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]

Year Band Album
1996 Jesuit Jesuit
1998 Converge When Forever Comes Crashing
1998 Cave In Beyond Hypothermia
1999 Jesuit Jesuit
1999 Cave In Until Your Heart Stops[3]
1999 All Chrome Flounders Flyers College & Canada
1999 Orchid Chaos Is Me[8]
1999 Codeseven Division of Labor
1999 Isis The Red Sea
1999 Converge The Poacher Diaries
1999 Year of our Lord Frozen Divide
2000 Orchid Dance Tonight! Revolution Tomorrow![9]
2000 Garrison A Mile in Cold Water
2000 American Nightmare American Nightmare
2000 The Hope conspiracy Cold Blue
2001 Old Man Gloom Seminar II: The Holy Rites of Primitivism Regressionism
2001 Old Man Gloom Seminar III: Zozobra
2001 Sevenday Curse After the Storm
2001 Isis Mosquito Control[3]
2001 Converge & Hellchild Deeper the Wound
2001 Pg.99 Document #8
2001 Piebald Piebald
2001 Jeromes Dream Presents
2001 Garrison Garrison/Hundred Reasons [Split CD]
2001 Converge Jane Doe
2001 The Hope conspiracy File 03
2001 Panic Dying for It
2001 Damage Final
2001 Carry On A Life Less Plagued
2002 The Cancer Conspiracy The Audio Medium
2002 Eulcid The Wind Blew All the Fires Out
2002 In Pieces Learning to Accept Silence
2002 Curl Up and Die Unfortunately, We're Not Robots
2002 Eden Maine The Treachery Pact
2002 Suicide Note You're Not Looking So Good
2002 Supermachiner Rise of the Great Machine
2002 Beyond the Sixth Seal Earth and Sphere
2002 Ramallah But a Whimper[3]
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 Converge You Fail Me[3]
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[3]
2005 Converge Petitioning the Empty Sky (Remastered)[3]
2005 Converge When Forever Comes Crashing (Remastered)[3]
2005 Transistor Transistor Erase All Name and Likeness
2005 Seventh Star Brood of Vipers
2005 Modern Life Is War Witness[3]
2005 Swarm of the Lotus The Sirens of Silence[3]
2005 Gospel The Moon Is a Dead World
2005 Doomriders Black Thunder[3]
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
2006 Converge No Heroes
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
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
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 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
2009 Paint It Black Amnesia
2009 Paint It Black Surrender
2009 BATS Red in Tooth & Claw
2010 Acid Tiger Acid Tiger
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
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 Oathbreaker Eros/Anteros
2013 Nice Hooves Nice Hooves
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 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
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 Mutoid Man Bleeder
2015 Black Breath Slaves Beyond Death




  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 March 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]