POZ Interview: Bayside
PropertyOfZack had the change to speak with our good friend Nick Ghanbarian of Bayside at end of the band’s run with Taking Back Sunday for a great interview. Nick and I discussed the importance of the TBS tour for Bayside, the Killing Time cycle, plans for writing and recording new music, record label shopping, and much more. Check it all out below!
The Tell All Your Friends ten year tour is at its close. Has it been great?
We’ve never really been a part of any tour like this where shows sold out in minutes and hours. Our first day of this tour being on sale, two New York shows, a Philadelphia show, and a New Jersey show all sold out. We’d never been a part of something like this and it’s been awesome to be a part of this. It’s been mind blowing. It’s something I can never get used to. It hasn’t happened directly for us. But The Killers sold out Madison Square Garden in eight minutes; I don’t know if someone could ever get used to that. It’s exciting and humbling for sure.
Bayside weren’t planning on doing a fall tour, right?
Our plans for all of 2012 were only Warped Tour, as far as touring goes. We were going to be writing and recording by the New Year, but this came up. We’ve wanted to tour with TBS forever and we never really make it work. First because of the relation between them and Victory and us and Victory. They didn’t want to bring out Victory bands while we were still on Victory. Since then, it didn’t really work. They went through a lineup change. Our last albums came out in a similar timeframe, but it didn’t add up until we did Warped Tour together. We did three holiday shows with them last year, and that was our first venture with them. This came up, and we couldn’t be more happy. By the time the tour is over, everything will have been 95% sold out. There were only a handful that didn’t sell out, which is insane.
The Killing Time cycle is over now. Between a few headlining tours, Warped, and this run, does the band feel happy with the push of the record?
This is the best tour we’ve done and it happened at the end of the cycle. I’m sure some things would’ve been better for us if this was at the beginning, but we toured with our buddies in Silverstein when the album came out. We did the Saves The Day tour a year ago too. Since the album came out, we’ve done five tours. We swore we’d slow down. For us, we kind of did. Thankfully people aren’t stopping coming, but people have said this is their eighteenth time seeing us. People don’t see Rolling Stones eighteen times in 50 years. This is in eight years. It’s because we’ve played that many times. It’s cool for me that it doesn’t get old for people. We have no reason to think that or our sales are slipping. The support is always great and exciting.
The covers EP was released before this tour, and it went over really well.
It was very spur of the moment. We parted ways with Wind-Up before Warped and we recorded “Wild Night” and “Runaway.” That was it at that point. We were going to do a merch and covers bundle. Over Warped, and when we took the TBS tour, we knew the next record was pushed back even further. We decided to make it a release to tide people over with. We picked the other three songs and did it. Everything in total, between practicing and recording, took no time at all. We had three weeks in between finishing and releasing the recordings. We did it all ourselves. There was no middle man to hold us back or hold us up. We made it all happen on time. We took the pre-orders while the CD was physically being made. That could’ve been a huge problem, but it all worked out. It’s fun and it’s something that hopefully we get to do on our own all the time. We’re label-less and are looking for a label, but it would be cool to get to do this even if we sign.
It’s been a solid six months of touring. Will writing start after the holidays?
Probably before that. Realistically, in the New Year though. We’re ready to get into it. We took a long time to do Killing Time. It was the longest we’d ever gone and it really helped us a lot. It was the exact opposite of Shudder. We wrote it in a month and recorded it the next month. There’s something to be said to that, but there are a lot of things we could have done better with. I don’t think our fans treat that album in the same way as our others. Killing Time was immediately a crowd pleaser, which made us happy.
Is there any kind of timeline?
I know for our own mental, financial, and fan sake that the sooner the better. I’d say the earliest is the summer, but we’ll see. I don’t want to be in a position where our label doesn’t put our album out immediately. Wind-Up did that and it bummed us out. Our album was done in August and didn’t come out until February for no reason at all, as far as we’re concerned. We had that tour with Senses Fail two years ago and that was supposed to be our record release tour. We both were going to have new records, but they pushed it to February.
Bayside had more money to spend last time with the label. Do you think you’ll want to sign before the studio?
Definitely. We can’t emphasize how DIY we are in terms of how we’re spending our funds. I know it’s probably not different for other bands, but we don’t rely on a signing advance to have money in our accounts or something. Straight up, every bill I play comes from shows and merch. When money does come from something else, which is few and far between, it comes as a bonus to me. Signing to a label and all that stuff, it’s necessary for us because we want to still grow. You can do things on your own these days, but it may come off as settling a little bit. It’s better to have a label behind you.
Would you like to record in the spring?
That’d be a good timeframe. We’ll see. We’ve got to start hammering out what label is going to be best for us. In a perfect world, we’ll go back with Gil again. He was the best we’ve ever worked with and put our best foot forward with him. It’d be great to have that again. Maybe do it in a different state. We did it in Woodstock and Hoboken. It’d be cool to go to California. Your surroundings to reflect on the album. That’s why Shudder sounds happy to me; we were all in California under the sun. In a perfect world, we hope that’s an option.
Like you said, it’s not that you want to tour less as Bayside gets older, but you want to be smart so fans don’t see you 20 times in a eight years. This will be your sixth album as well.
It’s been a long time. We’re very realistic when it comes to things. We have no reason to think that things are slowing down, but we’re very mindful of our music careers and we want to keep going. We love doing it. A lot of bands come and go because of the financial reality behind it as you grow older. That becomes a reason, if anything, to stop doing it. But we’re determined to not get to that point. We have no reason to think that’s coming. A tour like this, we’re playing in front of a 1000-plus people every night. At the least, three-quarters of them are hearing or seeing us for the first time. That’s the best thing we do: play. The songs and albums are a means to tour and get on stage. It’s great to play in front of new people. There have been times on this tour where we’re two or three songs in where I know if we relax we’ll lose the crowd. That’s a great feeling. I’m 32 years old and we’ve been a band for 12 years and I still have to work harder on stage to win people over. I wish we had those opportunities every year. A tour like this is very cool.
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