Earlier this month, the Verge Team had the opportunity to speak withÂ the powerhouse American punk rock band, Bayside, as they were onÂ their UK tour with the Gaslight Anthem. Over the last 15, yes, 15Â years, Bayside has released 6 full-length studio albums, with theirÂ most recent being â€˜Cultâ€™; an album that focuses on mortality overÂ technical guitar riffs and edgy vocals that provide songs with a bit ofÂ punk-metal, without steering too far away from the sound Bayside isÂ known for.
In the interview featured below, Emma (Editor of Verge) spoke to BaysideÂ about their UK tour, upcoming 15 year anniversary, and their ownÂ â€˜cult.â€™
Â Have you enjoyed the UK tour so far?
Bayside: Yeah, itâ€™s been great. So far weâ€™ve played one headliner andÂ five other shows. Our time slotâ€™s pretty short on this tour so itâ€™s goingÂ pretty fast. But itâ€™s been brilliant; we always love the UK.
Â Last year you signed with the powerhouse that is HopelessÂ Records, how has your experience with them been?
Bayside: Itâ€™s been fantastic. When we were first looking around forÂ labels, a lot approached us for this record, but we really liked whatÂ Hopeless was doing. Itâ€™s easy to look at labels, look at the youngerÂ bands, and the bands that are really blowing up on the label and judgeÂ them on that, but what we were doing was looking at the bands thatÂ have been around for a long time, the legacy bands, because thatâ€™sÂ more of how we see ourselves. We loved what Hopeless was doing withÂ Taking Back Sunday, The Used and Yellowcard, and thatâ€™s been greatÂ for us. We are at a point in our career now where we want to do whatÂ we want to do, we donâ€™t want to do anything we donâ€™t feel like doing.Â Hopeless helps with that; they help with the record, making it andÂ putting it out, but then after that they leave us to do our own thing.Â They help when we ask for help, and they leave us alone when we askÂ for that. Theyâ€™re great people.
Youâ€™ve described yourselves recently as being â€˜the mostÂ Bayside youâ€™ve ever beenâ€™, could you expand on that a little? HowÂ does it compare to previous years or albums?
Bayside: I think our sound at this point is fully realised; now when weÂ sit down to write a song it always sounds like a Bayside song. With all our records, weâ€™ve always tried to maintain the same sound, and weÂ really like the sound that weâ€™ve created. We always want to hold on toÂ that, we want to give our fans what theyâ€™ve grown to like. With the newÂ record we really wanted to improve on that sound, just get better atÂ song writing, get better at our instruments, just do everything better,Â but still stay characteristically Bayside.
Where did you find inspiration for the material on â€˜Cultâ€™?
Bayside: It was a lot of different things, musically it comes fromÂ everywhere, and thatâ€™s with every record. I try to listen to everythingÂ when Iâ€™m writing a record, from show-tunes to reggae, to foreignÂ music, anything at all to pick up interesting ideas. Lyrically in the yearÂ that we made the record, it was a pretty big year in my life. I lost a fewÂ family members, I gained a daughter, I gained a wife, it was a prettyÂ heavy year for me as a person. I was thinking about life on a muchÂ bigger scale than I ever have before. That definitely made its way outÂ on the record too.
Are there any plans for 2015 that we can look forward to?
Bayside: Weâ€™re planning on coming to do our first European and UKÂ headline tour. Weâ€™re really excited about that, weâ€™re also doing a bigÂ US headline tour next year. Next year is actually our 15th anniversaryÂ as a band, so itâ€™s our 15th anniversary tour in the states. Weâ€™re alsoÂ doing the Soundwave Festival in Australia next year.
Whatâ€™s the highlight of Baysideâ€™s career so far?
Bayside: The thing about Bayside is thereâ€™s not really any standoutÂ career highlights, itâ€™s not really our style. Weâ€™ve never been the bandÂ to get magazine covers or to ever make these big statements. Weâ€™veÂ kind of quietly just caught our way up to where weâ€™ve gotten.
Could you give us some advice for young people orÂ students who are looking to pursue their goals in the musicÂ industry?
Bayside: Just really focus on music and youâ€™ve just got to put blindersÂ on, donâ€™t pay attention to whatâ€™s cool or how well other people areÂ doing, donâ€™t spend all your time trying to find new fans, justÂ concentrate on making good music and if the musicâ€™s there thenÂ everybody will come to you.