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Bayside - Getting to know Jack&co.
A while ago I received the new album from the NYC-based rock band Bayside. I was quite surprised by their album and when I got asked if I wanted to interview the band I didn’t have to think twice. I set up a small interview for the band and lead guitarist Jack was kind enough to take some time off to answer the questions. Here’s the result:
 
Please introduce yourself and tell something about your band?
I'm Jack and I play lead guitar and sing backup for Bayside. We're a 4 piece rock band from New York City that is best known for the honesty in lyrics and harmonized guitar work.
 
I think it’s quite hard to put your band in one genre but if you have to give it a name, what genre do you think Bayside plays?
We just like to say that we're a rock band and eliminate all other genres. We've ben called punk, emo, rock, and even metal. I think that there are elements of all this but I really just consider us a rock band.
 
You released two albums right now, are there any big differences between these two albums considering the bands style. Please explain them?
Well for one thing we have a much stronger rhythm section on this record. On Sirens, I came into the band where more than half the record was written already. I still wrote my parts for the existing songs, but it was a hell of a lot nicer to have all the members of the band together to work on all the material together from beginning to end. Also the interpersonal dynamics are much better with this line-up and I think that comes through in the new record.
 
Is it in  your roots to change styles all the time anyway, or do you kinda stuck to one style and just develop that one?
We're looking to develop for sure, but we want to make sure that the music we put out will be accessible for our fans. We have to make sure that the changes are noticeable but subtle too.
 
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About the new album, it released about a month ago, how are the reactions so far? Did you expect it to be like this?
We've had great response so far both through reviews as well as how we're being received on stage. We feel very good about everything. We knew that it was a solid record, but you never know how anything will go over until it does.
 
What are the main influences for the lyrics? I mean, they’re so personal and there’s so much misery in them I can only hope that it’s not based on one life only.
Anthony really pulled a lot from his own personal experiences on this one. He believes that being honest and really putting himself out lyrically will gain the respect of people who can relate to the messages and from what we've seen we all know this to be true.
 
There’s also some humorous pieces in the lyrics, is that a well-considered choice or does is just kinda ‘grows’ into the song?
With plenty of sunlight and water, they grow into humorous pieces (I just asked Ant, and he kinda shrugged and said he wasn’t sure).
 
If you had to pick one favourite song of the album, which one would that be and why this song?
My favourite is ‘Half A Life’, because of the solo at the end. I wrote that on the fly and it came out being my favourite stuff I've ever recorded. I also love the lyrics.
 
In the review I described the cover artwork of the album as quite dull because there’s just so much white in it. What’s your opinion about that? Can you please explain the choice for the cover artwork?
We wanted a really sterile layout so as not to distract from the content of the record. The all white makes it stand out a bit more too I think.
 
When can we expect Bayside to come over to Europe?
We're heading over to the UK in a few weeks, and we sincerely hope to be in mainland Europe ASAP!!! Hopefully this coming year (2006).
 
If you had the opportunity to pick two supporting bands for this tour, which bands would you choose? Why?
Right now I would love to go back on tour with The Junior Varsity and Emanuel. We've done a short tour with The Junior Varsity and they are great guys, and the new record ‘Wide Eyed’ is amazing. I'd pick Emanuel because I like the music a lot. Kind of like Glassjaw and Guns & Roses rolled together...
 
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What’s the most exciting place you ever played or still want to play in your life? Why?
I love playing in Las Vegas, just because there’s so much to do after the show. Normally almost everything is closing when we're done packing up but the night is always young in Vegas, even in the morning. I'm dying to get over to Europe though. I've been to a few places there, but I need to see the rest. Especially the Netherlands, for reasons that my band will make fun of me for.
 
Any goals you’d definitely like to achieve with Bayside?
My main goal is to make Bayside a job that I can fully support myself with. We're starting to become more stable financially and that is a dream come true. I love the fact that playing guitar is my job. It's my favourite thing to do.
 
Ok, that was actually my final question, anything left to say to the readers of Metalrage.com?
Thanks for the support, and keep your eyes open for us coming over there soon! You can see our website : www.baysiderocks.com and be sure to go get our new self titled album in stores now!!!!!
 
Thanks goes out to Jack and Mike de Coene for their time!