Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Squared Circle Pit Ep. 8

Bannon (front/center) talks about his love of old school wrestling in this episode
Photo Credit: Converge via Stereogum
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Squared Circle Pit
Episode: 8
Run Time: 29:41
Guest: Jacob Bannon

Summary: Rob Pasbani, the co-founder of heavy metal news site Metal Injection, is also a huge wrestling fan and has started a podcast on the Metal Injection Network that allows him to enthuse about his other passion. Past guests include Zakk Wylde, Jamey Jasta, Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage, and in this particular episode, Jacob Bannon of Converge. Bannon does not actively watch much current wrestling, but he grew up a devoted fan of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling. Pasbani asks Bannon about what drew him to the sport and what matches resonated with him the most. Bannon still loves the Dog Collar match between Greg Valentine and Roddy Piper, and when asked his favorite wrestler, he responds with Buzz Sawyer. He also recounts a brief period of going to ECW shows in the mid-90's.

Quote of the Week: "I watched all that stuff. That's just what an 80's kid that was a little bit aimless did. You just kinda searched for stuff and found homes in these things. They were classic stories of bad guys and good guys. When you're a kid and you hear people who are loud and crazy and physical...that's basically hardcore."

Why you should listen: A fan of 80's wrestling will have a good amount to chew on here, as Pasbani and Bannon stick exclusively to that time period, right before Bannon became a teenager and discovered skateboarding and hardcore music, therefore falling out of love with pro wrestling. Bannon's recollections of what drew him into watching it are very telling of the reasons why kids are still getting into it today.

Why you should skip it: Pasbani admits that the interview is much shorter than he hoped it would be, as Bannon was unexpectedly pulled away to do a soundcheck for a Converge set later that day at House of Vans. Topics are brought up and dissected, but not nearly as much as they could have been had they had more time.

Final Thoughts: As a longtime fan of Converge, I had no clue that Jacob Bannon - the brooding, screaming frontman revered by so many - was such a huge fan of old school pro wrestling. This was a special experience for me because I continue to get a fair amount of grief from my friends in the music scene for being an adult who watches WWE. Though Bannon doesn't watch much these days, he fiercely defends the concept of pro wrestling and has actually gone back to learn about all the backstage happenings during the era in which he watched. I am always telling people that there is a whole world of intrigue and psychology that wrestling has to offer aside from what goes on in the ring, and Bannon's endorsement of the art form is just the type of encouragement a jaded wrestling fan needs to hear.