It is always a pleasure to interview a band that not only you are a fan of but you truly admire for the hard work that they have put in. The band that I am talking about are Bayside and these Long Island natives have got something special. The band just released the new album, Shudder, on Victory and are touring non-stop with such bands as Valencia. Join me as I interview a band that has an ever growing fanbase but is incredibly humble as well. All up & coming bands need to take notes!
Skope: How did you react when you saw that your new album would debut at #52 on Billboard 200?
Bayside: It truly was an amazing feeling. I can’t possibly explain what it means to any musician to wake up one morning and find out that your life’s work and passion has payed off.
Skope: When you were starting out did you know that one day your music would catch on like it has?
Bayside: I always had faith in our music and I knew early on that we had something cool in our music, but I never really thought that it would come as far as it has. I hoped it would, but it didn’t really seem like a reality. The thing is that it was such a long and slow journey that when you get somewhere, you don’t even realize it until someone else points it all out to you.
Skope: Where on Long Island did you all grow up and when did you all decide to start the band?
Bayside: I grew up in Queens, NY and the rest of the band was from Suffolk County. Like Islip/Babylon area. We didn’t know eachother at all before starting the band. We met up through a Long Island punk scene message board. We were in bands that weren’t doing much and kind of holding us back as people so we decided to do a band together and actually try and make a go of it.
Skope: Was there alot of pressure with this album working with producer David Schiffman?
Bayside: Not really. We never really feel any pressure with making music. That isn’t what music is supposed to be about. It’s a natural process for us. It would be like feeling pressure to give birth. It’s going to come out, whether or not you worry yourself or prepare yourself.
Skope: Alot of fans think that just becuase you put out an album you are rich. Do bands like Bayside make more money with recordings or on tour?
Bayside: We certainly make our money from things like touring and publishing. As far as money goes, the album is a vehicle for everything else.
Skope: Do you feel that Victory Records give your band the creative feedom to experiment with your music?
Bayside: Without a doubt. Victory doesn’t hear the music until the album is done usually. They let us do our thing creatively.
Skope: You tour constantly, so how do you keep your sanity & privacy on the road?
Bayside: We are lucky enough to be traveling on a bus these days so it makes things a lot easier. We played well over 1000 shows while we were in a van in our first 6 years of being a band and we’ve done another 400-500 since then. Playing everynight is all the sanity we need.
“No One Understands”[youtube DtaUifZEnaY nolink]
Skope: Your band is now established enough for big album budgets and headlining tours. When did you realize that you were going to be able to do music as your career?
Bayside: We never think that way. We never really get comfortable with where we are because we don’t want to become stagnant. We are always striving for bigger and better things in our music and our careers.
Skope: Many consumers are only paying for downloads of songs that they like. Will bands still be creating 12-15 song albums in 10 years?
Bayside: I think the resurgence of the single and the way that the I-Pod culture is making it easier for people to only buy and listen to the one song they like is a great thing. It is going to weed out all of the pop bands that are masquerading as rock bands. It is raising the bar for bands to write a great album from start to finish for their album to be purchased and listened to so all of these 1 hit wonders that are posing as punk bands will stay 1 hit wonders.
Skope: With so many bands coming out every day on the Web, do you feel the market is becoming oversaturated? How can new bands stand out?
Bayside: They can stand out by being good bands. The fact that it’s become so easy to start a band, have a Myspace page and gain fans is making bands feel like if they have more web banners and spam other people’s pages more then any other band then they can be more successful, but that’s not the case. If you want your band to stand out amongst the millions of bands on the internet, don’t try and out spam them, just write better songs. As much as music marketing has taken a strange turn in recent years, good music still speaks the loudest.
Skope: What is the wildest encounter that you have had with a fan?
Bayside: I’ve had very weird encounters where people find out where I live or where my mom lives and ring the door bell a lot. Halloween is always funny because it gives kids like a pass to ring the doorbell and talk to me. It’s always flattering though. I still can’t believe anyone cares enough to talk to me.
Skope: What is your ultimate goal for your music career?
Bayside: Mainly to leave a lasting impression. We’ve already had more success then I would ever have imagined we would. I don’t know if we’re get more popular or what, but i really want our music and our message to last and for our fans to one day tell their kids about us.