Kurt Ballou

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Kurt Ballou
Converge f3367759.jpg
Kurt Ballou performing live with Converge at the Eurockéennes festival in 2007
Background information
Born (1974-02-01) February 1, 1974 (age 43)
Origin Massachusetts, United States
Genres Metalcore, hardcore punk, experimental rock, indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, recording engineer, producer
Instruments Guitar, bass, keyboards, theremin, saxophone, slide guitar, drum kit, melodica
Years active 1991–present
Labels Deathwish
Associated acts Blue/Green Heart, Converge, The Huguenots, Kid Kilowatt, Supermachiner

Kurt Ballou (born February 1, 1974) is an American musician and producer, best known as the guitarist from Massachusetts-based band Converge. Aside from his role in Converge, Ballou is a prolific producer, recording and producing out of his own GodCity Studio.

Personal life[edit]

He is vegan.[1]


Since 1990 Kurt Ballou plays in the metalcore band Converge. From 1996 to 2000 Ballou played in the punk rock 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 punk rock band Blue/Green Heart.

GodCity Studio[edit]

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.[2][3] His experiences and knowledge in engineering carry over to his recording work. In regards to Ballou's technical precision as a producer Bannon has stated, "nothing gets by him—it is inspiring to watch him work."[4]

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.

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".[5] 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".[6]


  • Guitars commonly used: Wild Customs The Savage One w/ EMG P85 bridge pickup, First Act Custom Sheena Guitar w/ EMG 81 bridge pickup, Warmoth Custom Jazzmaster W/ EMG 89 bridge pickup, First Act Custom Offset-Horns Double-Cutaway, Rickenbacker 650A w/ EMG 81 bridge pickup.
  • Amps commonly used: Orange OR50 head, Orange Rockerverb 100 head, Sparrows Sons overdrive std (aka Sparrow amp), Bad Cat Black Cat head, Bad Cat Lynx head, THD Flexi head, 1978 Marshall 50-watt JMP non-master volume head, Ampeg V-4 head, Mesa/Boogie Quad preamp with Mesa/Boogie 2:90 power amp, Guild Thunderbass.[7]
  • Speaker Enclosures commonly used: Emperor 6x12 cabinet (2), Marshall customized 4x12 cabinet w/ four "Eminence vintage 30 clone" 12-inch speakers, Marshall 8x10 cabinet w/ stock 15-watt Celestions.
  • Effects commonly used: TC Electronic G-SYSTEM, Providence Stampede Distortion, Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer, Akai Headrush, Line 6 MM4, Boss Pitch Shifter/Delay, Boss Heavy Metal, Boss Metal Zone, Boss Tuner, Boss Noise Suppressor.


As band member[edit]

With Converge

Note: Kurt Ballou has performed on all Converge recordings to date. Only studio albums have been listed here, for a more complete list of releases see Converge discography.

With Supermachiner

The Huguenots

  • Demo (?) (self-released demo cassette)
  • The Huguenots (1998) (7" EP)
  • The Huguenots / Sevenpercentsolution (2000) (split 10")
  • Discography (2007)[8][9]

With Kid Kilowatt

With Blue/Green Heart

  • Self Esteem Through Modern Science[10] (2001) (7" EP)

As guest musician[edit]

Year Band Album Contributions
1998 Cave In Until Your Heart Stops Guitar, percussion, vocals
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
2006 Kahoots Fourteen Ghosts Saxophone
2007 Animosity Animal Saxophone
2007 Pygmy Lush Bitter River Saxophone, melodica, slide guitar
2007 Coliseum No Salvation Keyboards
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 Verse Aggression Drum engineering
2008 Torche Meanderthal Guitars
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

Production and recording discography[edit]

