Ben Koller: DIY Diehard
One of the hardest working men in hardcore reveals why it's all worth it
“Oh yeah for sure, I still enjoy the shit out of it or I wouldn’t be doing it,” says Ben Koller. We’ve just asked one of the busiest men in underground music if he still gets the same thrill living life on the road as a full time touring musician, while keeping one or possibly both feet firmly in the ethics of DIY punk rock. “I mean, sure, it’s not for everyone,” he continues, “it’s certainly a nomadic lifestyle and couldn’t more different from having a normal nine to five job. But I never really wanted that anyway, this affords me the freedom to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t be able to do, like travel the world, and I still love playing live. So I can’t really see myself operating in any other way.”
This probably isn’t a shock to anyone. If you are familiar with Koller’s work in Mutoid Man, Killer Be Killed or, most notably, Converge you’ll know we are talking to an individual who barely stops long enough to put his feet up at home before heading back out on tour. And, just weeks after bringing Converge over to the UK for the recent Temples and Deathwish festivals, he’ll be back on our shores again shortly, bringing his crust punk collective All Pigs Must Die over for their debut British show.
“I’m so excited to come over, to be able to do anything with APMD,” Koller tells us when asked about the forthcoming London show. “It’s very, very difficult to get us together to do anything. I’m in four bands and I’m married with two kids, Kevin (Baker, vocals) has a full time job and runs his own business, Matt (Woods, bass) has a full time job and a wife and kid, Adam (Wentworth, guitar) has a full time job, a wife and is in New York while the rest of the guys are in Massachusetts and I’m in upstate New York. It’s just really, really tough to get us all together, but I feel now that we are in a really good place to do something. We’ve probably only done two shows in the last couple of years and it’s good to get wrapped up in something like this again. It’s just fun – probably the most fun band ever – we’re just really good friends, so when you go out and play shows it feels more like a vacation than a tour. Our goal is just to keep it going and whatever comes along we take as it comes, this was just a really cool opportunity to play some shows and I’m really excited to play London for the first time with this band.”