. It’s okay to shed a tear or two right about now. I know I did. But at least they are going out with a bang. “Don’t Wait Up” is the kind of hardcore album that serves as a beautiful reminder of why I started listening to hardcore in the first place. Read on to see what vocalist Aaron Bedard had to tell us.
PRT: It’s been 9 years since “The Note” came out. What have you been doing in the meantime, other than touring?
Aaron: Well, different stories for different people. Some people were married, some were divorced, some were divorced and then married again, some people had babies. A lot of adult stuff happened. We all managed to move back to Massachusetts. We wrote a couple of EP's, we rereleased the 10th anniversary of Give Blood on BBB Records. Some people got serious big-boy jobs, some people left their jobs so they could tour more. The red Sox won TWO World Series, The Celtics won a title, The Bruins won one. Then finally last summer we decided to write one last album.
PRT: How do you stay relevant as a band when the band in itself is not your “top priority”, and sort of disappears from the spotlights in between albums or tours?
Aaron: I'm not sure how relevant we've managed to stay to be completely honest. It's definitely a disservice to the popularity of the band when we take such huge gaps of time off, or are unable to tour as steadily as we could. But that stuff was never the main focus of Bane, being "big" or any of that stuff. We're a HC band who is very lucky to be able to do this on any level whatsoever. That as many people care about us that do is a small miracle just based on how long we've been around and more of the HC kids who are still super fired-up and active in this scene came along way later than we did and there are so many great young bands made of kids who they probably feel more connected to as far as being able to relate to kids who are your peers or more your own age or whatever.
We're very lucky to e a imp on anyone’s radar this late in the game and I try to remind myself of that all the time.
But I’d like to think that part of the reason we ARE able to is based around the strength of the songs and who we are as a live band and who we are as people.. that kids never got a sense that we were doing this for any reason other than the fact that we are hardcore kids who still love playing hardcore.
PRT: The new album is called “Don’t wait up”. But if there is something you would wait up for, what would it be and why?
Aaron: True love, of course. I'd probably wait up for a huge plate of nachos
PRT: This is supposed to be the last Bane album. You’ve probably had to explain this a lot over the last couple of weeks, but why?
Aaron: It's just time. Time to wrap it up and get ready to move on to new chapters in our lives. Doing the band on the level that I need to do it on is getting harder and harder as the "at home" responsibilities start to grow bigger. I don't wanna do Bane as a part time thing that we dust off a few times every year to live out some glory. All I’ve ever known with this band is going hard and giving my whole self to it and putting it first and I've just never been too interested in downshifting with that.
We're getting older, my knees are shot.. I can feel the live shows getting a little less explosive and confident and age is just taking hold no matter how hard you try to fight it. I wanted to come up with an exit strategy so we could walk away with our heads held high and not some embarrassment who has become a shadow of the band we used to be. The thought of that has always scared me. So, yeah, we were in a cool position that not a lot of bands seem to get into where we could map out our exit.. do things the way we wanted to.. go to the places we want to go for one last time and we figured the best way to do that would be to write a final album and push it as that and let kids know that the end is coming soon.
PRT: You are planning on a lot of touring before the final curtain drops. What if, while on the road, you get inspired to make another album after all?
Aaron: That's just not realistic on any level. I know us, I know how we operate and how much time and effort and energy goes into writing new music and that we really did come to a place of closure through writing Don't Wait Up. We attacked them as - the last songs we will write. Lyrically I poured it all out there till there was really nothing left. To go back on that would feel strange and cheap somehow.
PRT: Over the years, you’ve become one of the most respected hardcore bands around. What’s the secret?
Aaron: No idea. I'd like to think it's just because we never lost track of who we are or why we originally wanted to start this band. We never got ahead of ourselves, never lost track of the fact that we're just HC kids who love playing this music, never forgot what it was like to be 16 years old and so in love with the bands that we loved. The power that this music held for us growing up. I'd like to think that kids could just see that in us. But, again, I'd also like to think that part of it is because the music was strong, the songs were good and resonated with kids on some lasting level. You hope anyway.
