Herb Maximo

Broadside Talks Creating Dynamics & Wanting to Stay Alive

From coming up through the Warped scene to touring post-pandemic, this is a band with layers… and all of them are heard on their latest record.

Listening to a Broadside album for the first time is a magical moment. It’s the kind of pop punk that is so unique and original, no one besides themselves can really do it. Every record has its own sound and every iteration of the band showcases their musical talents. This time around, the band is rolling out their fourth studio album, the brand new Hotel Bleu

Hotel Bleu sees the band venturing into a new soundscape – one that is still all their own, though. Now, the band has more computer driven elements than ever before, but don’t worry about that, either, as they still have their classic punk sound as the foundation sitting underneath everything. Longtime fans of the bands will certainly be pleased and we could also see a plethora of new fans entering the scene with this one, as well. 

We had the incredible chance to talk with Braodside’s frontman, Ollie Baxxter, to discuss everything about the new record and so much more. Check it out!

With Hotel Bleu here, what are you most excited about in terms of it’s release?

I’m most excited to share the progress of the band. I feel as if we’ve tried to improve the overall quality of the band with this album.

2020’s Into the Raging Sea had a lot of aggression never before heard from this band. This new record also ventures into uncharted territories – this time with pop sensibilities on songs like “Cruel,” “Liquid,” and “Don’t Lose Faith.”  How do you push yourself forward on each record?

In truth, I’m a crazy person. My mom says I’m eclectic, but I can’t make my mind up. Some of my favorite bands don’t make sense on paper, but they’re fantastic songwriters. I want to be one of those bands that releases a good album. Consistency, to me, is a desired end goal. For a while, I let the goal/idea of making a bunch of money drive me; the money never came and now I just want people to hear one of my songs and go, “Damn, he really tried.”

This is also your first album with features. Tell me about choosing to add guest vocals on certain songs.

I wanted to have a range of dynamics on this record. I recorded all the songs, wrote all the lyrics, and sent off each track to the individual artists. Luckily, they were all friends and agreed to do so. The bonus is that they each have some of my favorite-sounding voices in the upcoming scene.

I’ve noticed on every record you’ve made that it has a title track. How do you choose the song that captures the aesthetic of the entire record cycle?

I like to be honest with who I am, or, at least, who I’m actively trying to be. The title track is me in the current state.

  1. “Old Bones” is how I lost my only real job and “ran into the setting sun.” It [talks about] touring on the road.
  2. “Paradise” was moving to LA and chasing your dreams, “lighting a fire,” etc. It was some more self belief.
  3. “Into the Raging Sea” – I just got off a label, lost close friends, and felt as if I was drowning.
  4. And “Bleu,” was me realizing that the only person that matters is those who want to make you stay alive in the first place.

One of the most unique songs on the new album is “How To Love, How To Lie.” It has a massive arena rock sound. Could you tell me how the songwriting process started? What component came to you first on this one?

My favorite song on the album! My all-time favorite band is The Cure. If I had another life I would just be in a Cure-sounding band. I took elements from their discography and tried to tribute to it with the guitar tones, cadence, and other nods to the imagery, etc. The entire goal of this album is to “make bigger songs, to play bigger rooms.” I’m really happy knowing I will have written a song like that in this lifetime.

The process was simple – I just wrote all the lyrics upfront and added in the spooky elements afterwards with the band once we got into the studio.

You’re currently on tour with This Wild Life. Tell me how the tour is going, and, also, how was performing the blink-182 cover, “I Miss You,” on their new album?

I love them. They are incredibly hardworking and, beyond that, kind. There is so much ego in the scene and it’s nice to just go on tour with a band that wants it as bad as you do without feeling like anyone is stepping on toes to get there.

Performing the cover is awesome, too, because everyone knows the lyrics! I like pointing the mic back at that crowd and telling em’ to give me all they got to one of their beloved childhood memories.

You did your first ever headlining tour last year in 2022. With a band of your size and that has been around as long as you have, why did you wait? Also, can we expect another headlining tour soon?

We waited because of a number of things; member changes, the fear of failure, and [more]. It ended up being a mistake as the buzz had kind of went away, but, also, it was still fresh after the pandemic. My ego will lend it to that, but truly it killed a piece of me if I’m being honest. I want to be someone’s favorite band, I really do. 

I’m hoping with the hype of the new record a headlining opportunity will present itself.

Broadside also came up during the 2014/2015 boom of the pop punk scene. As one of the leading voices from this very unique area, what can you tell us about the era looking back now?

I’m just happy I never tried to sound like another band. There were so many good ones and a lot of successful ones, but I just wanted to do it our way. I’m grateful to have had Warped and I’ll forever be grateful to have experienced that wave of pop punk.