15 Years is a long time. In that time people change and grow apart. However, this isn’t the case for New York punk band, Bayside.
Bayside formed in Queens in 2000. 15 years and 6 albums later, Bayside has accrued a strong and faithful following, while still managing to sweep under the radar of the mainstream. Their most recent album, Cult, was released in February of 2014 to positive reviews. With the success of their previous album, Killing Time, which saw the most widespread success of their albums, going into Cult had its pressures. However, at the end of the day, Cult is still a very Bayside album.
I chatted with bassist Nick Ghanbarian to get some insight into the past 15 years, as well as the future.
He explains sticking to their guns for the creation of Cult. “For us, we definitely are who we are. And we’re definitely not going to stray too far from our sound. But we want to grow within that sound. We are getting older. We have a lot to offer as far as musicians go. We always try to stay within what Bayside sounds like and we’re just trying to expand that withCult and whatever the 7th record sounds like, it’ll still sound like us but there may be a couple tricks here and there. I think every album is just an expansion of our previous album. I think Cult is an expansion of Killing Time, and you can keep going as far back as it goes. We like our sound, our fans like our sound, and we want to keep them happy as well as expand ourselves and make new fans along the way. Thats why we’ve been around for 15 years and there is no sign of us slowing down.”
Their Anniversary tour took them to San Diego last week, along with Senses Fail, Man Overboard, and Seaway. Almost completely sold out, the band is feeling pretty confident in the rest of the tour. “Its been better than we really expected so we’re really happy. Our shows have been well attended and really energetic. Its fun because our crowds are getting a little older and I feel like its fun to know that people have work and have school but they’re still spending their nights maybe once a week going to an energetic rock show and singing and dancing. Its cool for people to have an outlet like that.”
He adds, “Its great being far from home and being at places…. like Houston and Dallas haven’t usually been the best for us but they’re really starting to catch up to the rest of the country like the Northeast and California and stuff like that. We put in the work and the time in some places and those places that have been a little rough for us over the years are a lot better now. Its a good feeling.”
The crowd was amped at the House of Blues, having just seeing Senses Fail, the anticipation was on high. The band switched on their performance with their first song, “Pigsty,” a single off of Cult. What’s immediately notable about singer Anthony Raneri, is his voice is as raw as you would hear it on the album. While he stays close the mic, guitar in hand, Ghanbaria and guitarist Jack O’Shea move about the stage, head banging, launching through the air, or throwing their instruments around.
The crowd couldn’t keep still, as crowd surfer after crowd surfer managed their way to the barricade.
Ghanbaria explains what could be expected at their live shows. We’re playing long. Upwards to an hour and a half every night. We did a couple of different songs that we play. Our shows are basically always the same; high energy and we want a lot of crowd participation. It should be an outlet for people, whether their a teenager still growing up or an adult with work in the morning. We want our shows to be cathartic in some way. There needs to be a connection with us and the fans and thats how we judge our shows. After we’re all done if we felt that there was that synergy between the fans then thats how we judge the shows if they’re successful or not.”
What can also be expected is a wide array of songs from their discography. A 20 song set list with favorites throughout, the show ends with an acoustic “Don’t Call Me Peanut”, and finally “Devotion and Desire,” from their self titled second album.
Their tour will be taking them to their first headlined shows in the UK. After a small tour in the fall, Ghanbarian mentions heading back to the studio and writing their 7th album. With no signs of slowing, Bayside is very thankful for the career that they’ve carved out. Ghanbarian ends with, “If anyone is interested in listening or reading anything about us, just… thanks for 15 years and just know we’re trying as hard as ever to keep trucking along. We’re really proud of where we’ve been in the last 15 years, and we’re super excited to keep going and push it as far as we can. So a big thank you and keep following us.”