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Dear Lover grant me the strength to live on without you, to walk these roads among the gift of ghosts with sadness my ally and heartache my best friend.* Dear Lover is the new solo project of Jacob Bannon (Converge, Deathwish Inc.).


Let's start with the formalities. Please introduce your new project Dear Lover.

Dear Lover is a project that I started once Converge "Jane Doe" was written and recorded. As much as that release did for me emotionally I still needed/need more. Between touring, I would write and record new music. Now I am at the editing stage of what I have collected. Making it coherent, and shaping it for others to hear.

Jacob Bannon. Pic: Matt Rubin/thepaperbrigade.com


Why did you chose this name? Originally it started with Urtica I think, then came  The Blood of Thine Enemies...

I found it so hard to have an all encompassing name for this work.

Urtica was a working name that I found too non-descriptive as I wanted something to be more powerful. At that point "The Blood..." was a name I felt comfortable with. At least for a bit. While editing the material I kept getting this gut feeling that "The Blood..." was too descriptive. Almost too vengeful in a way. As I was combing through the lyrics for the release, I found something I wrote entitled "Dear Lover". It is an open ended letter of sorts. In many ways it felt like it embodied a lot of what I am working through with this music. So it stayed.

To all those who haven't heard Der Lover, how would you describe the music?

Minimal. Melodic. Textural.

Recently I heard the demo version of "Grant Me The Strength". This song is without vocals, are other songs with vocals & lyrics? If so let`s get into the lyrical world of Dear Lover, is it similar to Converge?

Some songs have vocals and others don't. "Grant Me The Strength" is an instrumental song, comprised of tape loops, piano, and analog synth. There's various instrumentation throughout the releases I am working on now. Dear Lover is as personal and as emotional for me as any other material. Lyrically I would say it's similar to Converge as I have always been honest and up front in my writing.

In addition to the musical and lyrical aspects, how important is a visual theme for a release? Is the artwork somehow a visual portrayal of the music?

It always is and always has been, and will continue to be.

Will you perform any of the songs live?

I'd like to. I have been talking with some people about assembling a live band. We'll see if it materializes.

Lots of people are asking what happened to Supermachiner? Are there any plans for another record?

Supermachiner was a project that I began writing for in 1994 with Ryan Parker. When Converge had about 6 months of down time as we searched for a drummer, we found the time to resurrect that project. We entered Godcity Studios with Kurt Ballou to take on the piles of old four track tapes we had. We each brought something to the table. And in the end we created an interesting record. After the recording was complete, there was little/no time to carry on with the project.

We still have material that hasn't been released which we hope to have come out before the end of the year.

The first Dear Lover record will be released via Icarus Records, an underlabel of Deathwish Inc. Why did you start another label?

The first release will be a CD on UE, the same label that released the Supermachiner album. Later in the year the double CD "Wear Your Wounds" will be released on Icarus, which is a sister label of Deathwish.

Icarus is Deathwish without us releasing records that are immediately hardcore, punk, or metal in direction. We know many people in the aggressive music community that write and perform music that isn't classifiable or even derivative of that scene. With that, we wanted to create a label that welcomed that aspect of experimentation with open arms.

Are there any other releases planned for release in the near future on Icarus Records?

We will be releasing the Dear Lover "Wear Your Wounds" CD on Icarus. Soon after we will be releasing the debut album for Halfacre Gunroom entitled "Wrecked". Halfacre Gunroom are a dark and melancholy alt-country band from Memphis Tennesse. They are currently recording their debut album at Easly-McCain Recording (White Stripes).

Ok now the questions I keep asking in every interview. The first one is what`s your greatest concern about the world right now?

Lack of heart.

Alright thanks for the interview, my last question: what makes you happy?

Old cars, old friends, dogs.

Thanks for your time.


Interview conducted by Magnus Jaschke in May 2003.

*
Words by J. Bannon

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