When they weren't ripping through the acoustic strains of songs from their 6th LP, Cult, Anthony Raneri and Jack O'Shea of New York punk rock outfit Bayside were enlightening us on the motivations that drive the album. There will always be "fight with your girlfriend" kind of songs in the Bayside repertoire. But, as Raneri told us, "with growing older this record took on some much bigger topics. I thought a lot about my legacy, not only as a musician but as a man." That's just the kind of thing that happens when you lose your grandfather, step-father, and become a father all in the matter of a few months. Still, even as the band explores more existential types of topics, Cult retains the same spirit that drives the five albums that have come before it. "These songs could have a place on any of our records. It has all the different characteristics of all of our records. It's a good summation of everything we've done musically up until this point", declares Raneri. In that way, Cult is very much the perfect ode to their passionate fan base (their "Cult", if you will) and the new ears they continue to find as they push their decade-long career along.
if we should get to] heaven about when we were alive. Before we take it that far, in the dark] head it hurts today...] - Our 6th record came out yesterday, it was exciting. - It was exciting. - A very exciting day. It was. When we finished the record we were in the studio on the last day of tacking the record listening back to the songs and we sort of said like these songs could be, these songs could have a place on any one of our records you know? - Like it has, it has all the different characteristics of all of our records. It's a good summation of sort of everything that we've done musically up to this point. - Sort of to us, we think its the record where you start with Bayside. It could be if you have friends, if you like Bayside and you have friends who haven't heard of the band yet it's sort of, we think its the place to start you know, cause its sort of it's really nice representation of the band. - Again I like the idea of Cult and it's sort of really speaks to what our fan base is. Sort of dub named themselves. The whole Cult thing kind of came about pretty organically. We, it wasn't something that we forced on to anyone. The bar, everyone has always kind of compared our fan base to a cult and you have really culty fans who are constantly coming back and tattooing themselves. So something we sort of adopted. Again this being a record that, as a summation to us, is kind of something for the fans and a lot of the stuff we've done leading up to this record has directly included the fans as well. We've done contests where we're having the fans cover music before it comes out. We've had designing pics for us and it's, you know again, it's kind of really tying into the idea that this is not just, that we're, that we even as a band are part of something bigger we belong to which is really cool. I got a Bayside tattoo. I'm a member of the cult. - Yeah, me too. - We've always felt like we've had an obligation to ourselves and to our fans to be honest you know? And to be who we are, and I think a lot of bands... the trouble with a lot of bands as far as longevity goes is they start reaching for things, you know what I mean, that their not meant to reach for. You know, sometimes people start writing songs they could get bigger or they try and reinvent themselves because their getting bored with their own band. You know? And we have never gotten bored with our own band. Bayside's my favorite band. - Yeah we're good at being Bayside. - Yeah Bayside's my favorite band. Just as far as our career goes we made a lot of decisions along the way. We decided very early on that we were going to, we wanted to be more like Bad Religion than Good Charlotte and we decided that a long time ago. You know, so, we made a lot of decisions along the way that you know, we could of done things to maybe get bigger faster you know but we never took that route. - Yeah, I mean at the end of the day I like to think, kind of in the lyrically, what's happening I really want to... at the end of the day I really want to know that we belong to something that's really important. And every day that goes by and the more positive things that are happening in our career, it's becoming apparent to me that, that will be something that is remembered and to be part of something that mattered is kind of, I think... Playing music that's the ultimate thing for me, I mean... you can, you can get famous and rich and be gone tomorrow but to actually have meant something to a lot of people is the best thing for me. That's why, I mean, that's really... beyond my love of actually playing music that's... I mean you can't ask for more than that. You'll find it at the bottom of the mess that's your life. And go take your own advice, keep hoping that the lies never... - There are songs on this record that are heartbreak songs and fight with your girlfriend, and/or wife, or whoever songs and there's always a place for that in music. You know, anybody from like, you know Buddy Holley, Elvis Presely, and before you know, is always kind of room in music for those. I will always write those you know and I am really proud of all the songs we've written in the past that are like that. But definitely with growing older and with this record it took on some much bigger topics like kinda more like life in general, like life and death really, you know, and I thought a lot about, sort of, my legacy. Not only in this band, not only as a musician but as a man you know and that like sort of, that's something that you don't, you're not think about when your 19 years old making your first record. So I lost my grandfather this year and I lost my step father as well and I also became a father all within the span of a few months. So that really opened my eyes to kind of what life is. You know and I thought about specifically my grandfather and his generation and what their legacy is and those kind of guys in their 80's and 90's now that are passing away you see their wakes and there is a story about every one. And there you know, there are crazy stories about them, storming beaches and you know what I mean? Fighting in wars and being hero's and being grandfathers, and fathers, and advice givers, and caretakers and you know, like. I just thought about myself and where do I, where do I fit in to that. Am I gonna, be that, like did he decided he was gonna be that, like, does that just happen? You know? Or do you have to decide one day that I'm gonna be like this, I'm gonna be this, like, great man. I'll never make you sad again. I'm not afraid to say I think you're off to think we're through. Don't throw away our lives - Hey we're Bayside and your watching Baeble Music. ...hard I do admit. That the heart is broke...
Long Island-based Bayside formed in the winter of 2000 and released the Long Stories Short EP the following year. The band soon signed with Chicago powerhouse Victory Records and released their debut full-length, Sirens and Condolences, in January 2004. Bayside took early advantage of community websites like Friendster and MySpace to promote their music, making them an early pioneer in what has now become a standard practice for online music marketing.
Bayside released their self-titled sophomore album in August 2005, but the resulting tour turned tragic when their bus hit a patch of ice and flipped over en route to Salt Lake City. Drummer John “Beatz” Holohan was killed in the crash, and bassist Nick Ghanbarian was severely injured. Bayside took some time off following the accident, only to press onward as a duo (Anthony Ranera on vocals and guitar; Jack O'Shea on guitar) in honor of their friends. The live DVD and accompanying Acoustic EP was released in Feburary 2006.
Bayside is currently comprised of Raneri, O'Shea, Ghanbarian, and drummer Chris Guglielmo.