After almost two decades in the game, Bane are one of hardcore’s best veteran acts. The five-piece are a group that has always stuck to what they know and have never lost sight of what’s important. However, after a respected career, the band is preparing to exit the scene. But, before they depart, Bane unleash final studio album, ‘Don’t Wait Up’. Vocalist Aaron Bedard talked with us about the final chapter in Bane’s long history.
Hi Aaron, how are you feeling lately with regards to the new album?
Hey, I’m good, you know, the record’s finally about to come out and it’s really exciting, but I am a little nervous!
I don’t doubt you for being a little nervous. With ‘Don’t Wait Up’ coming out within the next two weeks, do you think that it closes out Bane’s career in the best possible way, or in the way you think fits the band?
Oh, I really hope so. We tried to make it feel like the last chapter, we tried to go hard for this record, to have it hopefully be a good end for the band. Honestly, I think we just wanted to make a hardcore record. We didn’t come into this with some heavy handed ambition to do something earth shattering. I mean we’re just hardcore kids. We took four months off from the road and became inspired to do another record. As we got into all the work, this real sense of heaviness and sadness started to creep in. Now I have to come to grips with saying goodbye to this. When I write a song for Bane, all I can write about is where I am in that moment in my life and so I couldn’t help but keep coming back to this felling of ‘Fuck, this is gonna be hard, I’m gonna miss this’.
I can definitely understand that man. One song in particular I wanted to ask about is ‘Final Backward Glance’. It’s the last song on the last album, and with its last line being ‘I’ve never been that much good at saying goodbye…’ I wanted to know what it was like to write that and how it felt to put that song last?
It wasn’t easy to do, I don’t know how it’ll translate live…I’m hoping it’ll have the desired effect. It was the most honest thing that I could say because it is very accurate about me. I’m not very good at lingering, I’m not the dude who stays to the very end of the party. I just thought it was very reflective of exactly where I’m at right now.
But once the albums out, I want to know what’s next for you guys? Is it just going to be a couple last shows or is it going to be one last tour?
The plan was to do the record so we could continue to be a working band. We were gonna call it quits at the end of the year, but alternatively we decided to write this record so that we could still be a band through this year and hopefully through next year. It was to give us a new lease on life, so the record’s gonna come out and we’re gonna tour hard for the next year, year and a half. It took away this hard end date we had originally planned. So we thought ‘let’s put a record out, see what people say, see what opportunities present themselves’, so we’re back to being a working band. Now we’ll be doing a US tour at the end of May, then to Europe in July, South America in November and hopefully we’ll come to Australia in the Winter and then sometime next year we’ll work on a real exit strategy.
I think that’s going to ease a lot of fans minds for the time being, especially when you say it’s the last record, and everyone freaks out and speculates if it’ll just be a few shows, or a tour, or just nothing.
Well I think there’s been some sense of confusion cause bands don’t really do it that way. They usually say this is the last tour or last show so I think everyone’s thinking that it’s ending sooner than it actually is. But yes, it is the final record, there’s no way we’ll ever write another LP. If we wanted to keep hardcore kids excited about Bane then we had to do this record.
That’s a good point, but eventually Bane has to end, and when it does will that mark the end of your musical career?
No, I don’t think so. It’s definitely going to end me being totally entrenched in this, trying to be that dude whose out on the road and giving his body and soul to it. Put that’s a very taxing thing, and the reason I gotta stop doing it [Bane] is because my body can’t really handle it anymore. I’m starting to get too old to stay on top of everything. Does that mean that down the road I won’t wanna drum in a band, or that I won’t wanna do some little local thing with friends were we write a demo and play some shows? No, cause I’m not gonna stop loving hardcore. But it’ll stop me from being in something as big as this. I’ll never have another Bane, sadly [laughs].
Throughout the years, what remained the most consistent reason to keep bane going this long?
I know it sounds so simple, but I honestly think the thing that kept us going was that we never lost track of ourselves. If there was ever a thread that united all of Bane’s members, it was that we stayed in-tune and wide-eyed about this. We never let his become a job or a business opportunity and we never worried about numbers, how many people came to shows, we never worried about that stuff. And no matter how many years went by we just stayed hardcore kids, and now we can sort of give something back. Now we’ll be on the other side. Still to this day we get opportunities and I’m like an eighteen year old kid, I just get so giddy about it. I just think ‘I still can’t believe that I get to do this, I can’t believe that so many kids care’, and somehow that was the thread that kept us all level headed.
Would you agree that has a lot to do with the genuine side of bands like you and hardcore music, that you never lose track of what makes you you?
Yeah. And just the sense that this is a community that will absolutely repay what you put into it. If you put your heart and everything into it’ll give its heart right back and there isn’t that many things that you can say that about so confidently. I think that we knew that this is a special community and you need to respect it and fucking pay it back a little bit.
Oh, of course! Over the years I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of bands come and go, so I wanted to know your take on being the older guys now and seeing all these new younger hardcore bands coming through?
I feel like things are so exciting right now. There are so many great bands, such fierce originality now, it’s just such a wide breadth. Kids are now so masterful of their instruments, how they write songs and I think the last few years has been amazing watching the younger bands step up and be as every bit as important as the older bands. Bands like Backtrack, Turnstile, Criminal Instinct, there’s just a frontline of hungry ass bands who just love hardcore to death. I feel lucky that I get to do this now, especially with other older bands like your H2O’s, your Madball’s and your Sick Of It All’s, we all feel so lucky that kids still care at all since they’ve got bands their age doing so well.
Definitely man. Even here in Australia, the hardcore scene here has just been thriving so strongly lately.
Oh, yeah! Australia, year in and year out, there Is just a legacy of great bands coming out. You guys definitely know how to bring it over there. You have a lot to be proud of down there, absolutely [laughs].
I know that this may be a bit of a hard question to answer, but what memories for you personally have really stuck out as the most memorable through the bands career?
It’s okay, I have a pretty stock answer for that. I’ve always been a glass half full type guy, so I don’t really hold onto the bad stuff, a lot of the hard stuff is definitely there, but I tend to remember the good stuff more. The things that leave me the most impacted is all of the relationships we ended up making with other bands we took on tour. At the start, we’re all strangers, we don’t know them as people, but as you spend a month on the road together, some incredible bonds get formed. There’s so many great memories you have, so many experiences you go through. You come out the other side, you experience things that you’ll remember for your whole life. Like you’re connected to this person on a level that I don’t think I could say the same about people who I’ve been friends with for twenty years. There’s this intense intimacy on the road and it always stays fascinating for me. It’s always been the people who put their heart and soul into their bands, and those are the ones who you wanna get to know and get close to you. Getting to know a band like Rotting Out and come to think of them as not just another band but as my very good friends, that’s been the most effecting stuff for me, for sure.
Yeah man, that’s easily the beauty of touring. But Aaron that’s all we’ve got time for man, thank you so much for your time and I wish the best for you with the rest of your time with Bane.
Hey no problems brother, thank you so much for the interview. Bye bye.
Bane’s upcoming and final album, ‘Don’t Wait Up’ will be officially released on May 13 via Equal Vision/UNFD.