Year Band Album Contributions
1996 Jesuit Jesuit[11] Engineer[11]
1998 Converge When Forever Comes Crashing Engineer, producer
1998 Cave In Beyond Hypothermia Producer
1998 The Huguenots The Huguenots[11][12] Engineer[11]
1999 Jesuit Jesuit Engineer
1999 Cave In Until Your Heart Stops[5] Producer
1999 All Chrome Flounders Flyers College & Canada Engineer, mixing, producer
1999 Orchid Chaos Is Me[13] Engineer
1999 Codeseven Division of Labor Mixing, producer
1999 Isis The Red Sea Engineer (tracks 1-3), producer (tracks 1-3)
1999 Converge The Poacher Diaries Engineer (for Converge tracks), producer (for Converge tracks)
1999 Year of our Lord Frozen Divide Engineer
2000 Supermachiner Rise of the Great Machine Engineer, producer
2000 Orchid Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow![14] Engineer
2000 Garrison A Mile in Cold Water Engineer
2000 American Nightmare American Nightmare Engineer, producer
2000 The Huguenots The Huguenots / Sevenpercentsolution[11][12] Engineer (for Huguenots tracks)[11]
2000 The Hope Conspiracy Cold Blue Engineer, mixing, producer
2001 Blue/Green Heart Self Esteem Through Modern Science Engineer
2001 Old Man Gloom Seminar II: The Holy Rites of Primitivism Regressionism Engineer (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17)
2001 Old Man Gloom Seminar III: Zozobra Engineer
2001 Sevenday Curse After the Storm Engineer, producer
2001 Isis Mosquito Control[5]
2001 Converge & Hellchild Deeper the Wound Engineer (tracks 1, 2), producer (tracks 1, 2)
2001 Pg.99 Document #8 Engineer
2001 Piebald Piebald
2001 Jeromes Dream Presents Engineer
2001 Garrison Garrison / Hundred Reasons Engineer (tracks 1, 3), mixing (tracks 1, 3)
2001 Converge Jane Doe Engineer, mixing, producer
2001 The Hope Conspiracy File 03 Engineer
2001 Panic Dying for It Engineer, producer
2001 Damage Final
2001 Carry On A Life Less Plagued Engineer, producer
2002 Drowningman Best Record Ever[15]
2002 The Cancer Conspiracy The Audio Medium Engineer (tracks 2, 3, 4)
2002 Eulcid The Wind Blew All the Fires Out Engineer
2002 In Pieces Learning to Accept Silence Engineer, mixing, producer
2002 Curl Up and Die Unfortunately, We're Not Robots Engineer
2002 Eden Maine The Treachery Pact Mixing, producer
2002 Suicide Note You're Not Looking So Good Engineer, mixing
2002 Beyond the Sixth Seal Earth and Sphere[16] Engineer, mixing, producer
2002 Ramallah But a Whimper[5] Engineer, producer
2003 Beecher Breaking the Fourth Wall
2003 Embrace Today Soldiers
2003 Since By Man We Sing the Body Electric
2003 The Static Age The Past and Now
2003 Another Breath Not Now, Not Ever
2003 Examination of the... The Whitest of Elephants
2004 Scars of Tomorrow Rope Tied to the Trigger
2004 Breather Resist Charmer
2004 The Great Redneck Hope Behold The Fuck Thunder
2004 Backstabbers Inc. Kamikaze Missions
2004 Old Man Gloom Christmas
2004 Converge You Fail Me[5] Engineer, mixing
2004 Sex Positions Sex Positions
2004 The Power & The Glory Call Me Armageddon
2004 Champion Promises Kept
2005 Mi Amore The Lamb
2005 Beecher This Elegy, His Autopsy[5]
2005 Converge Petitioning the Empty Sky (Remastered)[5] Remixing (tracks 1-8, 12)
2005 Converge When Forever Comes Crashing (Remastered)[5] Remixing
2005 Transistor Transistor Erase All Name and Likeness
2005 Seventh Star Brood of Vipers
2005 Modern Life Is War Witness[5]
2005 Swarm of the Lotus The Sirens of Silence[5]
2005 Gospel The Moon Is a Dead World
2005 Doomriders Black Thunder[5]
2005 Killing The Dream In Place Apart
2006 Bleeding Kansas Dead Under Decor
2006 The Punching Contest …Is My Co-pilot
2006 Genghis Tron Dead Mountain Mouth
2006 The Hope Conspiracy Death Knows Your Name
2005 In Dire Need Lost At Sea
2006 Converge No Heroes Engineer, mixing, producer
2006 Betrayed Substance
2006 Rise and Fall Into Oblivion
2007 Blacklisted Peace on Earth, War on Stage
2007 The Freezing Fog March Forth To Victory
2007 Trap Them Sleepwell Deconstructor
2007 Seventh Star The Undisputed Truth
2007 The Ghost of a Thousand This is Where the Fight Begins
2007 Animosity Animal