PRT: Having been around since 1995, how did you manage to keep going while many other great bands have come and gone?
We just never got tired of it. It stayed exciting and fun. We still stop and pinch ourselves sometimes like, I can't believe where we are right now!
One of my fave things about the guys in Bane is that we've all stayed pretty wide-eyed and thankful through everything we've been able to have happen to us. We never got jaded or started to feel like we were owed anything or deserved anything. I see a lot of bands who really become entitled and lose track of themselves or how cool it is to just be able to be in a band who gets to play songs for anyone. They lose track of the small and beautiful details of this life and things start to implode. Somehow that never happened for us thankfully
PRT: With members from bands like Have Heart and Code Orange Kids helping out on your album, it’s safe to say younger bands look up to you. Which bands would you want to be “godfather” of?
Aaron: I mean, to think that we could have inspired those bands in any way is pretty mind-blowing and flattering for me. The people who sang on the record were handpicked solely because we love their bands so fucking much. Down To Nothing, Have Heart, Rotting Out and Code Orange Kids are all bands who we feel have raised the bar as far as how fucking special hardcore music can be. It's a weird thing to think that they have looked up to us at all.. because we look up to them. I'm not going to go and list off a bunch of bands who would also be on that list of young bands who just blow our fucking minds. There are so many of them right now and some of them do tell us that Bane somehow helped spark something in them when they were starting out, or that we were one of the earliest shows they ever saw. Those are compliments that just leave me shaking my head in amazement.
PRT: And what presents would you give them for their graduation, or Christmas, or Edge Day?
Aaron: Movie passes for everybody. I have no idea what Reba would want.. she probably doesn't even like going to the movies.
PRT: Wikipedia says you are known for your promotion of tolerance and unity within the scene. Is that still an actual theme in 2014?
Aaron: In our lives? Yes. No matter what year it is.
PRT: Would you say that a lot has changed since 1995? Kids come and go, but what about their mentality?
Aaron: Kids stay kids, filled with heart and passion and ideas and a lot of that is fleeting and most of them have no fucking clue how things really work and they’re so beautifully naive and reckless and able to make mistakes and bounce back and some of them are here for all the wrong reasons and don't get it at all and some of them have the ability to make you rethink who you are and fall in love with this music all over again like it was the first time. and they’re more alive than adults, funnier and more clever than adults, less destroyed and dead inside by time and all of the storms that this life will drag you through as you grow older
PRT: Being a “veteran”, what’s your top five of things that bother you about the hardcore scene?
Aaron: mindless violence
cowards who can't say shit to your face
egos, status, pettiness and the whole "cooler than you" mentality that we were supposed to be rallying against
people who are clearly involved only to make a living off of this
band member who look so clearly bored and uninspired while playing on stage that you wonder why they wanted to play in a hardcore band in the first place
PRT: And being a positive person, what’s your top five of awesomest bestest happiest things about the scene?
Aaron: kids giving a fuck and trying to contribute to something
creating art where talent takes the back-seat to passion and anger
PRT: Next year Bane can celebrate its 20th birthday. Any plans?
Aaron: oh, we'll be partying.
PRT: If the birthday cake could be made with musical ingredients, which songs, artists or records would be in it?
Aaron: The explosiveness of Burn
The lyrics of Embrace
The groove of Quicksand
The heart of Unbroken
The soul of Minor Threat
The aesthetic of Youth of Today
The rage of Y-Di
The energy of the Bad Brains
The live show of Chain of Strength
The mystique of Void
The punch of Hatebreed
mix that all up in a big bowl and I'll eat a slice of that for sure
PRT: Just for laughs: what’s the weirdest, strangest or wildest piece of gossip you would like to read about Bane?
Aaron: I like the tales of sex and violence and robbing banks and shoot-outs with the cops and satanic sacrifices and late night poker games for more money than some people make in a year. Stealing everything that isn't nailed down and punching security guards in the face. Broken windows and burning fields and heartbreak and tears and death and dying and other things that some of us will never ever speak a word of because we took an oath.