In the year 2000, in the bustling streets of New York City, an emo-leaning punk rock band named Bayside was formed. 20 years later, after the release of eight fantastic albums and thousands of shows played all across the world, the highly influential act is gearing up to celebrate their latest accomplishment in a major way.
Starting in late May, Anthony Raneri and Co. will be embarking on a massive 20-year tour (presented by The Noise and Violent Gentlemen) with their friends Senses Fail, Hawthorne Heights and Can’t Swim.
As you can imagine, the band is eager to get things started.
“Everybody on the tour, we go way back with,” says Raneri. “Senses Fail, we’ve toured with – not including Warped Tour – we’ve done like two or three club tours with them and we’ve done like two or three Warped Tours with them too. So we’ve spent a lot of time together. And Hawthorne Heights, we’ve toured with a ton of times. We were together at the inception of both of our bands. We really came up together. We went through a lot of stuff together. They’re like family to us. So it’s really the perfect package.”
To see Raneri dive into more about the band’s upcoming tour as well as their nostalgic Bayside Museum, be sure to check out our in-depth Q&A with the vocalist/guitarist below. Afterward, make sure to grab tickets to see Bayside out on tour here.
Before we get into the tour, we hear you’re a big baseball fan?
ANTHONY RANERI: Yeah, I’m a huge baseball fan.
Well then, what are your thoughts on the upcoming season with the Astros’ cheating scandal and everything else going on?
I’m excited. I don’t think the [Astros’] punishment was harsh enough because they’re still the favorites in their division. Like, they’re probably still gonna win their division. So what kind of punishment is that? That doesn’t even set them back at all, you know? So there’s that. But I also kind of think there’s going to be a lot of distractions and negativity around that team so I think that will be their punishment. I think that’s going to play a role in how they perform. But I’m a big Yankee fan, so I’m happy. We had a good offseason.
Getting Gerrit Cole to be your starting pitcher is never a bad thing.
Yeah, huge. I think the team looks good. It’s sort of an embarrassment of riches right now. We have some positions with more talent then there’s even room for so it’s pretty exciting.
Back to the Astros, how many times do you think they’ll be hit by pitches intentionally this season?
You know, I saw the Vegas odds said like 84 or 85 [times] or something like that, right?
Yep. Over/under 83.5.
I saw that and I was like, “okay, that’s ridiculous.” You know, that’s every other game. I can’t imagine it’s going to be that much but then watching spring training it’s happening like almost every game. So I’m like, “maybe that 80-something number isn’t that far off!” [laughs]
They kind of deserve it at this point but we’ll see how the players handle it.
Yeah, it just depends. I mean, obviously, nobody wants to see anybody get hurt over a game. So you know, we’ll see. I also think the MLB will put a stop to it before it gets too crazy. I think there will be a lot of people thrown out of games or suspended pretty quickly. Which is ironic if the punishment is harsher for that than it is for cheating [laughs]. But I’m sure that’s what’s going to happen. They have to protect people, you know?
Totally. Last baseball question: What is your World Series prediction for this year?
Yankees vs Dodgers. I think it’s the dream World Series for MLB, Fox, and everybody who stands to profit off a World Series that a lot of people will watch.
The ratings would be insane. But who would you pick to win it all? The Yankees?
I think so. I mean, I think it’ll be [close]. I think the Dodgers have looked good for years and they just got even better.
So diving into Bayside’s upcoming 20-year anniversary tour, what’s it been like for you personally getting ready to celebrate 20 years of the band? We’re sure it’s been kind of crazy looking at some of the old photos you guys have been sharing and whatnot.
Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of funny nostalgic stuff swirling around in our camp. It hasn’t all quite hit the public yet. Before all this sort of old nostalgia stuff hits [the internet], it’s hours of us going through old pictures and old video. We just got like a multi-terabyte drive of video from Victory, our old label, of like the making of our first couple records and some tour stuff from like 2004-2005. We’re starting to sift through that. It’s wild. I mean, I know it’s cliché but it really does just seem like yesterday as cliché as that sounds.
In regards to your guys’ setlist for this tour, will you be bringing out a few older songs?
