If there’s one thing to be said about NYC’s BAYSIDE, it’s that they are fiercely true to themselves and to their art. In their 13 years as a band, they’ve weathered their ups and downs without changing who they are or their sound. With a new label, Hopeless Records, these four rock stalwarts are not only ready to continue their story but they’re ready to launch it with a brand new album entitled appropriately CULT due out on February 18, 2014. Numerous levels of preorder packages are available now at www.hopelessrecords.com/Bayside.
“Something that we have learned over the years is that your label should be your partner,” says vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri, about their label philosophy. “A proper label relationship should look similar to the one you have with your manager or even your bandmates. If you go into it with the attitude of ‘what will you do for me and how much money will you give and spend on me?’, your label will only care about what you will do for them and how much money you will make for them.” Now on seminal indie label Hopeless Records (All Time Low, Yellowcard, The Wonder Years), the band is excited for this next step. “From the beginning, we could tell Hopeless were in sync with us on a personal and business level,” he continues. “Our conversations have always been like a group of friends discussing how to achieve a common goal.”
Their first order of business was to record a new album. In doing so, they recruited Shep Goodman (who had worked with the band previously on their self-titled and Walking Wounded albums) and Aaron Accetta (Four Year Strong, He Is We) to produce the abum. With their trademark sound intact and embracing their past as strongly as their future, CULT is the sound of a band re-energized and raring to go. Borne from an emotionally tumultuous year that saw both extremes of tragedy and joy, CULT is a very personal record. “The year that we spent making this record was both the most difficult and most exciting time of my life,” Anthony recalls. “I lost my grandfather, stepfather and stepbrother in a four month span during the making of this record. As a counterbalance, I also got married, had my first child, and built my first home. The whole year was an example of how hard and wonderful life can be, and how quickly your world can change.”
While the events that unfolded in their personal lives could have tinted the album with a melancholic pall, CULT is anything but melancholic (“the record just flowed that way. We weren’t in a very mellow mood I guess”)… and their hard work and intense labor shows. From the anthemic opening track “Big Cheese” to the seething first released track “Pigsty” to the introspective“Something’s Wrong”, CULT shows the band at their ultimate best. Clocking in at a frenetic and breakneck punk pace, the album sears with Jack O’Shea’s blistering guitarwork, Nick Ghanbarian’s thumping basslines, and Chris Guglielmo’s muscular drumming, while anchored by Anthony’s unique vocals and rhythm guitar. “We worked incredibly hard on this record,” he explains. “We wrote and re-wrote songs over and over. Jack was re-writing solos three and four times. I was fine tuning lyrics in the vocal booth making sure they were perfect. All four of us lost a lot of sleep over every decision that we made on this record. This is really our opus. We labored over this record more than ever before.”
Formed in 2000 in Queens, NY, Bayside has previously released five studio albums (2004’s Sirens and Condolences, 2005’s Bayside, 2007’s The Walking Wounded, 2008’s Shudder, 2011’s Killing Time) and numerous EPs and a live album (2008’s Live at the Bayside Social Club). They band has toured the world and played on multiple Vans Warped Tours. With the release of CULT, the breadth of their history seems to have culminated in this sixth studio album. “CULT, in a way, is the Bayside discography without using any old songs,” he says rather elliptically. “To me, it is every characteristic of every Bayside record all mashed in to one. It is the earnestness of Sirens, the riskiness and creativity of our self titled record and Walking Wounded, the quirkiness ofShudder and the experienced solid songwriting and aggression of Killing Time.”
All-in-all though, the band has never lost sight of why they are a band. “I think that Bayside is exactly what Bayside is supposed to be,” Anthony explains. “For years, we haven’t tried to reinvent ourselves or define ourselves.. All that we try to do is get better at being Bayside.”
Bayside is Anthony Raneri (guitars/vocals), Jack O’Shea (guitar), Christopher J. Guglielmo (drums) andNick Ghanbarian (bass). CULT was produced by Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta and will be released onFebruary 18, 2014 via Hopeless Records.