As fans of icons Bane would know, Bane aren’t like other hardcore bands. This wasn’t a self-contained entity; it was a community; the music that no one wanted for the kids that no one wanted.
For 20 years, the group would transcend the limitations of a “band” and become a cause. Bands come and go, but there was a particular pang that came when Bane announced their permanent departure, the only solace being that their message of acceptance, equality and family would live on through their music.
And so with the release of 2014’s Don’t Wait Up, and their subsequent international farewell tour, Bane were forever relegated to our memories.
Until earlier this month with the release of Holding These Moments, a documentary from Dan Elswick and Ricardo Cozzolino. The fly on the wall feature follows the band on their final tour, all the while reaching deep into Bane lore.
Holding These Moments would become the closure that both fans and the band never realised they needed. Following its release, Blunt Magazine spoke to drummer Bobby Mahoney.
What was it like for you to watch the final moments of your band, your life’s work, in documentary format?
We were nervous as a band on how this was going to be portrayed. We didn’t want it to be some cheese ball-type thing or just ego-boosting, that same old hardcore band documentary.
Five years ago when we set out on that final United States tour that [Dan] tagged along with, he was like, “I want to record you guys. I want to do this documentary.” We were like, “Whatever, dude. Just come on the road, hang out. If you get some cool stuff, great. If you don’t, great.” It wasn’t anything that was taken too seriously at the time, even though Dan was as serious as it gets about doing it. We are a band that is not big on over-glorifying…It was just like, hey, we’re just a hardcore band and hardcore guys, kids. That’s all we’ve been trying to do and set out to do many, many years ago.
When I did watch the final cut, I watched it with my kids and my girlfriend. And my father too. It was that roller coaster of emotions, but it was everything that I wanted to feel in watching it.
The story and the content is one thing, but the production, alone, really sets it apart from not just hardcore band documentaries, but band documentaries in general.
Absolutely. They did a good job. My bar was The Godfathers of Hardcore. That documentary was so well done. I was like, I can’t imagine myself in that production, on that stage of a documentary. It just didn’t click with me. It was like, I’m not anybody in Agnostic Front. But again hats off to Dan. We love him for it. He really made it what we would want to portray that Bane was all about.
It’s the lack of the circle jerk that you often see with some of these things. You watch some of these documentaries and you can feel that that was the 10th take…
Yeah, it was definitely separated from ego, and Bane was a band that’s always been separated from ego. It’s not the way we carried ourselves. I mean, sure, we can be cocky, we can be conceited. But especially within the hardcore scene and being a hardcore band, it was, hey, listen, we are one with everybody that loves hardcore. If you love hardcore, we’re friends. It doesn’t matter what hardcore you like. But that mindset of it. So ego was definitely set aside.
I’m a big fan of candid work. If you’re going to take photos of me, I want that to be where I’m not really noticing that the camera’s on me. And the way he did the interviews, I think he did it for everybody. The second interview was done here at my house, but my son was here with me, and he got a little face time in that. So that was special. That was a good day. My son, he’s thirteen now, so then eight… He cringed at his part on the documentary. He’s like, “What the heck. I got one tooth.”
That was one of the best bits! It’s a really short clip. But it’s an incredibly powerful moment in the documentary.
There’s something to be said about our touring schedule. I feel that I missed some things being on tour, but I didn’t miss the most important things. I knew that it would take him till he got older to understand that, hey, I’m sorry if I wasn’t there for the school play, but I was there for school graduation of elementary school or whatever. You know what I mean? Those more pivotal points in his life.
I think watching him in that interview, not just through the documentary, but in the moment right there was I understood that being away did have some effect to his upbringing. And I tried to make a positive out of it always, being like, “Hey, you know what? You can do anything you set your mind to. It may not come easy. But if you put your mind to anything and you have passion about something, you can most likely get there. There’s not really anyone or anything that’s standing in your way.” So I hope that, and I feel that, but I hope that translates as he grows older.
There is this real sense that you guys rode this thing right up until the wheels came off.
That’s very accurate. We made that decision many years ago. As a band, you go through your ups and downs and you’re with each other a lot, I mean, there were times where… And I want to say, this is even like 2010, 2011 of being like, “How much longer are we going to do this?”
We were in Europe. We played a festival. We’re hanging out in this field next to the tour bus, which is a dream all in itself, and we had this discussion of being like, “I don’t know how much longer we can do this…what are we trying to get to?” And collectively it was, “Well, I want to be on the road more. I want to tour all the time, never be home,” and half the camp’s like, “Well, we can’t do that.”
We decided that, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to write this record. It’s going to be our last record. We’re going to tour hard on it.”
It wasn’t just this abrupt, all right, this year is it. We prepared for it. Once Don’t Wait Up came out and it was released, we said, I think there were denials leading up to that, like, “Yeah, whatever. We’ll just deal with it when we get there. It’s not even real. It’s not even real yet.” But it was real. And personally, I prepared for it. I can’t believe that I’ve done it for 20 years with all my bands combined.