With all of our shows, we try to make everybody as happy as much as we can – which is impossible to do but we try our best to keep everyone happy. So these shows are going to be pretty big and we definitely recognize that there will be a lot of people coming to the shows who just know the singles ‘cause that is sort of what happens. The bigger the show, the more likely there are going to be a lot of people who only know the bigger more popular songs. When we play smaller shows – like when we play the kind of underplay, more intimate stuff – it’s usually the real diehard fans who kind of get on it and get the tickets early. So that’s where we’re able to really stretch out the setlist and play the real kind of deeper stuff. So the bigger the show is, the more we have to lean towards the hits. With that said, we’re definitely going to have the deeper cuts in there and the older stuff in there. It’ll be a good combination of the hits, some deeper cuts and some stuff we never play. So a combination of trying to please the fans who probably haven’t seen us in 10 years and are going to come out because it’s a special event but also like the diehards that have been to 30-40 shows.
Another cool thing you guys are doing along with the show obviously is the Bayside Museum. Without giving too much away, what sparked the idea for that and what might people expect?
We just thought it would be fun. I mean, it’s nothing crazy really. We’re going through old memorabilia, old photos, artifacts and stuff like that. We’re just going to put a bunch, mostly just photos, with explanations and maybe little stories and we’re gonna hang them around the lobby of the venue and fans at the show can walk around the lobby and look at the pictures, read the stories, and kind of get a little added experience.
It must be pretty crazy for you guys to go through these things but it will be great for the fans to see and experience it firsthand as well.
Yeah, there’s so many – our first record came out in 2004 – so there’s so many fans that have been with us since then, even some that have been with us before that first record. So you know, it feels like just yesterday to us but I have to imagine it feels the same way for them too.
Another exciting thing about this tour is you guys are bringing out bands that have either been around for or close to that 20-year mark with Senses Fail and Hawthorne Heights. How great is it going to be to celebrate 20 years with people that you’ve known for a pretty long time?
Oh, it’s perfect. I mean, it’s really the perfect package for this. Senses Fail, we’ve toured with – not including Warped Tour – we’ve done like two or three club tours with them and we’ve done like two or three Warped Tours with them too. So we’ve spent a lot of time together.
Including your 15-year anniversary tour too.
Yep. And Hawthorne Heights, we’ve toured with a ton of times. We were together at the inception of both of our bands. We really came up together. We went through a lot of stuff together. They’re like family to us. So it’s really the perfect package. And even Can’t Swim, their manager is a good friend of ours. He actually used to work for us. He’s toured with us. So we go back with their manager. And Chris, the singer, we go back with him too. We’ve known him since his early bands. We used to play with some of his earlier bands before he started Can’t Swim. So yeah, everybody on the tour, we go way back with. It’s a perfect, perfect package for this.
Talking about all the history you have with all these bands and your own, when you look at this music scene over the past 20 years, what are some things that stand out to you the most nowadays?
The scene is certainly different than when we first started the band. It’s definitely different than it was when I was younger, even like before the band. I mean, it used to be that if a band who was compared to bands you liked came through town you went to the show. Like I went to so many shows when I was younger, bands I had never heard before, but I knew they were on the same label as a bunch of other bands that I liked. So you went to the show. Those were our social events. We would try to go to as many shows as possible. So you know, that’s changed. Definitely, the trends within the scene, the style of music has changed a lot through the years. But the one thing that’s really consistent is that the cream rises to the top and I think it always has and always will no matter what sort of like sub-genre is happening within this scene and whatever’s popular at the moment. There are bands that are sort of cashing in or just good enough to ride the trend and they’ll have their minute of success and then there are bands that may be part of those trends but are actually great bands. Those are the bands that last. There are bands from 20 years ago that are still popular. There are bands from 25 years ago that are still popular. There are bands from five years ago that are still popular and then there are bands that aren’t. So that’s the one constant and it’s that the cream rises to the top. Trends come and go but I think you actually got to be a pretty good band to really make it.
Looking ahead at the future of Bayside, after this 20-year tour, what excites you most about the band moving forward?
I mean, I think we’re at a really comfortable place where we’ve earned the right to write our own ticket. That’s really what’s exciting. We’re excited for a future that is as long as we want it to be, doing tours that we want to do and making records that we want to make and making them when we want to make them. We can tour with who we want. Like, we really earned the right [where] there’s nothing that we have to do anymore. We could do or not do anything we want and that’s what’s most exciting about getting to this point.
A prime example of that, not that you guys strayed too far from what you normally do, but your latest album Interrobang is definitely a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Do you see Bayside going more in that direction in the future?
Sure. I mean, I definitely think we’re having fun playing aggressive music right now. That’s definitely fun. So certainly, with Interrobang being like the most aggressive and heaviest record we’ve ever made, as I said, we have the freedom to do whatever we want musically or otherwise in business. So you know, we’re just going to do what’s fun and the heavy and fast stuff is what’s fun for us right now.