2007 Coliseum No Salvation
2007 Samsara The Emptiness
2007 Trap Them Séance Prime
2007 I Hate Sally Don't Worry Lady
2007 108 A New Beat from a Dead Heart
2007 Kruger Redemption Through Looseness
2007 The Casual Lean Swears
2007 The Huguenots Discography Engineer
2008 Disfear Live the Storm
2008 Pygmy Lush Mount Hope
2008 Adai ...I Carry
2008 Blacklisted Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
2008 Elysia Lion of Judas
2008 Genghis Tron Board Up the House[17] Engineer, mixing, producer
2008 Dead or American Thaumaturgy
2008 Torche Meanderthal
2008 Transistor Transistor Ruined Lives
2008 Stray From The Path Villains
2008 Misery Index Traitors
2008 Argument 5.45 Thousands of Birds
2008 Have Heart Songs to Scream at the Sun
2008 La Crisi II – Tutti A Pezzi
2008 Trap Them Seizures in Barren Praise
2008 the_Network Bishop Kent Manning
2008 Young Widows Old Wounds
2009 Lewd Acts Black Eye Blues
2009 Buried Inside Spoils of Failure
2009 Supermachiner Rust Engineer (tracks 1-19), producer (tracks 1-19)
2009 Rise and Fall Our Circle Is Vicious
2009 Magrudergrind Magrudergrind
2009 Doomriders Darkness Come Alive
2009 The Hope Conspiracy True Nihilist
2009 Converge Axe to Fall Engineer, mixing, producer
2009 Paint It Black Amnesia
2009 Paint It Black Surrender
2009 BATS Red in Tooth & Claw[17][18] Engineer[18]
2010 Acid Tiger Acid Tiger Engineer, mastered, mixing
2010 Black Breath Heavy Breathing
2010 Trap Them Filth Rations
2010 Kvelertak Kvelertak
2010 Nails Unsilent Death
2010 You are in my September! To The Open Hearts
2010 108 18.61
2010 The Secret Solve et Coagula
2010 Generation of Vipers Howl and Filth
2010 All Pigs Must Die All Pigs Must Die
2010 Pettybone From Desperate Times Comes Radicial Minds
2011 SEVEN7STEPS The Day The War Is Over
2011 Pneu Highway To Health
2011 KEN mode Venerable
2011 Trap Them Darker Handcraft
2011 Meek is Murder Algorithms
2011 Pygmy Lush Old Friends
2011 All Pigs Must Die God Is War
2011 Jesuit Discography
2011 Trenchfoot Trenchfoot
2011 Black Cobra Invernal
2011 The Fear and Trembling This Old Earthquake
2011 Today is the Day Pain is a Warning
2012 Black Breath Sentenced To Life
2012 High on Fire De Vermis Mysteriis
2012 Rise and Fall Faith
2012 Burning Love Rotten Thing To Say
2012 Torche Harmonicraft
2012 Gaza No Absolute in Human Suffering
2012 Code Orange Kids Love Is Love/Return to Dust
2012 Converge All We Love We Leave Behind Engineer, mixing, producer
2012 The Secret Agnus Dei
2013 Baptists Bushcraft
2013 This Routine Is Hell Howl
2013 Nails Abandon All Life
2013 Modern Life Is War Fever Hunting
2013 Kvelertak Meir
2013 Sleeping In Gethsemane When the Landscape is Quiet Again[17][19] Engineer[19]
2013 Oathbreaker Anteros
2013 Nice Hooves Nice Hooves
2013 Meek is Murder Everything is Awesome Nothing Matters
2013 All Pigs Must Die Nothing Violates This Nature
2013 Immortal Bird Akrasia EP
2013 Castles Fiction or Truth ?
2013 Skeletonwitch Serpents Unleashed
2014 Hark Crystalline
2014 Idylls Prayer for Terrene
2014 Floor Oblation
2014 Trap Them Blissfucker
2014 Every Time I Die From Parts Unknown
2014 Empty Vessels Seizures Within Reason[17][20] Engineer, mixing[20]
2014 Vallenfyre Splinters
2014 Code Orange I Am King
2014 Iron Reagan Tyranny of Will
2014 Baptists Bloodmines
2014 Obliterations Poison Everything
2014 Occultation Silence in the Ancestral House
2014 Old Man Gloom The Ape of God
2015 Torche Restarter
2015 Harm's Way Rust
2015 Four Year Strong Four Year Strong
2015 High on Fire Luminiferous
2015 Self Defense Family Heaven Is Earth
2015 Cult Leader Lightless Walk
2015 Expander S/T 7"
2015 Mutoid Man Bleeder
2015 Black Breath Slaves Beyond Death
2016 Sumac What One Becomes
2016 Converge You Fail Me Redux Remixing
2016 Hesitation Wounds Awake for Everything
2016 Nails You Will Never Be One of Us Producer
2016 Russian Circles Guidance
2016 Vorvaň Once Love Was Lost Mixing
2016 Meek is Murder Was
2016 The Dillinger Escape Plan Dissociation Mixing[21]
2017 Code Orange Forever
2017 Full of Hell
2017 Expander Endless Computer




