Jacob Bannon

Last updated
Jacob Bannon
Jacob Bannon in performance (Paris, 2008).jpg
Bannon performing in Paris in 2008
Background information
Also known asWear Your Wounds
Born (1976-10-15) October 15, 1976 (age 42)
Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
  • Musician
  • composer
  • graphic artist
  • writer
  • entrepreneur
Years active1990—present
Labels Deathwish Inc.
Associated acts
Website www.jacobbannon.com

Jacob Bannon (born October 15, 1976 [1] ) is the vocalist, lyricist, and graphic artist for the American metalcore band Converge. He is the founder and owner of the record label Deathwish Inc. and the author of many visual works for independent punk rock and heavy metal musicians. Bannon has also composed and performed experimental music as Supermachiner with Ryan Parker and more recently as Wear Your Wounds.

A lyricist or lyrist is a person who writes lyrics—words for songs—as opposed to a composer, who writes the song's melody.

Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk, that originated in the late 1980s. Among other styles blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.

Converge (band) American hardcore punk band

Converge is an American hardcore punk band formed by vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts in 1990. During the recording of their seminal fourth album Jane Doe, the group became a four-piece with the departure of guitarist Aaron Dalbec and the addition of bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller. This lineup has remained intact since. They have released nine studio albums, three live albums, and numerous EPs. The band's sound is rooted in both hardcore punk and heavy metal, and they are considered pioneers of metalcore as well as its subgenre mathcore.


Personal life

Bannon was born in 1976. [2] He grew up splitting his time between Andover in the Merrimack Valley, Charlestown & East Boston on some weekends. [2]

At 17, he graduated High School early and chose to work until heading to college. [2] He relocated to metro Boston and attended college at The Art Institute of Boston, earning a Bachelors In Fine Arts for design in 1998, [2] and subsequently taught the subject on a college level for a brief time. [3] He also won the "Excellence In Design" accolade from the school. For a brief time, he instructed at the same college in their "Continuing Education" program. [2] After working a variety of freelance design jobs at firms, he became a freelance Artist/Designer primarily working in the Independent music community. [2] He is a vegetarian [4] and follows a straight edge lifestyle. [5] From 2005 to 2008, he has been nominated for the title of "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" by Peta2. [6] He is concerned with the greyhound-racing industry, [4] and is a dog owner, having owned rescued greyhounds, pitbulls, among others. [7]

Straight edge punk subculture

Straight edge is a subculture originated from hardcore punk whose adherents refrain from using alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs, in reaction to the excesses of punk subculture. For some, this extends to refraining from engaging in promiscuous sex, following a vegetarian or vegan diet or not using caffeine or prescription drugs. The term straight edge was adopted from the 1981 song "Straight Edge" by the hardcore punk band Minor Threat.

Bannon is also an avid mixed martial arts and kickboxing fan, [7] having trained boxing, Muay Thai, and obtained a license as a MMA instructor in the state of Massachusetts, working occasionally as a judge. [8] Accordingly, Deathwish has sponsored some MMA fighters. [9] Bannon is known for his extensive tattoos. He received his first tattoo at the age of 15, which has subsequently been covered by other tattoos. He has been tattooed by Darren Brass, among many other artists. [10] In 2013, Bannon was the subject of a short documentary directed by Ian MacFarland entitled "Rungs in a Ladder." In the documentary, Bannon reflected on important moments in his life and his motivation as an artist. [11]

Mixed martial arts full contact combat sport

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from various combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The term gained popularity when newfullcontact.com, then one of the largest websites covering the sport, hosted and republished the article. The question of who actually coined the term is subject to debate.

Kickboxing group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching

Kickboxing is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defence, general fitness, or as a contact sport.

Darren Brass is an American tattoo artist and television personality He was featured in the reality television show Miami Ink.

Bannon performing with Converge at All Tomorrow's Parties UK in 2004 Jacob Bannon at all tomorrows parties uk 2004.jpg
Bannon performing with Converge at All Tomorrow's Parties UK in 2004

Music career


Converge is an American metalcore band formed in the winter of 1990 by vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou, they were later joined by bassist Jeff Feinburg, and drummer Damon Bellorado. They started by playing covers of hardcore punk, punk rock and heavy metal songs. The band soon graduated to playing live performances in 1991, after recording some demos on a 4-track recorder. Converge have enjoyed a relatively high level of recognition. Their popularity began to rise with the release of breakthrough album, Jane Doe . Converge's records have gradually become more elaborate and expensive to produce. This progression began with their move from a small independent label (Equal Vision Records) to a considerably larger one (Epitaph Records). Special releases have traditionally been handled by Bannon's record label, Deathwish Inc.

Kurt Ballou American rock guitarist

Kurt Ballou is an American musician and producer based in Massachusetts, best known as the guitarist for metalcore band Converge and for his prolific recording and production work at his own GodCity Studio.

