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An Interview With Kurt From Converge

Originally Published: Thursday, March 10, 2005
Written by: [email protected]

How has been your health as of late? (I saw the nasty ass picture of your hand being broke and shit. Did your injury affect you guys playing live or the recording of your new album.

my hand is much better now. i broke the 5th metacarpal in my left hand. i can’t reach quite as far with my pinky anymore, but it hasn’t slowed me down too much.

“You Fail Me” your guys new album when is that gonna be out?

i believe the release date is September 7th, but i’m not positive. epitaph will probably have it on their site when the date is official.


I read an interview with Jacob that this is almost a sequal to Jane Doe is this true?

that would depend on how you define sequal. on one level, everything that happens in your life has a direct effect on what you will do in the future. so, the things we went through as people in the making of Jane doe are the prequels to what we went through during the writing process of you fail me. i think what Jake was getting at is that we all consider Jane doe to be the first converge record we are all proud of. it’s the first record where we really found our voice. and it’s also the first record with the writing team of our current line up. actually, i don’t think any two converge records have been written with the same line up aside from “Jane doe” and “you fail me.”


What things were same/diffrent mind wise, equimpment wise, goal wise this time in the studio as opossed to previous times? What should your fans expect with “You Fail Me” diffrences and simularities between your previous albums and this one?

the goal on this record was to create a unique, original record which is something that we would actually listen to if we weren’t in the band. overall, it’s more organic and live feeling than any of our other records. in fact, i don’t think i’ve ever heard a record that sounds like it, either musically or sonically.

Any guest on the new album?

shawn mostly played some piano. he’s this super amazing pianist who crawled inside the piano, put on some rings, and started plucking individual strings and playing slide piano. it was really cool.

Been involved in any side projects as of late?

nope. no time. i’d like to. some friends and i have talked about starting an over 30’s vegan straight edge band. i’ve never been in a novelty band, so it might be kind of cool.

I read recently in AP mag you guys were put as the 12th most important band in metal today, any surprise to that title? any bands u think should be higher, lower, or any bands on the countdown that u think should be there and aren’t, or vise versa?

well, i forget the specifics of who was on the list, but most of those polls that I’ve seen lately have been a total embarrassment. i almost wish that we were overlooked by the media. magazine’s like AP, Revolver, Kerrang, etc give me the impression that they are putting their personal preferences on the back burner. and, in exchange, are pandering to the whims of their advertisers and shitty taste of their readership. they usually throw in a few bands with artistic integrity to give their list credibility, then the rest goes to the labels that pay big bucks to advertise in the magazine. and they also have to throw in reader favorites as well. it’s bad business for these magazines to alienate their advertisers and readership, so they make compromises. i’ve spoken with many journalists who talk about how they hate all the bands they have to write about. a perfect example would be the top 25 greatest live bands of all time in… i think it was revolver. i don’t have it in front of me, but i think i remember seeing that system of a down beat acdc and Thursday beat led zeplin. that is fucking bullshit. Thursday is not a better live band than led zeplin and they know it. they’d probably tell you that themselves. OK, enough of that tirade.

May be a sensitive subject but why have previous members of converge such as Aaron Dalbec (2nd Guitar: 1994-2001) Damon Bellorado (Drums: 1991-1999), Jeff Feinburg (Guitar, Bass: 1991-1997) left the band? you do not need to answer this question if the subject is too sensitive.

it’s moderately sensitive, but i can say this: all of the people who left or were asked to leave were not core members of the band. they all had other priorities and were not heavily involved in the writing process. some of these people are still our good friends and some are not.

Do you feel the line-up of yourself Jacob, Nate, and Ben is the perfect line-up for converge?

yes. we all do. with this line up, for the first time, we are a band in the true sense of the word. each person’s contribution is equally important.

On a personal level what has been your favorite album by Converge and why? (Mines Poacher Diaries heavy as hell)

thanks. i always like the new album best, so my choice is you fail me. jane doe is the first record that i’m truly proud of, though.

Best Live Performance one u just had fun at, most amazing crowd, and one you think was your tightest?

i don’t know. we’ve played so many shows. i saw a video not too long ago of a show we played in Tokyo where we drank some energy drinks before the show. little did we know that they had nicotine in them. we are totally insane in the video.

Worst Live Performance one you just had a horrible time at, lamest crowd and one you think you just played absolutely horrible?

well, after the video above, i saw a second video from the same club, but on a different tour when we new better than to drink nicotine, and we seemed tired and sluggish. kind of boring. it seems like our best shows are the ones people see, and vice versa. I’ve been down on a lot of our shows lately because as hardcore has gotten bigger, a lot of clubs are selling out from presold tickets. generally ticket buying audiences are young and soft. that’s the impression i’ve been getting from a lot of our shows lately. young and soft. people there to watch something happen instead of make something happen.

