PropertyOfZack had the chance to chat with Anthony Raneri from Bayside just last week for a great interview. Anthony and I discussed the band’s method behind touring over the past year or so, Killing Time, a long solo tour, and an upcoming solo EP/album. Read up and enjoy!
The band’s co-headlining tour kicks off a week from today in Philadelphia with Saves The Day, I Am The Avalanche, and Transit. How excited are you for this run?
That’s definitely a tour that I have to keep double checking on to make sure that it’s real.
It’s sort of interesting – Around a year ago you guys did a co-headlining tour with Senses Fail and took out Title Fight and Balance & Composure. Is the idea of co-headlining and taking out two smaller bands that you feel deserve credit something you’re getting more and more into?
To me, it’s the only way to do it as far as a headlining tour goes. You can’t completely ignore the fact that you need people at the shows. We’ve been doing a lot of co-headliners this year. We like the idea of picking a band that is also going to help bring people to the shows. But we also want to pick awesome bands. A lot of packages are built around picking three support bands that are worth X amount of tickets. We want to go around that. Our way around it is to pick a band like Saves The Day, Senses Fail, or Silverstein that we’re on the same size with. After that, we can just pick bands that we like. We don’t have to worry about who draws what.
Obviously Avalanche have been around a long time, but this is really their first legitimate tour in years. Is it great to be able to help out old friends on a tour that’s shaping up to be huge?
When Vinnie started playing me demos four or five years ago of songs for the new record, I just knew instantly that I had to be a part of it.
POZ: How was doing guest vocals on a track?
Anthony: I did a guest vocal on one of the songs and I co-wrote two of the songs with Vinnie. For this to be their first tour that they go on when the record comes out, it’s really special to me. I think it’s one of the best records to come out in a long time.
And Transit is younger band that you toured with a little bit this summer, but what do you see in them and their future?
I think they have a huge future ahead of them. They’re a great band and they do everything right. The songs are really good. We’ve toured with them twice now, and we’ve seen how they operate on a daily basis. It’s music first. They want to make sure that they sound good and perform well and that they please the fans. They’re on a good road and they’re great kids. Bands want to tour with their friends and bands that they want to be around for six weeks. There’s proof in that in that this is the third tour in a row that we’re taking Transit on. They’re great guys and we want to have them around.
What’s the set list shaping up to be like?
It’s going to be a lot of Killing Time and a lot of very old. We were in Canada for a week and we were testing a lot of the old stuff. We had a lot of fun doing it. We try our best to blend everything. We try to give everybody what they want.
The band is obviously supporting the release of Killing Time, which came out earlier this year. How has the reception to the album been?
It’s been great. I think it’s the best reception we’ve ever gotten from an album. Everything usually gets mixed reviews, but everyone is pretty stoked on this.
Have the new songs been going over well live as well?
There are a couple songs that are becoming staples like “Sick, Sick, Sick” and “Already Gone.” I think those will be staples in our set for years to come. Every night we try to play one or two different ones to see how people react to them. There’s trial and error in that. It’s unfortunate that everybody only gets to see one show.
You guys did the Take Action tour and those dates in the summer with Transit, but it sort of seems like there hasn’t been a lot of touring from you this year. Was that a conscious decision?
It’s just how our schedule played out. We were out last fall in the US, and then we went right to Europe in the winter. We didn’t want to do another US tour in the summer because we knew we were doing this fall tour. It just kind of played out that way. We took some time off. Scheduling just kind of worked out that way. We didn’t want to do three big US tours in nine months.
The record was released on Wind-Up Records, but since then the other two bands that fit your genre, Cartel and Hawthorne Heights, have both parted ways with the label. That of course has led many fans to wonder whether you guys were still on the label. Can you talk about that?
We’re definitely still on the label. To be honest, I don’t know what the situation with those other bands are. I haven’t spoken to them about it recently. I definitely haven’t spoken to the label about it. I think people put too much weight in labels. I think people put too much weight in what record stores sell too. People complain if the record is on sale at Walmart or Best Buy or something like that. Who cares? If you buy Sergeant Peppers at Walmart or some local indie store, it’s still the same record. Who cares if the Bayside record has a Victory or Wind-Up sticker on the back. I think people put a lot of weight in that. The days of labels trying to make you sound a certain way have been over for a really long time. Labels don’t sign bands that they think that they can mold into something good. Labels sign bands that they like. Disney is not going to sign Iron Maiden and tell them they need to sign a certain type of song. They signed us based on what we do.
The tour ends on November 16th. Are there plans to do more touring, either Stateside or international, but the year’s end?
We’re going to do some holiday shows around Christmas. Really cool holiday shows actually that I’m not allowed to talk about. I can say that we’re not headlining them. I don’t know when they’ll be announced. It’s up to the band who’s headlining it. Those are going to be really cool. That’s about it though for the rest of the year. I’m doing a really cool solo tour in January and February. I promise it rules. It’s almost a full US tour, which I haven’t done solo wise. It’s a pretty extensive solo tour though with four guys from other bands.
Will Bayside pick up full steam from there?
The Killing Time record cycle is definitely going to continue into next year. We’re talking about going out again in the spring of next year.
Is a solo album in the works?
It’s definitely in the works. I’m probably going to release a real cheap digital EP. Even though I’ve been doing it for years, I consider the solo thing to still be in an infant stage. What I want to do is get a few songs up and sell them real cheap. I have tons of songs in the works. I’ve been writing songs that wouldn’t work for Bayside for years that I’ve put into a solo folder. Now that I’m thinking more about, I’m writing more. There’s a stockpile of songs. It’s a really weird thing. Bayside sounds like Bayside. We discovered our sound years ago, and we love it. I have country songs, I have rock songs, I have Americana songs. It’s almost too much freedom and responsibility with a solo thing. I feel like whatever I release first will be what I sound like. The first thing I release will be career defining.
POZ: Will we hear some of those songs on the solo tour?
Anthony: Definitely. I’d like to have stuff out by early-2012.
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