CONVERGE's Jacob Bannon breaks down favorite songs on 'Axe to Fall' | Revolver

CONVERGE's Jacob Bannon breaks down favorite songs on 'Axe to Fall'

Inside hardcore leaders' collaborative 2009 album
converge 2009 GETTY LIVE, Mick Hutson/Redferns
photograph by Mick Hutson/Redferns

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This interview was originally published in a 2009 print edition of Revolver.

Prior to the release of 2021's Bloodmoon: I, Converge's seventh studio full-length, Axe to Fall, stood as the metallic hardcore trailblazers' most collaborative album — featuring members of Cave In, Neurosis, Blacklisted, the Red Chord, Genghis Tron and more.

So, it was no surprise that when Revolver caught up with frontman Jacob Bannon shortly before the LP's October 2009 release and asked him to spotlight his favorite songs on the record for our "Choice Cuts" column, he picked three songs boasting guest artists. Indeed, one of his choices includes a whopping five guests on it.

Check out Bannon's selections and commentary on the experimental record below.

"Axe to Fall"

The song itself [which features Blacklisted's George Hirsch] is sort of about conquering your own depression or negative aspect of your life and trying to separate that from your life so that you can live in a more positive manner. The axe to fall can separate you from some dark side of you. I think a lot of people can relate to that metaphor in life. I think a lot of people battle that in some way.

"Wretched World"

That song actually started as a Cave In collaboration. Those guys are on that song, and Brad [Fickeisen], the drummer for the Red Chord, also plays drums on that song. I believe there are three drummers actually playing by the end of that song. Hamilton [Jordan], Michael [Sochynsky] and Mookie from Genghis Tron are all on that song, too. I think there are, like, nine people or 10 people playing on that song by the time it peaks...

The first version of that song we recorded with just Cave In, alone, in 2005. It was some really interesting music, but we just didn't feel like it was completed. That whole project that we had with Cave In — a variety of songs we wrote together — were great, but we just didn't have the time or ability or were in the sort of mindset to complete them the way we initially envisioned. We just hung on to them for a while.

"Cruel Bloom"

Every record that we have ever done, I think, has had some sort of semi-experimental element to it. And it's not experimental like we're re-inventing the wheel, but what we do is add a dynamic ebb and flow. It's what we like. We know that playing abrasive, aggressive music, it can become like white noise without that at times. We try to sort of balance the energy.

That song kind of fit with that direction we would take with a lot of albums. We had the idea of having Steve [Von Till] sing on it and having some other people contribute to it. Luckily, he was available right before they took off for Europe. I've known Neurosis casually for years. They were one of the most influential bands for me as a kid.