Making a name for themselves with an album that took their career by the horns, Long Island Rockers, Bayside, continue to forge a successful career that makes it hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the release of their third studio album, ‘The Walking Wounded’. Touring with headline names around the world and making their way to the the top of the roster with tracks such as “Duality”, “I and I”, and “Head on a Plate”, Bayside is back and gearing up to hit the stage to sprout emo nostalgia in the veins of diehard fans. In honor of ‘The Walking Wounded 10 Year Anniversary Tour’, I caught up with bassist, Nick Ghanbarian, to discuss the album that created the buzz around the band, dreams of grabbing a drink with Brandon Flowers, tattoos and more.
You guys are gearing up to head out on your ‘The Walking Wounded 10 Year Anniversary’ tour. Tell us the personal meaning behind the album and what is means to you.
The whole time period of 2005-2007 was certainly a turning point for us. After our accident that took the life of our drummer, John, and seriously injured me, we had a lot to consider. We decided to continue on with the band and from that decision came the choice to add Chris as our permanent drummer and we’ve had the same line up ever since 2006. The Walking Wounded was the first album we worked on together and I think it set the course for the rest of our career.
Let’s take it back to 2007. How did the band approach the writing of ‘The Walking Wounded’? Did everyone contribute and how much work was done individually?
I think we were still pre- digital age recording so we still really sat in a rehearsal spot for 8+ hours a day hashing out songs. Anthony is the main songwriter and back then we just jammed on his ideas until we were all happy with what we had written.
“Duality” is a track that has made its mark as one of the most influential and dynamic tracks at a time in which Emo/Punk Rock was at its peak. What changes have you come across within the music industry that have aided in the creative process when creating a new track?
We’ve gone through many iterations of the music industry since we started in 2000. I’d like to say we have survived them all and grown as a band no matter what was going on. I can’t say that any changes in the industry have really helped or hindered us, really the biggest change for us is that our fans are getting older. We are starting to see that it’s not so easy for our fans to come out and see us on a weeknight when they have families at home or work early in the morning. As far as technology goes, for sure being able to email song files digitally has made writing remotely a way easier task. Half the band lives in Nashville and the other half in California but we are still able to hash out ideas with today’s technology.
Your latest and seventh studio album, ‘Vacancy’, was a total hit amongst fans and critics. What are some tips that you have for up and coming artists pertaining to remaining creative and expanding your horizons as a band?
I think for us, expanding our horizons has to always come with the caveat that we will not change our sound. We like to push ourselves to become better songwriters and musicians but expand upon what we have already created. I think it’s way easier for a band to experiment with a new sound as opposed to trying to get more creative with the sound they have created. I’d like to see more bands stick to their guns and just master their craft more.
You guys are all heavily tattooed. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the artists that you collaborated with to bring the tattoos to life.
A lot of my more recent tattoos have become my favorites. Drew Linden did my Jenny Lewis “rabbit fur coat” tattoo. Brandon Swanson did my Liz Lemon tattoo. Gus Jaimes did my E.C.F.U. tattoo. Steve Zimovan did my Jaguar shark. I’m 37 years old and am starting to feel the itch to get more tattoos all of a sudden.
Do you guys keep up with any podcasts? If so, which have been some of your favorites that you would recommend to our readers?
I spend a lot of time in my car so I listen to a bunch of podcasts. Lately, I like to listen to Pod Save America, Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know and of course WTF with Marc Maron. I’m a big New York Rangers fan so during the season, I like to listen to Blueshirt Underground for a real good critical yet funny take on my team.
Tell us about some of the most standout and creative Bayside fans tattoos that you have seen over the years.
I love when people add color to our bird logo, those always show the most creativity. I’ve seen a few one armed boxer tattoos that I absolutely love also.
Photo Credit: Liz Peterson Photo
If you could grab a drink with any musician/band either dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Brandon Flowers of The Killers. They’re one of my favorite bands that I consider larger than life. We’ve been fortunate enough to tour with a lot of my favorite bands like Bad Religion and The Bouncing Souls, in a way I feel lucky to be in the same scene as them. The Killers, however, are a massive entity and they’ve written some of the best songs in the last two decades. I’d love to be able to sit and chat with Brandon.
What are some of the absolute tour essentials that you bring with you on the road?
I need headphones on me at all times. For whatever reason, the older I get I really need to be able to tune out the world and headphones help. Chris and I have been bringing our bikes on the road with us for the last few years, it really helps to have your own transportation when on tour; we get to see so much more of each city. Chris and I were so inspired by riding around trying to find good coffee that we started a coffee roasting business called Legal Speed. We came up with the idea for it while riding around in North Carolina last summer.
Photo Credit: Liz Bates Photography
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Well, a huge thanks is in order for sure. We’ve been a band for close to 20 years and thanks for appreciating our hard work and sticking with us. See you on the road!