INTERVIEW: Bayside

Published in The Music (NSW, VIC, QLD) and on theMusic.com.au, Jan 2014

Bayside-Press-Photo

SIDE BY SIDE

Their 15th anniversary coinciding with Soundwave, caffeinated Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri tells Daniel Cribb where a lot of new bands go wrong.

“This is my proudest moment in Bayside; more than any tour we’ve ever done, more than any TV appearance or any sort of big headline achievements,” frontman Anthony Raneri begins, on the band’s 15th anniversary. “What I’m most proud of is, when we first started this band we wanted to be like Bad Religion, we wanted to be like NOFX, we wanted to be like the bands we looked up to, which were the bands that stuck around. Being able to last as long as we have, and the fact that our tours are the biggest they’ve ever been, the newest record is our best selling one, is amazing.”

To celebrate, Bayside are embarking on a world tour that kicks off at Soundwave. “Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden are bands I’ve been listening to since junior high school, so it’s kind of cool to see my career go to a place where I get to play shows with those guys.”

Realising they have dedicated fans that look up to them in a similar way, Bayside began offering tickets to shows that included a 45-minute hangout with the band in their tour bus. “We learned that usually people don’t know what to say, so it took us a couple of times of sitting there in silence. We try to steer the conversation, and it is fun. We offer everybody drinks, coffee; it’s just like hanging out.”

Not just any coffee: Bayside have a blend crafted after their latest record, Cult. An independent coffee company in Seattle called Anchorhead came to a show, gave them coffee and, after Bayside fell in love with the taste, things began to snowball. “I’ve always wanted to do it but thought it was impossible; it just seemed like the kind of thing that would be pretty hard to make. It’s not like getting a T-shirt printed. We thought we’d reach out to them and see if they’d ever consider doing a branded roast, and they loved the idea. It is its own roast – the Cult blend.”

The longevity of the band stems from their relentless work ethic. Before they signed to a label to release debut album, Sirens And Condolences, back in 2004, they’d already been touring and self-releasing EPs for five years. I think a lot of bands, when they first sign or make their first record, they feel like they’ve arrived. They get a record deal and feel like it’s the finish line, and for us, we knew we wanted to be around for a long time; we knew we wanted a legacy.

“When we were making our first record we weren’t thinking, ‘’Wow, we’ve made it,’ we were thinking it was the first of many and all that work we did before was just warm up, like, ‘This is where everything starts, and we’re going to be talking about it ten years from now.’ I haven’t accomplished nearly everything I want to, but I’ve seen that I’m doing the things right. I’m proud of who I am, I’m proud of what I’ve done.”

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