Aside from sweeping advances in technology and the leader of the free world carrying a different form of skin pigmentation, not much has really changed in the world. We mean, sure, there’s new restaurants on the corner, new car models, new hairstyles (kind of), new celebrities, new this, new that – of course there’s all of those obvious wanderings, but has anyone really thought about 14 years ago compared to today?
There aren’t drastic high and low experiences through the decades as it happened in the 20th century. Not as far as pop culture trends are concerned, anyways. Skateboarding started in the 90s, electronic music started in the 90s, certain fashion trends never grow old that started in the 90s…and punk rock, hell, that’s been strong since the late 70s. The point is, even in our current state of disposable culture, there are things that stand the test of years. Ideals and tastes can resonate through generations, and Queens, NY bred punk rock outfit Bayside is walking proof of that very concept.
The band formed in the winter of 2000. Since, the act has managed to drop six lauded albums. “Cult,” the latest, is receiving the highest debut numbers the band has ever garnered and is the driving force behind the act’s newest tour coming through the Summit Music Hall next Tuesday, March 11.
Vocalist and guitarist Anthony Raneri gave The Rooster some insight a few days ago about why he thinks they’ve done so well through the years and how excited he is to be playing for new fans, as well as keeping to the traditions of the past that gained them listeners to begin with.
The new album “Cult” is the band’s sixth studio album. How is songwriting now different from the early 2000s when you and the band started?
It’s funny. It’s very different because of how much the same it is. I’ll explain that. Really, we’ve become very comfortable with our sound; we’ve sort of figured out how Bayside should sound. We don’t want to change that.
We love the way we sound. We love what we’ve created over the years, and feel our fans do also. It gets trickier every record to figure out how to stay in the same genre and keep the main characteristics the same while keeping it fresh. That’s really what we focus on these days is keeping a fresh take on our sound. It’s hard to do, too.
Do you see that your crowd is getting older with you, or are younger generations taking to your music?
It’s both, really. Which is so awesome. I think that’s really a part of why we’ve been able to maintain our career for this long. A lot of bands that came around the same time we did, they’re seeing less people buy records and seeing less people coming to shows.
This tour coming up – it’s the biggest we’ve ever done. Presales are the highest we’ve ever had. The record looks like it could be the biggest debut we’ve ever had. I think we’re lucky we’ve been able to maintain our old fans and keep them interested and excited, but at the same time make some new fans along the way
Do you think your style of music has an expiration date or do you think it will resonate through the years?
I don’t know, but it’s something that we always set out to do. When we were starting this band and getting off the ground and putting out early records, there was a lot of conscious efforts in making decisions for longevity. There was a lot of things that we probably could have done, and a lot of opportunities that we had that maybe could have gotten us bigger, or bigger faster, that we didn’t take cause we knew that we wanted to be doing this in fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, you know?
And we’re still making those decisions to this day. It has a lot to do with the idea of keeping the sound. We could try and reinvent ourselves or try writing different styles or try and keep up with the most popular music – but we’ve never done that. If we did that before we probably would have went away years ago. We try to be a band that in ten years, that people won’t be embarrassed to say that they listened to us.
Would that be your advice then to younger bands then? To find a genre, try to be the best at it and stick with it?
You know, that’s worked for us. There’s some people who do jump on bandwagons and they have a lot more money than I do. It sort of depends on what you’re looking to do. I’m very proud to say I’m in Bayside and when people ask about it when I meet them, I’m proud to say Bayside. There’s probably some people who aren’t proud to answer that question.
This has worked for us. Bayside is a working class band. We tour a lot, we put out records often, we work a lot, that works for us. I’m happy with that. Our bills are paid and we’re very happy for the lifestyles we’ve been able to create.
Your bills are paid. That’s better than most Americans….
Ya, ya! Hey man, I get to support my family and myself by playing music, and that makes me one of the luckiest people in the world.
Speaking of families, you all are coming of age a bit – how do preparations differ now for tour because of it?
As far as with family and stuff, it just is what it is. Nothing you can do can prepare you to be away from your kids for months at a time. It sucks. It’s really, really hard. But not only is it our job and that’s’ what we need to do to support our families, but it’s who we are. It’s what I love to do. If I had all the money in the world I’d still do exactly this. There’s not much you can do to prepare in that sense.
But with age, ya, we do have to get in shape for tour though. That’s kind of a new thing. It’s true. I start doing all my vocal warm-ups and my vocal exercises well before tour starts so I’m very comfortable and in the zone when it comes time to sing for an hour and a half every day. We all go to the gym; we all get in shape and get our stamina up. We really do have to do that stuff when we’re gearing up for a cycle.
Colorado has always had little pockets of scenes and no one genre has really been ousted. Do you see us as unique in that regard or do other cities follow suit?
Colorado is mostly unique in the underground sense. I’ve always seen such a vibrant underground. As far as music in general, we come from New York and there’s a really rich history of music, from Billy Joel to The Ramones to, like, Taking Back Sunday – however far you want to take it.
But bands in our scene – as opposed to the EDM scene, or some of these bigger underground scenes – they haven’t kept their shelf life so much. Colorado has been one of those places though that bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake – those bands – they’re having their biggest shows in Denver. Colorado has been unique in my opinion because it’s kept that real love of underground scenes.