Bayside's new album, 'Killing Time,' out this week
Bayside singer-guitarist Anthony Raneri is pretty open about the secret to his band's success. They work hard.
"I didn't grow up with rich parents," Raneri says. "I'm just a kid from Queens who loved music and just went out and did it. The amount of success we've had is insane. But we believe that anybody can do anything. You just keep working until you get it."
The Bayside work ethic has resulted in thousands of concerts and nearly nonstop rushing over the past 10 years. When they weren't on the road, they were in the recording studio hammering out a new album that would set them on the road again - except for last year.
After signing with Wind-Up Records, the label behind Creed, Evanescence and Civil Twilight, Bayside decided to completely focus on their debut for the label, "Killing Time," which arrives in stores Tuesday.
"We took a year off the road for the album," bassist Nick Ghanbarian says. "The writing process was the same, but we had nothing but time to work on the songs. We haven't necessarily had the time in the past to critique ourselves and think about it. We're really happy with how it turned out. It's everything we like about our band and a good representation of what we are now."
"Killing Time," written completely at the band's rehearsal space in Lindenhurst, is a mix of hard-hitting rock and catchy pop melodies, the same kind of combination that famed producer Gil Norton has coaxed out of The Pixies, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional. The first single, "Sick, Sick, Sick," packs the same punch as fan favorites like "Devotion and Desire" or "Guardrail" with a bit more polish.
"We wanted to make sure it was still us and still aggressive," Raneri says. "When we signed with Wind-Up, we knew we were going to get our first radio push, our first push into the commercial mainstream. But we knew that if we were going to go this route, we wanted to consciously remain us."
For its part, Wind-Up Records wants Bayside - Raneri, Ghanbarian, guitarist Jack O'Shea and drummer Chris Guglielmo - to remain Bayside, as well. "They are real artists - it's just that their music never got heard," says Wind-Up Records president Ed Vetri. "People will hear it this time."
Vetri, who lives in Huntington and first saw the band when his son asked to go to a Looney Tunes in-store appearance years ago, says that the label's main plan is to introduce Bayside's music to new audiences, since generally the band wins over whoever hears its music.
"They already have a rabid fan base," Vetri says. "We just want it to be bigger and wider. . . . They could be as successful as Green Day. These guys deserve a gold record."
Wind-Up is in the midst of launching a national radio strategy for "Killing Time" and planning to pair Bayside up with other rock acts to emphasize the band's potent live show. Bayside is already set to co-headline this year's Take Action Tour with Silverstein starting in April and will look for an opening slot on a major tour this summer.
The label is also looking at introducing the band internationally - which explains why Bayside wrapped up its European tour last week and will be off to Australia later this week.
"We're just going to keep doing what we do," Raneri says. "We play shows."
However, the band's celebration of its 10th anniversary last month at the jam-packed Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, marked the end of one chapter in its career and the start of a new one.
After years of being a headliner at medium-sized venues, they are ready to spend some time as the opening act at some larger ones.
"We're back in support band mode," Ghanbarian says. "We're out to make new fans at this point. We want to keep the ball rolling, no matter what the means."
That means Bayside will return to what it does best: Working hard.
"I do have to say," Ghanbarian says, "it felt unnatural to be at home for that long. We're back in the swing of things now."
They are looking forward to a 2011 filled with touring, both as an opening act and a headliner, and pushing themselves to the next level.
"We're not ones to shy away from work," Ghanbarian says. "We worked hard for a long time just so that we can work hard again. That's fine by us."
WHEN | WHERE: Bayside plays Looney Tunes, 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, at 6 p.m. Monday. It's $10.99 for the new CD and entrance to the show and autograph signing; call 631-587-7722 or visit looneytunescds.com for more information.
Hey, Mr. Producer
Bayside's Anthony Raneri says he distinctly remembers the first time he wanted to work with producer Gil Norton - right after he heard the Foo Fighters' "The Colour and the Shape."
"I remember being in the van listening to it and looking at the liner notes and telling the band, 'One day, Gil Norton's going to produce our record,' " Raneri recalls. "To have that happen now, that's pretty insane."
Why is the British producer such a big deal? Here's a look at some of his work:
ALBUMS: "Doolittle," "Bossanova," "Trompe le Monde"
THE STORY: The Pixies had a promising debut with "Surfer Rosa," but it was "Doolittle," where Norton's production polished the band's poppy side and sharpened its edges, that helped its breakthrough.
BEST KNOWN FOR: "Here Comes Your Man," "Debaser," "Monkey Gone to Heaven"
Echo & the Bunnymen
ALBUM: "Echo & the Bunnymen"
THE STORY: Though Echo & the Bunnymen had been huge stars in their native England, "Echo & the Bunnymen" was the band's biggest American hit, thanks, in part, to Norton's enhancing of the band's grand sound.
BEST KNOWN FOR: "Lips Like Sugar," "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo"
ALBUM: "A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar"
THE STORY: Chris Carrabba's Dashboard Confessional had grown into an emo phenomenon, but when he made the leap to a major label, Norton was entrusted as his guide, taming Carrabba's wilder tendencies and bringing out his catchier side.
BEST KNOWN FOR: "Hands Down," "As Lovers Go" and the non-album cut "Vindicated"