To me, one of the most impressive qualities for a band is longevity. If you have ever tried writing even just one song, you would understand just how creative you have to be. Mulitply that by hundreds and thousands and the sheer thought is exhausting. Long Island’s, Bayside are no exception. The band has been around for nearly 15 years now and have proven with their latest release, Cult, that they haven’t lost a step.
I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of speaking with bassist, Nick Ghanbarian recently. Here’s how it went.
LM: So how’s everything going?
B: Good, we just wrapped up a little band practice. We’re in the middle of some press for our album that’s coming out soon. We had a couple record store performances. We’ve also been putting together a secret show type of thing that we’ve kinda-sorta just announced.
LM: Are you making it through alright over on the east coast with the weather?
B: I lost my mind with snow and wintery weather about 3-4 years ago. And this has been the worst one in a very long time so I couldn’t be any more completely over it. I’m hoping this is my last winter here in New York. I’ve watned to move for a while and after this one, I need to get a little more proactive about it.
LM: Well I can tell you the wind and the rain doesn’t get much better over here in Seattle, but it is less snowy. We haven’t had a lot of snow in a while. But anyway, congratulations on your album coming out! Tell us a bit about this album. It’s your sixth studio album, what was different about this one than the past albums?
B: Not a lot has changed, it’s our sixth album. We write songs the same, they all come over from Anthony who sends over a GarageBand file with an idea and structure for a song. We all spend time at home going over our own parts and we spend a couple hours together every now and then just to hear how things sound in the large sense. The only thing that’s different, really, is that we went back to the producer for our second and third albums. We’ve used two different producers so we went back to someone were familiar with. We’re super comfortable as far as how we write and record together and putting together an album. We always push ourselves as musicians and songwriters to grow but within the bounds that Bayside has already. We’re just so used to each other and being in the studio, it was just a normal process for us.
LM: I have to say, I do love the album. It definitely stays true to what you guys have always been. One of my favorite songs is “Transitive Property”, is there a bit of a story behind that song?
B: Over the course of our five previous albums, we’ve had a lot of songs about growing up and failed relationships. We have some songs like “Landing Feet First” that are actual love songs. “Transitive Property” is a real adult version of a love song where you actually work through the problem and have a positive result. Some of us are married and dealing with a relationship issues and not saying “Fuck it, I’m out of here.” It’s something you get through when you get a little older. It was definitely a new lyrical concept for us for sure.
LM: When you hear a lot of alternative punk bands who try to write a love song, it sometimes comes across as cheesy and fake. “Transitive Property” isn’t that at all, it really is a beautiful song. You guys did a great job on that one.
B: Honestly, the roots of that song goes back to Warped Tour 2012. Anthony was messing around with that one. It went through a couple different writing transitions where there was a little bit of cool, accidental things that happened here and there. He tried it in a couple different ways. I remember being at practice and Jack did a little noodle on the guitar that really set the tone for how the intro should be. Its funny how you sit there and write with four people and a happy little accident happens like that. As far as the whole album goes, that’s one of the oldest songs. Like I said, it was written during Warped Tour 2012 and demoed December 2012. It was one of those songs we had written and worked on for a year and half.
LM: In April, you’re going on tour with Alkaline Trio. You’re heading over to England. I know your fan base here is great but I know with some bands, there’s madness over there that surrounds them. What do you most look forward when you’re going on a tour?
B: We haven’t necessarily had record labels that were super supportive overseas. Our fan base is a lot smaller and a lot less developed than it is here in the states. Getting to go over with a band like [Alkaline] Trio, who we’re friends with and have toured with before, is a great opportunity to build fans because we are such similar groups. They put out their records overseas and it seemed like it would be a good combination for us to work with Hopeless [Records] so we can continue to build our name overseas. You would think a band our size in America would translate overseas but our last couple record labels just flat out didn’t put our albums out over there. Thank goodness for the internet. We’re looking forward to that and we’re happy we get to do it with friends. Personally, I’m super stoked to see a lot of Scandinavia. I’m a big hockey fan, so going to Sweden and Finland will be cool to see that.
LM: I’m glad to hear you’re a hockey fan! I am as well. Have you been keeping up with the Olympics so far?
B: Yeah, I’ve been keeping up with it. I do my best to wake up. Here on the East Coast, the US has had games start at 7:30am. I wasn’t too hard core about waking up, though, I didn’t see the first US game but I saw the next two. I missed most of the Russia one which turned out to be a great one. I’ll have to be more dedicated to waking up on time with the elimination round.
LM: So who do you support in the NHL?
B: I’m a Rangers fan. I’m from Long Island, but I never really grow up having anyone telling me what team to like. My first jersey was a Blackhawks jersey because of Wayne’s World because I used to play roller hockey. I went to the sports store one day, recognized the jersey and bought that one. I had an Uncle who one day asked “What team do you like and why are you wearing a Blackhawks jersey?” and I was like “I don’t know.” He said, “Well, you should like the Rangers!” and I was like, “Okay”. So, being from Long Island, a good chunk of people are Islanders fans. I was pushed in the right direction when I was younger to be a Rangers fan.
LM: I’m a Canucks fan and we traded coaches this season. You guys definitely got the better end of that deal. It’s hard to watch the Canucks this year. Anyway, back to the music. We talked about Alkaline Trio and there are other bands like Yellowcard with longevity in the alt punk genre. You guys are no different. What is the secret with bands like yours, going on 14 years?
B: I can’t name a band that has had a similar path to their sixth album like we did. Alkaline Trio and Yellowcard had bigger peaks than we ever did and they are starting to come down from that peak. They are still doing well and being in a band is still a viable option for them. A lot of bands were significantly bigger than us at a big point in their career. Our longevity has a lot to do with the fact that every album is a little bit bigger, every tour is a little bit bigger. It keeps us hungry and wanting more. We’re motivated as ever to keep doing this as a living. Jack and Anthony both have wives, Anthony has his first child. The older you get, you want normal adult lives. The fact that we’’re still hungry and motivated has to do with the fact that we love what we do and our fans love what we do. We were never really able to lean on one single, really successful moment in our career. Our longevity has to do with that tie and the fact that we’’ve had to work for every penny that we’ve made. A lot of bands don’’t move forward, a lot don’t even make a second album.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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