Kurt Ballou in 2018
|Born||February 1, 1974|
|Origin||Massachusetts, United States|
Kurt Ballou (born February 1, 1974) is an American musician and producer based in Massachusetts, best known as the guitarist for hardcore band Converge and for his prolific recording and production work at his own GodCity Studio.
Kurt Ballou started playing saxophone in elementary school. He performed in jazz band, concert band and orchestra, dabbling between baritone saxophone, bassoon and bass clarinet. Ballou was accepted to join the Hartford School of Music, but he opted to study aerospace engineering instead. His father used to have a guitar that Ballou played occasionally, but it did not interest him until a school friend gave him Slayer tapes around the age of sixteen.
Since 1990, Kurt Ballou has played in the metalcore band Converge. From 1996 to 2000 Ballou played in the hardcore punk band The Huguenots. From 1996 to 1999 Ballou and Stephen Brodsky played in the rock band Kid Kilowatt. In 1998 Ballou established GodCity Studio. From 1999 to 2002 Ballou and Ben Koller played in the hardcore punk band Blue/Green Heart.
In the late 1990s, Kurt Ballou was working as a biomedical engineer when his then project got cancelled. Instead of selecting a different position within the same company that he had worked with for six years, Ballou opted to receive a severance package which he used to build his own recording studio. His experiences and knowledge in engineering carry over to his recording work. In regards to Ballou's technical precision as a producer Jacob Bannon (of Converge) has stated, "nothing gets by him--it is inspiring to watch him work."
Established in 1998, GodCity Studio is located in Ballou's home state of Massachusetts. One of the earliest recordings from the studio was Cave In's Until Your Heart Stops. In the production of album Ballou deals with all production, engineering, and mastering.
Ballou has stated that collaborating on Jane Doe with co-producer Matthew Ellard was a huge learning experience for him as an engineer and producer. Ellard jokingly stated Ballou "watched him like a hawk" during the engineering and producing process.
In 2005 Ballou remixed and remastered Converge's Petitioning the Empty Sky and When Forever Comes Crashing. Ballou has stated that because of the quality of [Converge's] recordings has improved so much that the original recordings were "becoming distracting". Ballou has also produced and co-produced several Converge albums, including 2001's Jane Doe, 2004's You Fail Me and 2006's No Heroes. He has also produced a number of independent metal and hardcore bands, including Genghis Tron's Board Up the House, Torche's Meanderthal, Disfear's Live the Storm and Darkest Hour's "Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora".
One reason Ballou claimed to get in to the studio side of music was to have "maximum control over [Converge's] music" he further stated, "When we were starting out, no one wanted to help us anyway, so if we didn't take control, nothing was going to get done." Ballou has claimed to admire producers such as Ken Andrews, Martin Bisi, Fred Drake, Steve Albini, and Don Zientara.
|1998||Cave In||Until Your Heart Stops||Guitar, percussion, vocals|
|2000||Supermachiner||Rise of the Great Machine||Guitar, saxophone, electronics|
|2000||Garrison||A Mile in Cold Water||Slide guitar|
|2002||Nationale Blue||A Different Kind of Listening||Melodica|
|2002||In Pieces||Learning to Accept Silence||Harmonica, melodica, slide guitar|
|2002||Curl Up and Die||Unfortunately, We're Not Robots||Vocals|
|2004||Old Man Gloom||Christmas||Guitars, drums, drum programing, vocals|
|2004||Last Perfection||Drawing Conclusions||Guitar|
|2004||Suicide Note||Too Sick to Dance Forever||Guitars, vocals|
|2005||Mi Amore||The Lamb||Guitars, solos|
|2005||New Idea Society||You Are Awake or Asleep||Drums|
|2007||Pygmy Lush||Bitter River||Saxophone, melodica, slide guitar|
|2007||Trap Them||Sleepwell Deconstructor||Guitars|
|2007||The Casual Lean||Swears||Guitars, vocals|
|2007||The One AM Radio||This Too Will Pass||Drum engineering|
|2007||New Idea Society||World Is Bright and Lonely||Guitars|
|2008||Genghis Tron||Board Up the House||Toy drums|
|2008||Pygmy Lush||Mount Hope||Percussion|
|2008||Trap Them||Seizures in Barren Praise||Bass, guitars, noise|
|2008||Clouds||We Are Above You||Synthesizer, saxophone, guitar, slide guitar|
|2009||Supermachiner||Rust||Guitar, saxophone, electronics|
|2009||Rise and Fall||Our Circle Is Vicious||Additional percussion|
|2010||Trap Them||Filth Rations||Glockenspiel|
|2011||KEN mode||Venerable||Slide guitar|
|2011||Des Ark||Don't Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker||Space bong|
|2012||High on Fire||De Vermis Mysteriis||Guitar|
|2014||Old Man Gloom||The Ape of God||Guitar|
|2017||Full of Hell||Trumpeting Ecstasy||Bass|
|2017||Mutoid Man||War Moans||Guitar|
|2017||All Pigs Must Die||Hostage Animal||Guitar|
|2017||Chelsea Wolfe||Hiss Spun||Guitar|
|2017||Wear Your Wounds||WYW|
|2017||Examination Of The...||The Whitest Of Elephants||Slide guitar|
|2018||Baptists||Beacon of Faith||Vocals, soundscapes|
|2019||SECT||Blood Of The Beasts||Guitar|