Bannon was born in 1976. He grew up splitting his time between Andover in the Merrimack Valley, Charlestown & East Boston on some weekends.
At 17, he graduated High School early and chose to work until heading to college. He relocated to metro Boston and attended college at The Art Institute of Boston, earning a Bachelors In Fine Arts for design in 1998, and subsequently taught the subject on a college level for a brief time. He also won the "Excellence In Design" accolade from the school. For a brief time, he instructed at the same college in their "Continuing Education" program. After working a variety of freelance design jobs at firms, he became a freelance Artist/Designer primarily working in the Independent music community. He is a vegetarian and follows a straight edge lifestyle. From 2005 to 2008, he has been nominated for the title of "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" by Peta2. He is concerned with the greyhound-racing industry, and is a dog owner, having owned rescued greyhounds, pitbulls, among others.
Bannon is also an avid mixed martial arts and kickboxing fan, having trained boxing, Muay Thai, and obtained a license as a MMA instructor in the state of Massachusetts, working occasionally as a judge. Accordingly, Deathwish has sponsored some MMA fighters. Bannon is known for his extensive tattoos. He received his first tattoo at the age of 15, which has subsequently been covered by other tattoos. He has been tattooed by Darren Brass, among many other artists. In 2013, Bannon was the subject of a short documentary directed by Ian MacFarland entitled "Rungs in a Ladder." In the documentary, Bannon reflected on important moments in his life and his motivation as an artist.
Converge is an American metalcore band formed in the winter of 1990 by vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou, they were later joined by bassist Jeff Feinburg, and drummer Damon Bellorado. They started by playing covers of hardcore punk, punk rock and heavy metal songs. The band soon graduated to playing live performances in 1991, after recording some demos on a 4-track recorder. Converge have enjoyed a relatively high level of recognition. Their popularity began to rise with the release of breakthrough album, Jane Doe. Converge's records have gradually become more elaborate and expensive to produce. This progression began with their move from a small independent label (Equal Vision Records) to a considerably larger one (Epitaph Records). Special releases have traditionally been handled by Bannon's record label, Deathwish Inc.
After Supermachiner released Rise of the Great Machine and after Converge had completed recording Jane Doe, Bannon started writing and recording solo material under the name Dear Lover.
Although a number of releases were lined up none of them saw the light of day except a demo version of one track "Grant Me the Strength" which was made available for download on Converge's website in January 2003. The track was supposed to be part of en EP titled The Blood of Thine Enemies, but the EP was never released. The track was later featured on Supermachiner's 2009 album Rust. There was also a Dear Lover double album planned titled Wear Your Wounds to be release on Icarus Records. In January, 2005 Dear Lover recordings were said to have been in the editing and mixing process, and it was believed there would be multiple releases of Dear Lover recordings which included the Wear Your Wounds double album throughout the year, however this did not happen.
In March 2008 the single "The Blood of Thine Enemies" was released on Deathwish, Bannon released the song under the name J.Bannon. Bannon has said the song was never intended it to be part of an album, only to be a stand-alone piece. Converge's website also changed the use of the name Dear Lover to J.Bannon in the upcoming section where the Wear Your Wounds album was listed.
Initially planning since 2008 on releasing solo music under his name only, in 2012 Bannon began using the Wear Your Wounds name for these projects. This allowed others to collaborate and work with Bannon on future projects.
On November 16, 2012 Bannon and Ben Chisholm of Chelsea Wolfe released a split 7" EP titled Wear Your Wounds and Revelator, it was the first time Bannon released anything under then name Wear Your Wounds. On January 15, 2013 a digital single was released under the name Wear Your Wounds entitled "The Migration".
The long-awaited Wear Your Wounds album, now titled to the abbreviation WYW was finally given the release date of April 7, 2017 and was released by Deathwish. The album has multiple guest musicians such as Kurt Ballou, Mike McKenzie, Chris Maggio, and Sean Martin. The single "Goodbye Old Friend" was released on the 13 January 2017. On March 3, 2017, the non-album single "Arthritic Heart", physical copies where available with New Noise Magazine. Wear Your Wounds' live debut was on April 22 at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
"A lot of them are guys that contributed on the record. We're going to be a three-guitar band and I'll be playing bass sort of intermittently with a lot of the stuff, because there is bass on the record but not all over the place. It's basically a bunch of friends that were available and want to play this sort of music, have fun and explore this world that I started on my own."Jacob Bannon – vocals, piano, bass (2017–present)
Mike McKenzie – guitar (2017–present)
Adam McGrath – guitar (2017–present)
Sean Martin – guitar (2017–present)
Chris Maggio – drums (2017–present)
Supermachiner was an experimental rock project formed in 1994 by Jacob Bannon and Ryan Parker. Supermachiner originally began as a collection of 4 track recordings by Bannon and Parker, recorded in 1994. The project remained nameless and dormant for a number of years. With the help and inspiration of his good friend Ryan Parker, they casually brought the project back to life in the winter of 1998. With his input, they developed collective song ideas into the Rise of the Great Machine album. However Bannon continued to write music that was sonically different than Converge, which was later released as solo martial many years later.
