Bane is calling it a day. Released in early May on Equal Vision Records, Don't Wait Up, the group's first album since 2005's The Note, is the final release from the long-running hardcore band. "We're just like every other band, at some point we have to stop," says frontman Aaron Bedard.
In a genre of music not known for the longevity of the bands involved, Bane has maintained its connection to the DIY hardcore punk scene that spawned them. Unlike other veteran acts such as Sick of It All or Hatebreed, Bane has never been interested in attempting to make the leap to a major label or chase after the phantom of a larger fanbase by altering their sound. Nor did they take on ill-fitting tours that paid off in little more than indifferent stares from unamused hashers who give no quarter to a band that would appear on stage wearing a backwards Red Sox hat. Nor did they perplex pop-punk enthusiasts who wished the opening bands would hurry up because it is a school night and they have a curfew.
The five-piece band has watched as their early peers that played in Massachusetts-based bands like the Hope Conspiracy and American Nightmare (aka Give Up the Ghost) have gone on to form bands as disparate as Cold Cave, All Pigs Must Die, and Head Automatica. Amid these transformations and reinventions, Bane has essentially remained the same band over the years. "More than anything else, I want to make sure that people know that we did everything for the reasons that we thought were the right reasons for us," says guitarist Aaron Dalbec.
Their appearance at the Mammal Gallery on June 16 won't be the last time Bane plays in Atlanta. After this tour stop supporting Don't Wait Up, the group will head out for one last round of shows in 2015. This will, however, be one more entry on the list of unorthodox places the group has played in this city over the past 18 years. A quick rundown of the venues reveals a lot about the ever-evolving story of Atlanta's DIY hardcore scene. Most of the places they've played are now closed. Some have been razed and the areas that surrounded them have been completely transformed.
Even though they're a band from Worcester, Massachusetts, with the end of Bane, a surprising thread that connects more than a dozen hole in the wall venues, scores of bands, and thousands of people in Atlanta, will finally be cut with any loose ends tied firmly into a knot. Under the Couch, the first Neutron Bomb, C-12 North and D-12 South in the West End warehouses, Sprockets, Swayze's, the Drunken Unicorn, the Masquerade, 585 Wells Street, Lindmont Townhomes, Vinyl, and the Archive Gallery have all been packed to the gills and, let's be honest — this is hardcore — slippery with a wicked brew of dude soup thanks to Bane.
This is no lineup of scabs limping along for a last payday, there's no bad blood — like every decision the members have made since their earliest days in 1995, ending is a choice made on their own terms, in their own way. They've said all that they came to say.