  1. ^ Miller, Liz (November 23, 2009). "Converge Rock Compassion: A Q&A". VegNews. Retrieved May 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ Borthwick, Andrew (November 14, 2005). "Kurt Ballou / Converge interview". LambGoat. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ Bennett, J. (December 2009). "A Cut Above". Decibel. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc. (62): 69–74. ISSN 1557-2137. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ Bennett, J. (December 2009). "A Cut Above". Decibel. No. 62. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc. pp. 69–74. ISSN 1557-2137. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lee, Cosmo (June 22, 2006). "Kurt Ballou – Interview – Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "New Converge – 'Dark Horse'". Stereogum. August 25, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  7. ^ Kurt Ballou (Converge) talks gear and guitars, MusicRadar, http://www.musicradar.com/guitarist/kurt-ballou-converge-talks-gear-and-guitars-264751
  8. ^ Parker, Rob (February 27, 2008). "Review: Discography". LambGoat. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Discography, by The Huguenots". The Huguenots. Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  10. ^ "Blue/Green Heart". Iodine Recordings. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Kurt Ballou / Converge interview | Lambgoat". lambgoat.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  12. ^ a b "Discography, by The Huguenots". The Huguenots. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  13. ^ "Orchid (3) – Chaos Is Me (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Orchid (3) – Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow!". Discogs. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Drowningman enters studio for new LP". Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  16. ^ "Beyond The Sixth Seal to record w/ Kurt Ballou". Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  17. ^ a b c d "The Hidden Gems Of Kurt Ballou's GodCity Studio". The Toilet Ov Hell. 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  18. ^ a b "Red in Tooth & Claw, by BATS". BATS. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  19. ^ a b "When the Landscape is Quiet Again, by Sleeping in Gethsemane". Sleeping in Gethsemane. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  20. ^ a b "Seizures Within Reason, by Empty Vessels". Empty Vessels. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  21. ^ "THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN To Go On 'Extended Hiatus' After 'Dissociation' Album". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 

External links[edit]