Irons is a musical collaboration between Jacob Bannon, Dwid Hellion and Stephen Kasner. In 2006 Hellion approached Bannon about creating music together sometime. In late 2007 fine artist and musician Stephen Kasner also expressed interest in working with the pair. This led to the formation of Irons in 2007. The band's goal was to create apocalyptic, non-linear music from a fine art based mindset. Irons only released one split album with Pulling Teeth entitled Grey Savior, the album was released through Deathwish on April 1, 2011 .
Bannon's art and design career predominately involves doing design work for hardcore punk bands and releasing limited edition art prints. He has stated that his art and design work pays his bills. Since 1997, he has produced art for dozens of bands. Work for these bands has involved packaging, poster, web, apparel, and logo design. Some of his design work has been credited to his art company Atomic! ID. He designed a shirt for the online boutique of Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, Hatewear. He also is responsible for the art direction, and often the design work, for all the releases on his Deathwish Inc. record label.
His work has been described as "heavily textured with a kinetic energy and unsettling feel". Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying praised Bannon's work on their Shadows Are Security album art and stated that it "is probably the biggest selling record that Jake has ever done artwork for ... [even though] his ethic and his whole approach to art isn’t really about sales and numbers." Bannon's style has been influential; as one magazine article put it, he "is often credited with inventing the so-called skull with wings aesthetic that became so popular in the punk underground and mixed martial arts scenes that today knockoffs are available in stores like Target and Marshalls."
In 2004, Bannon released a series of 4 "museum-quality" giclée prints, with a run limited to 100. He has worked with Burlesque Design to have limited series screenprints produced of some of his artwork, including two limited edition Converge tour posters and limited prints based on the album artwork for the Converge albums Jane Doe, No Heroes, and Axe to Fall. The Jane Doe cover art was featured on the cover of the sixth issue of Beautiful/Decay Magazine, which also contained an interview with Bannon. He also designed a limited-edition cover for the May/June 2005 issue of Punk Planet, which was their third Art & Design themed issue.
On August 15, 2004, he participated in Strhess Fest in Cleveland. In February 2008, he participated in the Public Domain group art show, and October 2008, his artwork was featured in a Halloween themed group show entitled Horror Business, both held at Tradition in Los Angeles. In October 2010, Bannon had work in the Scream With Me show at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, which featured the artwork of selected musicians and tattoo artists.
Bannon has worked on art and design for dozens of bands, including:
Deathwish, Inc. is an independent record label founded by Jacob Bannon of Converge and Tre McCarthy. In late 1999, McCarthy and Bannon decided to turn Deathwish into a full-fledged business.
Deathwish is one of those labels that deserve to be the biggest indie label on the planet. They not only put out interesting acts, but they go through painstaking efforts with every aspect of each release from artwork to recording to the band's branding. These efforts definitely do not go unnoticed to their many die-hard fans, but it is disheartening to see bands/labels with less than 10 percent of the integrity that Deathwish has continue to outsell them. It gives me comfort that these are things that Jacob and Tre do not concern themselves with as they continue to put out powerful and beautiful releases.
Bannon co-owns a home décor and antique store with his wife in Beverly, Massachusetts called Diamonds & Rust, which offers, "a variety of new/vintage industrial and mid-century furniture and lighting, textils, art, and other collectAlbumsibles and accessories."Halo in a Haystack (1994)
Petitioning the Empty Sky (1996)
When Forever Comes Crashing (1998)
Jane Doe (2001)
You Fail Me (2004)
No Heroes (2006)
Axe to Fall (2009)
All We Love We Leave Behind (2012)
Rise of the Great Machine (2000)
Bannon has various art/gallery appearances:2004: Cleveland, OH, StrHess Festival
2008: Los Angeles, CA, Tradition Gallery/Store, "Public Domain"
2010: San Francisco, CA, 111 Minna Gallery, "Scream With Me"
2011: Beverly, MA, Ursa Major Gallery
2012: Cleveland, OH, Loren Naji Gallery, "Life & Death..."
2012: Salt Lake City, UT, Fice Gallery, "Day of the Dead"
2012: Austin, TX, Mondo Gallery, "Universal Monsters"
2013: Boston, MA, Fourth Wall Project Gallery, "Street Diamonds 2"
2013: Austin, TX, Mondo Gallery, "EC Comics"
2014: Boston, MA, Distillery Gallery, "Skies, Water, & Death"
2014: Beverly, MA, Mingo Gallery, "Abstracts & Dimensions"
2015: Minneapolis, MN, Co-Exhibitions, "Fragments"
2015: Austin, TX, Fun Fun Fun Fest, "50/50.3 Project Loop"
2015: Tyler, TX, Preacher Gallery, "50/50.3 Project Loop Benefit"
2015: Austin, TX, Mondo Gallery, "Originals: No Pop Art Allowed"
2015: Los Angeles, CA, The Seventh Letter, "The Printed Works of BRLSQ"
2016: Chicago, IL, Revolution Brewing Co., "Art Gives Me Hope"
2016: Austin, TX, Mondo Gallery, "House Party"
2016: Montreal, QC, Neon St. Hubert, Solo art demo
2017: Tilburg, Holland, "Full Bleed"