Bane - Pete Chilton

Interview Date: December 27, 2006

Associated bands: Bane, Silent Drive


Interview with Pete Chilton of Bane in December of 2006.
How’s everything going, and what have you guys been up to?rn

PETE: We’ve been trying to get ready for this Ten Year Anniversary show. We have a lot of different things going on for that and have been organizing it, getting everything in place, and trying to some stuff happen to make it a little special. It’s going to be pretty crazy.

On Saturday, you will be playing in Worcester for your tenth anniversary show. How does it feel to be in double digits now?rn

It feels good! It’s a little strange though. It has gone by really fast so it doesn’t feel like we’ve been doing this for ten years. It’s really exciting though. It’s a lot of fun doing this show and celebrating the fact that we’ve been doing this for as long as we have. At times, it is a little strange to think about it.

What caused you guys to choose the bands you did for the tenth anniversary show?rn

There are a lot of bands that we’ve toured with and really liked over the years. We asked a lot of those bands, and of course availability was an issue. Overcast was a band that we played with early on back in ‘96 and ‘97 when we first started. It seemed like a good idea to ask them again since they have recently done some shows. Evergreen Terrace went on tour with us like two years ago in the summer. We had a really good time with them and haven’t seen them since then. We did a tour with Outbreak from Maine and had a great time with them. They are a really great band, and we’re excited that they could play. FC Five from Japan will be playing, and we owe a lot to them for having us go over to Japan. They happened to be coming over for an east coast tour anyway so it worked out really well, and we were really glad to get them on the show. Ambitions has members of With Honor, who we did a tour with a couple years ago, and we think that they are a really great band with good stuff. It was all bands that we have somehow toured with and are friends with. We figured it’d be a good package to put together.

Are there any bands you wish you could have put on the show, but it didn’t work for whatever reason?rn

We had talked to Reach The Sky about doing a second reunion to make it a special event, and they were so close to being able to do it. A couple of the guys from the band had other commitments come up that they really had to do, and it wasn’t going to happen. There was one band that came close to getting on, and then there were a lot of other bands that we wanted to get on the show but didn’t because we didn’t want to make this like a long festival. We like shorter shows. You know, we wanted bands like Verse, and other bands around here that we love. Have Heart is in Europe now. I think it turned out pretty good though. A lot went into choosing the bands and finding a way to get them to play. Obviously there would be a lot more bands playing if we could work it out, but maybe we can save them for the fifteenth year show.

I hear the show will not have a barrier, even though The Palladium usually requires a barrier for its shows. How did you guys pull that off?rn

Basically, how we are doing the show without a promoter is that Bane as a band is renting The Palladium. We worked with them about the barrier situation. Technically, there will be a barrier, but how it will be set up will allow kids to be up close and still have fun without that huge gap. I’m not sure how it will be set up just yet, but what we discussed was to have barriers on the side to protect the sound equipment and then have the middle of the stage open to the crowd. It would be just the Palladium stage, which is pretty big anyway. Hopefully it won’t get too out of control and kids won’t get hurt. That’s the main goal why The Palladium requires a barrier: so kids don’t get hurt. We worked with them to get a compromise between a barrier and how it feels to be at a real Bane show. Hopefully it works out!

To give some perspective for the kids who maybe got into hardcore and punk recently, how have things changed in the whole atmosphere of hardcore since back when you guys first started out?rn

The main difference is the amount of kids that show up. Like, back then for an Earth Crisis show, an awesome turnout would be like 250 kids. These days, if a band like that played… Well, look at even us. Bane would draw like 125-150 kids back then and we would be so ECSTATIC about it. A The Palladium upstairs show would sell out for us now at like 500-600 kids. The sheer size of the scene has grown a lot. With that, you get a lot more points of views and kids who really aren’t aware of the social ethics that the hardcore scene came from where everyone is an outcast and that’s why they are at a show. We’ve been trying to bring that back and get kids aware. It’s not a fashion show. It’s not how cool you can be. It’s everyone together, having fun, and enjoying the music that isn’t mainstream.

