Converge's Jacob Bannon on curating 2018's Roadburn festival

Converge performing live
Jacob Bannon (Image credit: Getty Images)

This month, Boston hardcore legends Converge unleashed their ninth album The Dusk In Us and (of course) it absolutely kills. Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, it’s the sound of a band reaching maturity and embracing the darkness that surrounds them. You need to listen to this record. And when you’ve finished that, get yourself some Roadburn tickets because they’re performing it in full next year!

And that’s not all, frontman Jacob Bannon is curating next year’s festival, following in the footsteps of John Baizley and Lee Dorrian. Grave Pleasures, Weedeater, Hugsjá and more have already been announced for the springtime celebration of esoteric artistry, and we’re already wishing the days away until it’s time to return to one of the world’s best festivals.

We caught up with Jacob to find out how the opportunity to curate Roadburn came up and what they’ve got in store for fans.

In the new issue of Metal Hammer (and on TeamRock+) we talk to Jacob and guitarist Kurt Ballou about the new album and what it means to be artists.

But here’s what Jake has to say about Roadburn…

How did you get involved?

“I met Walter [Hoeijmakers, Roadburn promoter] a few years a go through Nate [Newton, Converge bassist]. We became friends and stayed in contact. We played Roadburn in 2016 and Wear Your Wounds played this year, I was part of the art exhibit, and he thought I’d be a good fit. We talked about the kind of bands I want to bring there and he loved some of my ideas – now we’re just trying to build an incredible festival.”

How does it feel to put together your own line-up?

“It’s incredible. It’s such a cool experience, because you don’t get that opportunity that much. I like this festival a lot, because it’s a musically pure festival. There are little-to-no sponsors at all; there’s no corporate interest paying bands exorbitant amounts of money to be there. You have this environment where bands play special sets, or unique sets, or just their appearance at the festival is incredible because they don’t play that much. That’s pretty awesome and it’s great to be a part of that. It’s not your typical metal festival. You’ve got bands doing full records, acoustic sets, artists coming out the woodwork after decades that cross genres.”

Why are you playing 2004’s You Fail Me in full?

“Walter asked us something to do something special the first year we did it with the Blood Moon set, which was really exciting for us, and we did the Jane… record. But You Fail Me I find to be more exciting than Jane Doe, because it was the beginning of the modern era of our band. For me, that’s when we started really functioning well as the four-piece unit that we are. People hold the Jane… record in high regard, but as an artist I can’t separate myself from all of the complications and things that were going on with the release. Doing You Fail Me will be more of a celebration of a legitimate new chapter that we went through.”

You can read the full story of Converge’s new album in the latest issue of Metal Hammer – on sale now. Buy it directly here or become a TeamRock+ member to read it right now.

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