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Axe to Grind: Four Tense Questions with Converge

In Section: PRESS Play » Posted By: Rebecca Huval
- If Halloween’s goblins and zombies aren’t brutal enough to fuel your bloodlust, consider this your lucky week. Converge, the legendary hardcore-metal band, is coming to town for two nights—Oct. 29 and 30 at Hammerstein Ballroom—in support of its new record Axe To Fall. Rebecca Huval checked in with singer Jacob Bannon, who schools her on mathcore, side projects and the charm of aggressive music.

After your [first] mathcore album, Jane Doe, you surprised everyone with controlled aggression in the follow-up album, You Fail Me. What should we expect from Axe to Fall?
With each album we progress and grow as artists, and I think you hear that in our efforts.

Is mathcore still esoteric, or is it gaining a larger following?
I really don't know what mathcore is. Converge are an aggressive band. We have elements of hardcore, punk, and metal for sure. But I think trying to define our efforts and other bands with a generic sub-genre name is counter productive. We all have something unique to offer and should be celebrated for those qualities rather than having them generalized for easy consumption.

You also have a side project, Supermachiner, and write sparse, ambient music. How does this style challenge you to use different musical skills?

Supermachiner was a project I started with a friend Ryan Parker. We recorded the one and only album in 1999. All of the members of Converge have other musical projects: I have a project called Irons with Stephen Kasner and Dwid Hellion. I also record alone as a solo artist. Nate has a great band called Doomriders. Ben plays in Acid Tiger and United Nations, and Kurt has a few other musical projects he's been working on. Playing music with others allows us to become better as artists, we all truly believe that.

Who should come to your show at the Hammerstein Ballroom?
People who enjoy aggressive music. People that are looking for something real.

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