Bayside – Across The Ocean

Bayside

Get excited because American punk rock band Bayside from Queens are playing Soundwave 2015. It is going to be a massive year for Bayside as they celebrate their fifteenth anniversary as a band proving that they are just as popular now as they have ever been before. Across The Ocean speaks to front man Anthony Raneri about what this milestone means to the band and how they are excited to be returning to Australia.

bayside-logo

It sounds like it is all happening for Bayside at the moment ahead of the band’s fifteen year anniversary?

Yeah, we’ve been a band for a long time and we’ve learned that its peaks and valleys with a music career and 2014 has been a really good year. This record cycle is going really well for us.

Fifteen years is a significant milestone is there a secret ingredient to longevity?

I think it is a combination of two things, first thing is that we are a band that set out to be around for a long time. We made a lot of decisions over the course of our career going right back to the beginning when we signed our first record deal, made our first record and played our first tour. We said we wanted to be like Bad Religion or a Dropkick Murphy or NoFX. We want to be a band that makes an impact that really matters to people, a band that people will grow up with and play to kids and introduce their kids to it. There could have been some decisions we could have made that would have got us more popular quicker but we stayed away from anything that could have tarnished our legacy. I don’t envy the bands coming up now, we have been lucky to have come about at a good time in music. It’s really hard for some bands now.

Do you put that down to the dynamics of the industry?

It’s really hard! I was out Christmas shopping yesterday with Chad from New Found Glory and we were out at the mall taking in some lunch. We were having a conversation about some young bands that we know personally. When we signed our first record deal there was no such thing as a three-sixty record deal. This is when the record company not only has the rights to your record they have rights to the publishing of your songs and your merchandising, rights to your touring and they have a share in all of that with the band. That didn’t exist when we started our band or when New Found Glory started their band. When we signed a new record deal we had negotiating power and have been able to avoid all of that. I said to Chad could you imagine where you would be if you weren’t making money on merchandise or making money on tour or making off of publishing. We would literally be screwed. That’s the landscape that new bands are dealing with.

Being in the industry for a while do you feel compelled to take some of these young bands under your wing?

Definitely, the advice I give to young bands who come on tour with us is like I said before, don’t do anything that will tarnish your legacy. Give it time and work hard, do things that will make you proud and you’ll gain your fans trust. That’s what we have, the trust of our fans. Our fans are going to buy our next record, the fans who bought the old records will buy the new records because they trust us.

When you talked about peaks and valleys what do you consider to be the peaks that stand out amongst all things?

Right now is the most satisfied I have been, over the earlier years I was pushing so hard, we were pushing so hard to still prove ourselves. When you’re in that moment it is hard to stop and look around to see how good things are. I think now at this point in our career I can finally stop and look around and be proud of everything we have built. The fact that our newest record after fifteen years, instead of starting to die down it has sold the best compared to all our other records. Our upcoming tours are selling the best compared to any of our other tours ever. That’s the proudest thing for me ever. We accomplished what we set out to do and do something that mattered, do something that stuck with people. Any career is like a train, people get on, people get off, people stay on. We have been able to keep a lot of people on and that’s what we always wanted to be able to do. I’m more proud of that than any big show, any time we have been on TV or anything like that. I’m more proud of the fact that something we did fifteen years ago mattered enough that someone is still with us fifteen years later.

Is it just as satisfying now that you’re starting to forge a successful solo career?

As a musician it is a lot of fun for me to do the solo thing and just because I have a lot of freedom there are no expectations on it or anything I’m going to take seriously. There are certain expectations of Bayside which we welcome. A fan of any band expects to love the way their favourite band sounds. A lot of times bands take left turns on records and they don’t sound like your favourite band any more. We never wanted to do that but with the solo thing there are no expectations, especially musically, so I really can do whatever I want and really stretch out. I don’t have to be tied to playing punk music which I love to do and that’s my day job. I can write a reggae song, I can write a jazz song and I can really do what I want which is gratifying as a musician. It is cool that there are no expectations as far as success. I can put out a record, maybe people will buy it, maybe they won’t. I could play shows, some people might come, maybe they don’t, and that’s cool. It’s just for fun which is really cool. It takes me back to what music was like when I was a teenager.

The fan experiences you’re offering as an extra to the ticket to the show sound really cool particularly hanging out on the tour bus?

We want to be accessible and there’s a part of me that wants to meet everyone at the show for free but obviously that is not possible. We want to be accessible and we don’t charge an arm and a leg for it but like I was saying before charting the current music industry you have to pick up that extra money where you can. It’s a part of being a band these days and I think it is a win-win for everyone.

Are excited coming to Australia for Soundwave?

Oh yeah, within the music community that’s the one everyone wants to be at. Everyone we tour with say that’s the tour they want to be on. It’s always great to be able to play huge shows and Australia is a place that US bands don’t get to very often. We go every couple of years as opposed to touring the US a couple of times a year and touring Europe at least once or twice every year. It’s fun to play in Australia, the fans are always great because they only get to see once every couple of years. Soundwave as a tour is run so well and they take care of us so well. It is definitely a fun time!

Will it be a challenge squeezing everything in to a forty five minute set?

Yeah it is, I’m not sure how long we’re playing over there. I hope it is at least forty five minutes! It’s hard, we did Warped tour and we played a half an hour which is like seven songs which is like one per record.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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