Elsa’s Doghouse With Jacob Bannon
My introduction to Jake Bannon started in the late 90’s when I purchased the album “When Forever Comes Crashing” by his band Converge from my local record store. I remember hearing it being played on college radio station on a night that they were showcasing bands from the Equal Vision record label. Shortly after, a kid I knew of from the local music scene on Cape Cod, had joined the band, his name was Ben Koller. I, along with everyone else in the scene, was completely blown away with what happened shortly thereafter, the Converge album “Jane Doe”. I have been a diehard fan of Converge & all things Jake Bannon ever since. From being the front man of one of my favorite bands to starting & running his own record label at such a young age and creating some of the most stunning art I have ever seen, I am always interested to see what’s next with Jake.
I had been wanting to reach out to Jake for quite some time about working together with Terrier Cvlt in some fashion and it wasn’t until I finally got up the nerve last year to reach out & ask him personally... the rest is history. I finally feel like my strange little dog company is right where it belongs & I couldn’t be happier.
- Jake let me first thank you for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to do this interview with us. We are so excited to be a part of Deathwish & to even have this opportunity to do this with you brings such a feeling of accomplishment. I went from creating dog t-shirts from a small apartment in Austin, TX to now being marketed by my favorite record label. Bucket list shit for sure!
When did you know that you wanted to create art & music for a living, and when did you feel like you finally pulled it off?
I self released my first music as a teenager and learned a lot from those experiences. When I was in college I began doing more client oriented design work, handling most aspects of releases for a variety of labels (from design, to manufacturing, to dropshipping to distributors). At that point I was essentially immersed in that world. Soon after graduating college, I started the label with Tre McCarthy who was tour managing bands at the time. Over time that business (Deathwish) has evolved into a proper label, manufacturer, and distributor. Much of my time/effort on a daily basis orbits around that business and my role there.
Aside from making my own art/music, I do design and art direction work for clients when time allows. I do a fair amount of printing for outside artists and customers as well under the Bannon Printing monicker as well.
I tend not to reflect on things,, and try to stay in the moment. With that said, I don’t feel like anything has ever been “pulled off”. It’s a constant grind that needs to be maintained and will always be.
We're both around the same age and grew up in the same east coast music scene so I was wondering if you remembered liking any local bands from back in the day that never really took it to the next level for whatever reason?
There are countless bands that made an impact on me which didn’t venture much out of New England. Thankfully most of those musicians went onto form other bands and continued to make music. Early On: Wrecking Crew, Articles of Faith/Alloy (the Vic Bondi world of bands), Eye For An Eye, Sam Black Church, and Kingpin. Early 90s: Dive, Arise, Nevertheless, Only Living Witness. Mid 90s: Doc Hopper, Miltown, Six Going On Seven, La Gritona, 454 Big Block, Karate, and more.
All of them were influential to many regionally in some form or another. Above all else, I learned from the work ethic of the small labels, promoters, writers, and artists who were making things because they had something inside of them which propelled them to do so. I see my efforts as a continuation of that same spirit.
I suffer with such depression & anxiety that I find myself needing to have multiple projects going at a time so I’m not sitting idle for too long. I’ve noticed that you stay quite busy as well & I’ve always admired your work ethic, does the grind ever end?
No. Never ends.
I assumed that as I got older the desire to constantly be creating would waiver (so I can hopefully get a good nights rest) but it hasn’t slowed a bit. Where does your motivation to create come from these days?
It’s not much different than it was. The motivation goes through a maturation process but is still largely the same.
A million years ago I attended a Universal Monsters art show in Austin, TX and you had an original Frankenstein painting there. It was beautiful & I remember it well to this day. Was this a one-shot deal or will you ever release any prints of it?
It sold at that show I believe. I didn’t have a chance to photograph it. Maybe one day I will make another.
Now I have to ask this only because we are a dog company; I've had many pets in my life but I’ve never had a true friendship with one of my animals until I met my Boston Terrier. She instantly became my muse for Terrier Cvlt and continues to have an influence on my life. We almost lost her this summer & it really hit me hard. Has there been a pet in-particular that’s made a significant impact on your life & can you tell me more about that relationship?
All of my animal friendships have made a huge impact on me. With that said, my current dog is wonderful and in many ways fits into my life in a way no other dog has. They have all been uniquely special though.
Jake, Thank you for your time. I feel like I could have asked you so many more questions. I cant wait to see/hear your next project. I’ve been a fan for years and both your art & music have really helped me through some difficult times in my life so I cant thank you enough!
Thank you Bob, appreciate the time.
Check out any one of Jakes musical endeavors at:
Converge - Wear Your Wounds - Umbra Vitae - Blood From The Soul
& check out jacobbannon.com for all of your visual needs.
For more information please visit deathwishinc.com