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

Wear Your Wounds

After Supermachiner released Rise of the Great Machine [12] and after Converge had completed recording Jane Doe, Bannon started writing and recording solo material under the name Dear Lover. [13] Although a number of releases were lined up none of them saw the light of day except a demo version of one track "Grant Me the Strength" which was made available for download on Converge's website in January 2003. [14] The track was supposed to be part of en EP titled The Blood of Thine Enemies, [14] but the EP was never released. The track was later featured on Supermachiner's 2009 album Rust . There was also a Dear Lover double album planned titled Wear Your Wounds to be released on Icarus Records. [13] [14] [15] In January, 2005 Dear Lover recordings were said to have been in the editing and mixing process, [16] and it was believed there would be multiple releases of Dear Lover recordings which included the Wear Your Wounds double album throughout the year, [16] however this did not happen. In March 2008 the single "The Blood of Thine Enemies" was released on Deathwish, [12] [17] Bannon released the song under the name J.Bannon. Bannon has said the song was never intended it to be part of an album, only to be a stand-alone piece. [12] Converge's website also changed the use of the name Dear Lover to J.Bannon in the upcoming section where the Wear Your Wounds album was listed. [17] Initially planning since 2008 on releasing solo music under his name only, in 2012 Bannon began using the Wear Your Wounds name for these projects. This allowed others to collaborate and work with Bannon on future projects.

Rise of the Great Machine is the debut and only studio album by the project Supermachiner. It was released in 2000, through Undecided Records. The album features artwork created by Jacob Bannon.

Deathwish Inc.

Deathwish, Inc. is an independent record label founded by Jacob Bannon of Converge and Tre McCarthy. The idea of the label was conceived by Bannon and McCarthy in 2000. Their first release was Deeper the Wound, a split album between Converge and Japanese band Hellchild on April 23, 2001. Deathwish established itself quickly, working with a diverse group of bands and eventually becoming one of the most respected and innovative labels in contemporary hardcore punk and aggressive music in general.

Bannon in 2005 JacobBannon.jpg
Bannon in 2005

On November 16, 2012 Bannon and Ben Chisholm of Chelsea Wolfe released a split 7" EP titled Wear Your Wounds and Revelator, [18] it was the first time Bannon released anything under then name Wear Your Wounds. On January 15, 2013 a digital single was released under the name Wear Your Wounds entitled "The Migration". [19]

The long-awaited Wear Your Wounds album, now titled to the abbreviation WYW was finally given the release date of April 7, 2017 and was released by Deathwish. The album has multiple guest musicians such as Kurt Ballou, Mike McKenzie, Chris Maggio, and Sean Martin. The single "Goodbye Old Friend" was released on 13 January 2017. [20] On March 3, 2017, the non-album single "Arthritic Heart", physical copies where available with New Noise Magazine. [21] Wear Your Wounds' live debut was on April 22 at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands. [22]

The Wear Your Wounds live band has been described as a supergroup with Bannon on piano, bass and vocal duties, guitarists Mike McKenzie (of The Red Chord) Adam McGrath (of Cave In), Sean Martin (of Hatebreed) and drummer Chris Maggio (of Trap Them). Bannon has said "A lot of them are guys that contributed on the record. We're going to be a three-guitar band and I'll be playing bass sort of intermittently with a lot of the stuff, because there is bass on the record but not all over the place. It's basically a bunch of friends that were available and want to play this sort of music, have fun and explore this world that I started on my own." [23]

Additional projects and contributions

Supermachiner (1994–2000)

Supermachiner was an experimental rock project formed in 1994 by Jacob Bannon and Ryan Parker. Supermachiner originally began as a collection of 4 track recordings by Bannon and Parker, recorded in 1994. The project remained nameless and dormant for a number of years. With the help and inspiration of his good friend Ryan Parker, they casually brought the project back to life in the winter of 1998. With his input, they developed collective song ideas into the Rise of the Great Machine album. However Bannon continued to write music that was sonically different than Converge, which was later released as solo material many years later. [12] [13]

Irons (2007–2011)

Irons is a musical collaboration between Jacob Bannon, Dwid Hellion and Stephen Kasner. [12] In 2006 Hellion approached Bannon about creating music together sometime. [12] In late 2007 fine artist and musician Stephen Kasner also expressed interest in working with the pair. [12] This led to the formation of Irons in 2007. The band's goal was to create apocalyptic, non-linear music from a fine art based mindset. [12] Irons only released one split album with Pulling Teeth entitled Grey Savior, the album was released through Deathwish on April 1, 2011 . [24]


Bannon performing with Converge at Highfield Festival 2013 in Grossposna Highfield 2014 - Converge.jpg
Bannon performing with Converge at Highfield Festival 2013 in Großpösna

Bannon's art and design career predominately involves doing design work for hardcore punk bands and releasing limited edition art prints. He has stated that his art and design work pays his bills. [25] Since 1997, he has produced art for dozens of bands. [26] Work for these bands has involved packaging, poster, web, apparel, and logo design. [27] Some of his design work has been credited to his art company Atomic! ID. [28] He designed a shirt for the online boutique of Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, Hatewear. [29] He also is responsible for the art direction, and often the design work, for some of the releases on his Deathwish Inc. record label. [30]