Do you find a lot more kids embracing the message Bane has to offer lately, or has this community been getting more divided?rn

I think recently Aaron has been stepping it up and making sure kids know the message. For a while, we just assumed that kids knew what we stood for and what we expected through the participation in the crowd and stuff. What we’ve found lately is that there are always a few guys out there that are just out to hurt kids. That’s totally something we frown upon and is against what this band stands for. I think now that we’ve take an aggressive stance against that, those kids don’t come to our shows anymore because they know they are not welcome. It has become something that we try to say every time now because it seems to have a strong effect on everyone to say, “Listen, we don’t mind if you dance, but don’t kick and punch each other. There are other ways to dance.” There’s no reason for anyone to get hurt at a show. After saying that, kids are like, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

How difficult is it to work on new material when some members of Bane are in other bands like Only Crime and Silent Drive?rn

It has never become really a huge issue. When Bane tends to write, we set time aside to write. We’re not like a band that practices every week. It’s very deliberate when we do get together. Everything is planned out far in advance. It’s a little different than what a normal band does to get together, but I don’t think it makes it any harder. Our people live all over the country right now. Aaron, the guitar player, lives in Louisiana. Aaron, the singer, lives in Baltimore. Bobby and I live about three hours apart from each other in Massachusetts. It’s not like we are very close. When we do decide to practice and write, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. We just have to organize it and put it together ahead of time.

Have you guys been working on new material at all?rn

No, not at all. We do plan to in 2007. One of our goals is to get another EP out at some time. We haven’t sat down and worked on it yet. We actually have practice tonight, but I have a feeling we’ll just be working on practicing older stuff that we haven’t done in a while for the show on Saturday.

Do you think the band will have Zach sing more in future material like he did in Swan Song?rn

I think it’s something that we don’t consciously decide. We would write a song, and then if it needs a part, we would do it. My guess is that we will have Zach do that again because we really liked how that song turned out. We don’t want to overdo it though. If we do too much of that, we don’t want to turn into something that’s not Bane. We don’t want like a second singer or something. Aaron is the frontman of the band, and it’s going to stay that way except for Zach singing a part here or something else there.

I read that you did the layout for the Give Blood CD. Do you do a lot of art and design?rn

I do it as a job part-time. I do a lot of freelance work for different companies. I have done other CDs in the past, including Silent Drive and Only Crime. I also did a With Honor CD on Victory and a couple others. I do it occasionally when I have time. I like doing it a lot. Oh yeah, and I did the newest Bane CD The Note too. Usually with the band stuff, my own band’s stuff takes up so much time that I usually don’t have enough time to do work for other bands.

Was there someone who influenced you into getting into design?rn

Yeah, that’s kind-of how I got into it. I’ve always been taking art classes, and I actually have a degree in art. I got into it from back in ’96 with the Bane website and here-and-there with Bane t-shirts and merch stuff. I got into it back then, found I really liked it, went to school with it, and made a career out of it. It was technically almost band related to start with.

Who do you see as the most inspiring and strong bands that will take the torch that Bane has lit for positivity and integrity?rn

That a good question, but I’m biased because I’ve been booking bands lately. Modern Life Is War, Verse, Have Heart, Ambitions, and Outbreak are at the forefront of what is going to come next. I think Modern Life Is War is the best new—well, they aren’t really new anymore because they’ve been around for like 5 years—but one of the bands that are getting bigger. They are doing something different, and kids are really catching onto that. Ruiner from Baltimore is going to be a really great band. The band Sinking Ships from Seattle are too. There are a lot of good hardcore bands out there that are moving away from the moshy hardcore style and going towards more emotional lyrics.

When Bane sees its end and you are finished with touring bands, what are your plans and dreams for the future?rn

I don’t know. I just started doing the booking thing, and that is really exciting for me to do that. I started wondering what I would do if I didn’t have a band, and I love working with bands and the music industry. That’s probably why I started the booking agency, so five/ten years down the line, I’ll have something to do in the scene and still be involved and love what I’m doing. That’s my goal: to do something related to the music I love and have fun doing it.