By paul

“I’ve always seen selling out as changing who you are and what you do. We just don’t do that.”
Just a few days ago, Anthony Raneri posted on his band’s website a bitter rant about accusations of bands becoming sellouts. Directed primarily at the Internet community, it’s something the band have had to begin to deal with themselves.
“It’s definitely something we’re starting to hear now. We’ve been touring for seven years and for the first time we’re starting to hear people say Bayside are sellouts. It’s crazy. I could rant about it for hours. It’s a lot easier to look at it when you consider bands like MCR or Fall Out Boy because those bands are just so enormous. Everybody just thinks that when you get famous, that’s what being a sellout is. That’s just not the case – those bands are the same bands they always were, and so are we.”
Tonight is the first show on Bayside‘s headlining tour, and ultimately the first time they’ve played top of the bill at all in the UK. So how does the first show of any tour measure up for these four guys from Queens, New York?
“You know in England, we always have to rent equipment. The first show, we always have to take some time with these amps that we’ve never even seen before, and test the waters as it were and a lot of preparing stuff goes on. It’s been cool so far. We’ve got Moneen out here with us, which is great. We have the same booking agent here, and they’re pretty local to us, so it’s good to have some people in the same boat as we are, it makes us more comfortable.”
It seems that over the past few months, Bayside‘s popularity has skyrocketed with the release of ‘The Walking Wounded’, and the band really are on the cusp of bigger things. Ant begs to differ.
“We don’t really pay attention that. The popularity of our band hasn’t really sunk in yet. Maybe if we ever do ‘make it’ then it’ll all sink in, but we’re never paying attention to whether we’re on the cusp of success or anything. We’re still just enjoying things as a band.”
A grounded man then, it would seem that Raneri is. You’d be forgiven for expecting him to be arrogant and overly content with his career, as it’s been a long and turbulent road for Bayside to reach the point they’re currently at. Back in 2005 they sadly lost their drummer, John ‘Beatz’ Holohan in a tragic van accident while they were touring the US. While Anthony doesn’t reference the incident directly, he does suggest that the new album is lyrically influenced by the event.
“The new album is all about strength and moving on from bad things. We’ve been through a lot the past few years, and we wanted to show how strong we have become as a band. We’ve always had people tell us that our lyrics help them out a lot, and I think when we went through these events we had to think about it intellectually. We wanted to step up to the challenge, rather than write a depressing, sulking record about what happened. It’s not going to help anybody, least of all us. We just want to inspire people.”
So Bayside appear to be a band looking to the future rather than backwards. Which brings us to the band’s touring schedule for 2007. After finishing up in Europe, they head out on the infamous Warped Tour in America, playing every date on the itinerary. Before he parts to begin sound-checks for tonight’s show, Ant is eager to explain to me what the tour is like, seeing as in the UK we’ve never had anything of that magnitude.
“The Warped Tour is just crazy. I suppose the closest thing you guys have is Reading, were there’s this big field and all these different stages where you have a line-up of some phenomenal bands. It really is an amazing experience. I’m so stoked to be in it this year because I can’t wait to see Bad Religion! I saw those guys on warped in 1998, and it really is amazing to be playing on the same bill as them this year”.

Andy R

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]