Best Band you’ve ever seen live and why?

maybe angels of light or antioch arrow.

Worst Band you’ve ever seen live and why?

soulfly

Favorite venue to play at or favorite venue to see bands at?

salled de l’x in Montreal to play. fireside bowl in Chicago to watch.

Do you or have you ever hardcore danced?

sure. i stage dove last year.


Craziest thing you’ve ever seen a fan do live at a converge show?

there’s been a lot things. kids eating Jake’s puke or drinking piss on stage. there were some crazy dudes in Milwaukee one time. this guy yelled, “jane doe? i fucked that bitch!” whoa. anyway, his friend got on stage and ran towards a wall, ran up the wall, and did a back flip in the crowd, but landed in the middle of the pit and no one caught him. stuff like that happens pretty regularly, just not to those extremes.

Band or artist a fan would never think you would like?

Frank Sinatra

Band or artist a fan would never think you would hate?

just about every part-core band. like Atreyu, poison the well, etc. you know the bands with the emo part, the metal part, the singy part. i say, pick a direction and go with it. you can’t roll all of your musical tastes into one band and expect it to work.


Top 5 Favorite bands?

universal order of armaggedon, rorschack, swans, hoover, killing joke.

Top 5 Favorite albums?

1.6 band lp, echo and the bunnymen: heaven up here, entombed: wolverine blues, sintatra at the sands, drive like jehu: yank crime.


Top 5 people you would love to meet?

andrew wk, crispin glover, maya rudolph, ghengis kahn, and jean d’arc.


Top 5 Favorite movies?

brazil, kill bill, supertroopers, barry lyndon, 16 candles.

Top 5 Favorite t.v.’s shows

law and order, simpsons, chapell, undressed, curb your enthusiasm.

Pet Peve?

apathy

Who would be in your dream band?

alex and fred from hoover, darren from kerosene 454, a 16 year old steve winwood, david yow from jesus lizard and me.

What band would you love to see live? (around still or not?)

born against

Hottest Chick on the planet?

my girlfriend lauren, of course.

Hottest Dude on the planet?

me.

You or any members of converge plan on starting a family any time soon?

our bassist got married last year, but none of us plan on having kids anytime soon.

We are xsisterhoodx.com so here are some obvious questions. voice your opinion none of use care what you say. Are you straight-edge?

yes.

What is your definition or opinion on striaght-edge and current state of the movement?

i don’t know. i don’t think about it a lot anymore. I’ve been edge for 13 years. it’s just who i am. it’s my choice and i don’t impose it on anyone else, although i do feel it’s important people know that i am straightedge, just so they know that it’s possible to age and stay straight. i think one of the overwhelming problems in the hardcore scene today is apathy. a lot of my friends broke edge because of it. and since most of the older kids aren’t edge or vegetarian anymore, a lot of the younger kids don’t even try it. when i was coming up, every show i went to, i left with something to think about. someone or some band at the show was advocating something. whether it was a drug free and vegan lifestyle, or Krishna consciousness, or any other lower visibility ideologies that hc kids got into, someone had something to say. and people listened, evaluated, and in some case, integrated these ideas into their lives. and even if these ideas didn’t stick, at least people learned about things. it seems like no one has anything to say anymore, and those that do are going unheard. and that’s too bad.

What are your opinions about religion? (no need to answer if u dont want to)

i believe that whatever helps someone be at peace with themselves and at peace with the world is a good thing. but that being said, i don’t personally believe in organized religions or the way in which many of them teach morality.

Opinions on this up comin general election?

a vote for Kerry is a vote against Bush.


Opinions on the “War On Terrorism?”

remember the statement i made about music journalism appeasing it’s advertisers and readers? think of the federal government as revolver, American corporations as it’s advertisers, and the readers as the population. pretty much the same thing.


Opinions on Fe-Males in hardcore music?

i think it’s great. it’s really unfortunate that women don’t have a lot of musical roll models other than singers in pop groups. in american society, girls just aren’t encouraged to play instruments, particularly rock instruments, the way that boys are. so, consequently, as these girls grow into women, there isn’t the same sort of huge pool of female musicians to draw from the way there is with men. i hope that as our generation grows up and have kids that we will equally inspire both generations to learn how to express themselves through music. those women who are involved in playing music now are brave pioneers and i have a lot of respect for them.

Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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