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 41)
Origin Massachusetts, United States
Genres Mathcore, hardcore punk, metalcore, indie rock, experimental rock, post-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.

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.[1][2] 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".[3]


  • 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.[4]
  • 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 Blue/Green Heart

  • Self Esteem Through Modern Science (2002)[5]

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.

The Huguenots

  • Discography (2007)[6]

With Kid Kilowatt

With Supermachiner

  • Rise of the Great Machine (2001)[7]

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]




  1. ^ Borthwick, Andrew (November 14, 2005). "Kurt Ballou / Converge interview". LambGoat. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ Bennett, J. (December 2009). "A Cut Above". Decibel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc.) (62): 69–74. ISSN 1557-2137. Retrieved September 16, 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Kurt Ballou (Converge) talks gear and guitars, MusicRadar, http://www.musicradar.com/guitarist/kurt-ballou-converge-talks-gear-and-guitars-264751
  5. ^ "Blue/Green Heart". Iodine Recordings. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ Parker, Rob (February 27, 2008). "Review: Discography". LambGoat. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ Gramlich, Chris (September 2001). "Converge: Have Innovation Through Suffering". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Orchid (3) – Chaos Is Me (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Orchid (3) – Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow!". Discogs. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 

External links[edit]