After being a player in the music industry for more than a decade, Bayside have one of the most dedicated fanbases in rock. After a slew of successful albums throughout their years, they can now add another one to their list. Their latest album Cult is an homage to their devoted fans, and has been described as a Bayside discography. With it’s turbocharged rhythms and blistering guitar work, this is as ‘Bayside’ as Bayside gets.
Bassist Nick Ghanbarian took some time out to answer Renowned For Sound’s questions about Cult and how Bayside manages to keep things fresh after more than 10 years.
Melissa Redman: How are you and where does this interview find you?
Nick Ghanbarian: Doing well today, just gearing up to leave for tour in a week. I am currently at home on Long Island. Today it snowed, rained and is now beautiful and sunny out, global warming rules!
MR: Can you talk me through how the band came together?
NG: Well the current lineup came together in 2006 just through mutual friends. I joined the band in 2004 while i was working as the Mens Department Manager at Urban Outfitters and Anthony worked at the store during some time off from the band. One day he need a bass player to join the band and i took the chance. A few years later Chris joined just through meeting him from some friends around Long Island.
MR: You have been together for 13 years now; do you ever get fed up with one another and how does each of you get space from the close working quarters of a band?
NG: Because we have been a band so long we know how to deal with being around each other for extended periods of time. We’ve had plenty of disagreements over the years but we love each other and get through it and learn to respect each other. It’s a lot like having multiple marriages that you have to keep afloat.
MR: You’ve had many different members come and go in the band. How goes losing/gaining a member change the dynamics of Bayside?
NG: The early years the members came and went but we didnt really find our sound until we started releasing full length albums with consistent members. Anthony has always been the constant song writer so that helps keep our sound intact.
MR: Does this make a difference to your music, do you think?
NG: It hasn’t in a long time, we know what we want to sound like and what we want to achieve with our music. We have built a sound and fanbase over the years and we keep them in mind when writing.
MR: Tell me about your new album Cult. What are the main differences between this album and previous records?
NG: I think the lyrics are the biggest difference. We’ve all grown as adults in the past few years and are just starting to think and wonder about different aspects of life. It’s not all about failed relationships anymore, some of the lyrics are about our surroundings and learning from different situations. Musically we just always try to grow and get better as musicians and songwriters but stay within the sound we have created for ourselves.
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MR: Of your six albums, which one would you say is your favourite and for what reasons?
NG: I really enjoyed working on Killing Time alot. It was our first time really getting critical of ourselves and our songs and I think that album came out great, it was a blast to work with Gil Norton also. However my favorite album is always going to be the newest one, it always just seems so fresh and exciting to play new songs.
MR: Where do you find the inspiration to keep coming up with fresh and original music?
NG: It’s really the will to just keep going and doing what we love for a living. It’s not a certain sound or another band that inspires us. At this point in our lives just continuing to do what we do is an accomplishment and is plenty inspiration.
MR: Do you feel that the music industry is much more competitive today than when you first started, or is it easier now that you’ve created a name for yourself?
NG: It’s easier now and less competitive because we have carved out a little place for ourselves in the music landscape. If we were just starting out, then yes its super competitive. We made our way through a very strange time in the music industry, it hasn’t been easy but we made it to album number 6 and we’re bigger and better than ever.
MR: Do you think there is a particular reason as to why Bayside has been so successful and has managed to continue for 13 years now?
NG: We just have always stayed true to ourselves and made the decisions necessary to always do the next album or do the next tour. Our fans are very important to us, so the fact that they have stuck with us along the way and that we gain more and more every day really helps us to continue on.
MR: Can you tell me a bit about your webisodes and the idea behind them?
NG: The webisodes were just a cool way to focus on each member of the band and show the process of making the new album. We are just 4 normal dudes who work hard and getting to see any behind the scenes of our everyday life while making the album was a cool angle for us to show.
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MR: What has been your craziest fan encounter?
NG: Nothing in particular, but it’s always a little awkward if someone meets you and begins to cry as if they were meeting Michael Jackson.
MR: You guys are about to head off on your Great American Cult Tour. What can fans expect from these shows?
NG: I know we are going to wind up playing a ton of songs, a lot of new songs and a lot of classic songs. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities over the past 2-3 years to play long sets so that will be a treat for both us and the fans.
MR: What is your favourite song to play live?
NG: Right now an older song called A Call To Arms is fun to play. It never really made it into our setlist until recently and its about 4 years old now.
Bayside brand new studio album Cult is out now.