Bane's Aaron Bedard: "We're Probably Past the Expiration Date of Hardcore Bands . . . We Still Just Love It So Much"
Bane hasn't issued a full-length album since 2005, but that doesn't keep the band from hitting the road. The latter comes natural, but regarding the former? "We have to be under insane pressure to get a song done, and if we're under that pressure, we get it done," says frontman Aaron Bedard. This seminal Massachusetts hardcore group hasn't noticed too many changes during its 16-year career -- even the fans roughly stay the same age.
"As they get deeper and deeper in their 20s, this life and this music and spending time at shows with a bunch of kids becomes less urgent," says Bedard, "We completely understand that kids grow up and move on. Once you get into your 30s, it gets a little harder to take a Wednesday night to go see a hardcore band."
Bane returns to The Underground on Sunday, October 30 with Defeater, Miles Away, and Dead End Path. We spoke to Bedard while he was loading gear for the band's first American tour in about a year. He discussed the band's longevity, what attracts youth to hardcore culture, and the possibility of recording new Bane songs.
Up on the Sun: What do you like about playing in Phoenix?
Aaron Bedard: It's a place where there seems to be a lot of kids that get us, and the shows are always fun there. Definitely one of the spots, any time we travel across the U.S., we try not to miss. Sometimes we play Mesa, sometimes we play Tucson, but we always seem to be somewhere right there, and that's always been good. Actually, it hasn't always been good, but the last five or six years has been very consistently good for us. It's one of our favorite spots to go on the U.S. tour, for sure.
What were some of the not so good times?
There's nothing that sticks out, in particular. I just feel like there was some places, when we first started touring a lot, we had to struggle a little more than others to win people over. I feel like in the earlier days, Phoenix was a little more standoffish, and we didn't quite know what to expect, and I feel like we had to work really hard to win them over. But we were definitely able to do that, and I don't think we've had a below-average show there in years, I can't remember the last time, to be honest.
Just some places are harder than others. There's some places we still haven't cracked. We've been going there consistently year after year and still don't know how the show's gonna be. There's other places where it's always good.
Are you guys working on any new material?
It's funny, we just did actually write and record a song in the two weeks we've been home since the European tour, and we kinda had to rush it out. Our friend runs a record label called Triple-B Records, and he's putting out a compilation that he wants to get out for next year. So, if we were gonna be on it, we had to do the song in the little window that we had between the Europe tour we just did and this tour. We did write and record a song in a week and that felt really good, but beyond that, there isn't any actual plans to do anything after this tour.
We're home for the whole winter, so I'd like to think we're gonna get motivated and maybe write three new songs and try to put out an EP or something, but sometimes that's not an easy thing to do after a long, five-week tour. When we get home, we kinda just want to be home for a while and not think about Bane stuff.
The way we've been working is we have to be under insane pressure to get a song done, and if we're under that pressure, we get it done. Right now, there's not a huge motivation to write new songs, but I would love to write a seven-inch while we're home in the winter.
That way you'll be well rested and you can come up with some good ideas.
Now we have enough weird songs kicking around where we could have Equal Vision Records put out a collection of all the little odds and ends and EPs that we've put out in the last few years.
Yeah, I saw that you guys covered Lifetime's "The Truth About Lars" and I looked around . . .
How did you find that? That's crazy.
It's on your Wikipedia page.
That's so funny. That song never came out -- it isn't on anything. I literally just got a hold of it this year. I recorded that, I think, four years ago, three years ago. That is a true rarity. It was gonna be a tribute album that our friend was going to put out, but the band got back together, so the whole idea just got shelved.
I'm a huge Lifetime fan, so I was pretty excited to hear the cover, but then I couldn't find it.
Yeah, you're not gonna find it -- it's not on anything. Literally, I didn't have it for years. Maybe that's something we could slip through as a bonus track on some sort of collection. It would be cool to get it out there because it's such a weird band for us to cover.
A couple of my friends from Pittsburgh went to This Is Hardcore this year, and they said the singer from Down to Nothing cited you guys as the most influential hardcore band of this generation. What do you think about that?
That's very high praise. I think that's amazing, but it's not something that we spend time thinking about or striving for or anything like that. It was really cool. I love to know that they hold Bane in very high regard, it was a super-nice thing to say, and it's a good feeling. Maybe to some degree there's some truth to that. Like I said, that was never the point, never anything that we set out to do or to be, but if we manage to do that, that's really nice.
You guys have been around for a good 16 years. How do you make it work, and what motivates you to keep going on tour?
I guess one of the things that kinda gave us some longevity is we never had this be our job, or never had it be the one focus of all of our lives. Home lives were as important as road lives. When we're on the road, we're looking forward to getting home and being with our friends and family and doing stuff that we do away from the road. When we're in the middle of that, we have the road to look forward to, so we kept the dichotomy of those two completely separate worlds and kept this from ever feeling like a job, like something that you start to resent or really need a break from.
Other than that, I just feel like there's something somewhat universally stunted in all of us that even though we're getting older and probably past the expiration date of hardcore bands or hardcore kids, we still just love it so much. We still get excited about young bands, still love playing shows.
I was so hyped this morning to get up and crawl in this van, where I'm now going to be living for the next five and a half weeks. No one in Bane ever got so sick of that that we decided to hang it up, to call it quits. That's probably the only that I can attribute to the longevity. We have a really good time doing it. We still really love hardcore.