His work has been described as "heavily textured with a kinetic energy and unsettling feel". [30] Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying praised Bannon's work on their Shadows Are Security album art and stated that it "is probably the biggest selling record that Jake has ever done artwork for ... [even though] his ethic and his whole approach to art isn't really about sales and numbers." [31] Bannon's style has been influential; as one magazine article put it, he "is often credited with inventing the so-called skull with wings aesthetic that became so popular in the punk underground and mixed martial arts scenes that today knockoffs are available in stores like Target and Marshalls." [32]

In 2004, Bannon released a series of 4 "museum-quality" giclée prints, with a run limited to 100. [33] He has worked with Burlesque Design to have limited series screenprints produced of some of his artwork, including two limited edition Converge tour posters and limited prints based on the album artwork for the Converge albums Jane Doe , No Heroes , and Axe to Fall . [34] The Jane Doe cover art was featured on the cover of the sixth issue of Beautiful/Decay Magazine, which also contained an interview with Bannon. [35] He also designed a limited-edition cover for the May/June 2005 issue of Punk Planet , which was their third Art & Design themed issue. [36]

On August 15, 2004, he participated in Strhess Fest in Cleveland. [37] In February 2008, he participated in the Public Domain group art show, [38] and October 2008, his artwork was featured in a Halloween themed group show entitled Horror Business, both held at Tradition in Los Angeles. [39] [40] In October 2010, Bannon had work in the Scream With Me show at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, which featured the artwork of selected musicians and tattoo artists. [41] [42]

List of bands for whom Bannon has designed

Bannon has worked on art and design for dozens of bands, including: [26]


Deathwish Inc.

Deathwish, Inc. is an independent record label founded by Jacob Bannon of Converge and Tre McCarthy. [43] In late 1999, McCarthy and Bannon decided to turn Deathwish into a full-fledged business. [44]

Deathwish is one of those labels that deserve to be the biggest indie label on the planet. They not only put out interesting acts, but they go through painstaking efforts with every aspect of each release from artwork to recording to the band's branding. These efforts definitely do not go unnoticed to their many die-hard fans, but it is disheartening to see bands/labels with less than 10 percent of the integrity that Deathwish has continued to outsell them. It gives me comfort that these are things that Jacob and Tre do not concern themselves with as they continue to put out powerful and beautiful releases. [25]

Virgil Dickerson, IndieHQ

Diamonds & Rust

Bannon co-owns a home décor and antique store with his wife in Beverly, Massachusetts called Diamonds & Rust, which offers, "a variety of new/vintage industrial and mid-century furniture and lighting, textiles, art, and other collectibles and accessories." [45]


As Wear Your Wounds

Studio albums
YearAlbum details
2017 WYW
2017 Dunedevil
  • Released: May 19, 2017
  • Label: Deathwish
2019Rust on the Gates of Heaven [46]
  • Released: July 12, 2019
  • Label: Deathwish
YearAlbum details
2012Wear Your Wounds & Revelator Split
  • Released: November 16, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
"Grant Me the Strength" (released under the name "Dear Lover") [14] 2003Non-album single
"The Blood of Thine Enemies" (released under the name "J.Bannon") [17] 2008Non-album single
"The Migration" [19] 2013Non-album single
"Goodbye Old Friend" [20] 2017 WYW
"Arthritic Heart" [21] 2017Non-album single

With Converge

With Supermachiner

Art exhibitions

Bannon has various art/gallery appearances: [2]

Related Research Articles

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<i>Jane Doe</i> (album) 2001 studio album by Converge

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Supermachiner was an experimental music project that Jacob Bannon and Ryan Parker began writing for in 1994 and soon became a collection of four track recordings. When Converge had about six months of down time as the band searched for a drummer, Bannon and Parker found the time to resurrect that project. Bannon and Parker named the project "Supermachiner", a play on the term "Supermachinder" the compound word for Japanese giant robot toys from the 1970s. The music was very different from Converge's, having more in common with influences Swans, Bauhaus, and others.

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<i>Dunedevil</i> 2017 studio album by Wear Your Wounds

Dunedevil is a mixed-media project by Converge's frontman Jacob Bannon. The musical component of the project serves as Bannon's second album under the Wear Your Wounds moniker, while the physical mediums were compiled into a companion art book titled Dunedevil: An Artistic Journey Into Abstraction and Isolation. Both pieces were created during a seven-day excursion to Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District and self-released on May 19, 2017—only one month after Wear Your Wounds' debut album, WYW.

<i>WYW</i> 2017 studio album by Wear Your Wounds

WYW is the debut studio album released by Jacob Bannon. It was released on April 7, 2017 through Deathwish Inc. WYW has multiple guest musicians such as Kurt Ballou, Mike McKenzie, Chris Maggio, and Sean Martin.

<i>The Dusk in Us</i> 2017 studio album by Converge

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<i>Beautiful Ruin</i> 2018 EP by Converge

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