Interview with Bayside: Write. Record. Tour. Repeat.

Bayside (Lisa Johnson)To say Bayside has been through a lot over the course of their eight years as a band is a drastic understatement. Those that know anything about music are aware that Bayside has suffered one of the greatest hardships any band could ever possibly endure —the tragic loss of one of their own, drummer John “Beatz” Holohan three years ago. When some bands would have packed it in, Bayside persevered. September saw the guys release two albums on the same day. The studio album, Shudder, and their first live album, Live At The Bayside Social Club, were both released on Sept.30. The band is currently out on the road with a line-up that’s been playing together for over two years now. If you haven’t seen these guys live, you’ll get your chance in the coming year because according to bassist Nick Ghanbarian, who talked to me from a venue in grand ole Tulsa, Oklahoma, the band plans to be on the road for the next 12 months—at least.

How does the new album differ from The Walking Wounded?

I think that we’re always going to sound the way we sound, but our influences this time really were what we listened to when we were younger. We went back and listened to the first couple records that all got us into music. It was all kind of similar styles like West Coast punk stuff like NOFX, Bad Religion, Lagwagon, etc. Our new stuff doesn’t necessarily sound like that, but we just wanted to figure out what we liked when we were young and why we liked it.

The main thing was just the energy behind the music and kind of the social commentary. Although the new songs don’t necessarily sound like Lagwagon, they’re definitely influenced by that whole genre and that whole time when we were all youngsters back in 1995.

So you just put out the new album and now you’re touring with The Matches, Valencia, and The Status in support of it. What’s the best part of being in a band for you? Is it writing a new album or playing it live for kids for the first time?

I think the best part of it is playing live. It’s always been about playing onstage and meeting kids before and after the show. That’s always been my favorite part. I think that, for me, just being in a band and having some kind of positive impact on anyone’s life is just the best part. I’m glad that I can pay rent and pay bills and also do that, you know? If any more money comes any of our way we’ll certainly be happy, but at the same time our main goal is just to have a good, positive impact on society.

I totally get that! So many people are miserable every single day doing the 9-to-5 deal, so to be able to make a living doing something that you love, well that’s all we can ask for in life.

Absolutely and I wish that for anyone. It’s hard to always follow your dreams for an extended period of time, but it might make you happier. You might have less belongings at the end of the day, but you’re doing what you want and you feel good about it. It depends on what drives you in life, you know. If it’s the sweet TVs then you have to get a better job, but if it’s to have a good impact and help people and be a good person, well that’s pretty easy, too.