Interview with Bayside Bassist Nick Ghanbarian
Nick Ghanbarian (Bayside Basist)
Eric Walden: Your song Already Gone has a lyric, “Walking hand in hand in hand”. If you had two celebrities to walk hand in hand in hand with who would they be?
Nick Ghanbarian: Brandon Flowers because he’s my ultimate man crush, and as far as a female goes I would say Blake Lively. Wait no, Natalie Portman! I want Brandon Flowers, and Natalie Portman.
Eric: Bayside has an awesome album Killing Time. How do you kill time on tour?
Nick: I wake up and try and find somewhere to get coffee. Everyone makes coffee on the bus, but I like the ritual of going to get coffee than the actual drinking of the coffee. I’ll find a coffee shop, or worst case scenario Starbucks just to get out and walk around. At a lot of the places we’ve played over the years we get familiar with a lot of the cities. Sometimes we play new venues in a lot of the same cities so I get to look around the area. I just love traveling so I spend a lot of time wondering. I usually find some local food, or scope out a bar that we may want to go to after the show. In general I like hockey a lot so hockey occupies a lot of my time.
Eric: This is your sixth time on The Vans Warped Tour now that Bayside was announced yesterday.
Eric: What was your most memorable moment on any of the Warped Tours?
Nick: The coolest thing for us was opening up NOFX’s set in Washington. We played Linoleum. That’s the most memorable Warped Tour, and one of the most memorable things in general. We got on a good level with them and Bad Religion, Bouncing Souls early on at Warped Tour in like 2007 and 2009. They kind of took us under their wing. We got to know NOFX a little bit, and they knew we covered a bunch of their songs so one day we just got a phone call from them asking us to open their set playing Linoleum. It was fun! A lot of people probably couldn’t tell the difference because not everyone knows what every band looks like. That defiantly stands out in general, but that was one of my favorite moments.
Nick: I would love a good Indie rock type of stage. There are plenty of bands that blow me away. I just noticed today a band called Sleeper Agent. They were added for a month of the tour, and I’m stoked. I feel like there’s always one alternative band. In 2012 Funeral Party was on our stage. I was just like shocked. There is always one band that I’m shocked is on Warped Tour and this year it’s Sleeper Agent. I wish there was more punkie alternative rock on Warped Tour.
Eric: Bayside puts so much Energy in a full set on your headlining shows. How do you cram all that energy and style into 25 minute Warped Tour sets?
Nick: It’s Impossible, and it drives us nuts. We play 20 songs on a headlining tour, and that still doesn’t feel like enough so having to play seven or eight on Warped Tour just drives us nuts because we are leaving out a ton of songs. We have to go out there with the mentality of playing the eight songs most people will know. We build our sets around everyone else having fun so Warped tour is just hard when you have six albums out.
Eric: I wanted to personally thank you guys. I saw you guys at the Pomona Fairgrounds and a friend of mine asked you to play Masterpiece. We headed down to Ventura the next day and you guys threw it in.
Nick: Ya we listen. *Laughs
Eric: Bayside got their name from a train station in Long Island correct?
Eric: A lot of people still don’t know that. What are some of the places people thought you got your name from?
Nick: Saved by the Bell is the big one for sure because they all went to Bayside High, but I think we have told the story of where it actually comes from now that at least the answer is out there if someone wants to google it.
Eric: Bayside’s first “big” record label in 2003 was Victory, but you guys just released Cult on Hopeless Records. What’s it like going between Victory to Hopeless Records.
Nick: There are some similarities, and there are a lot of differences. They both are smaller and family oriented. Not family as in actual family, but there are just a handful of employees that really care about the bands. For us, we enjoyed that with victory, but there were other things that we didn’t. For Hopeless there is a sense of camaraderie , and the people who are running the label care about us. We were fans even before we were on the label which was cool, so now that we are on the label it makes it that much better. We actually just went to their office for the first time a couple of days ago. There are less than 20 employees, and this is our first label in California. That just makes nights like tonight hectic because everyone from the label comes out, and bands like Taking Back Sunday and The Used have been in town, so the label has had three or four days in a row coming to see all the bands.
Eric: Every year Hopeless Records puts out a compilation album called Hopeless Summer. What bands that are not on Hopeless Records would you try and put on Hopeless Summer?
Eric: Can you explain to the readers Gunshoe Radio?
Nick: We haven’t done that in a long time. That was just something to pass our time off. When Killing Time was released we had a few months where we couldn’t really play shows. We didn’t want to just go dormant. It was Anthony’s idea to do a radio show so we just talked about things we were interested in like how does Shazam work. I would love to do it again. It’s time consuming and hard to do on tour, but I know All Time Low have a radio show, and Mike Herara has a radio show now. I would do it again one day.
Eric: Well how would you put the Cult writing process into words? What do you guys go through while you are creating lyrics?
Nick: Lyricly it’s all based off of reality. The one thing we are very transparent about is that we are all just regular people. We don’t ever try to come across that we are better than anything. We’re defiantly just four dudes that like to play music. We love the fact that people relate, and that means the world to us because we are all huge fans of music. Bands like Bad Religion, and Bouncing Souls make us feel good. It’s awesome that our music makes people feel that same way. Lyrically people have just grown up with us. From the first album until now it’s just us growing up. If you have been a bad over all of these years it’s easy to relate to, because you’re growing up with us. It’s always been a lot of relationship type stuff, but Cult is more about being grown up at this point. It’s about growing up and maybe not just having to throw a relationship to the curb because it didn’t work, but trying to work through problems and stuff like that and figuring out your own self-worth. We have a few relationship songs in there. I feel like that will always be some kind of bayside lyric content. This album is more so about being grownups now, and a lot of the people that have been listening to us for ten years are entering adulthood. Having our lyrics and music by their side is defiantly a goal of ours. We don’t want people to grow out of us.
Eric: What other bands have grown up with their fans?
Nick: You have to be a band for a really long time so it narrows things down. I keep mentioning all these California punk bands, but when you’re a band for 20 or 30 years like NOFX or Bad Religion. They are late 40s early 50s so you start to have fans that are in their 30s and 40s. Green Day is another one too. They’ve been around for like 25 years at this point. For me, that was the main band growing up. They were the reason I picked up bass, and wanted to be in bands. It’s all because of what Green Day meant to me then. That’s one band for me that I will always listen to their new records, and appreciate the fact that they make good music after all these years.
Eric: Bayside started Born and Breed a while ago around Musink time. What are your future plans for Born and Breed?
Nick: I run it with two other friends in Denver. We would love to be in stores. We look up to companies like Vans. They started somewhere at some point and they are what they are now but companies like that and Obey are companies that we look up to. We are starting off small and growing organically. It’s fun, and something that’s cool to pump creativity into that’s not music, and also involve two other people who aren’t Jack, Chris, and Anthony. It’s fun to have something else to do every once and a while that’s not Bayside Oriented.
Nick: We thought about this. When we were thinking about naming the album, but I don’t think I have an answer for that. The term Bayside as a cult is as close as it gets.
Eric: I saw you guys at Riot Fest in the pouring rain. What was the craziest thing weather wise that happened during a show?
Nick: Warped Tour 2007 the band that brought bad weather. It could be clear day and they announce our set time at like 2:30 and even if there was not a cloud in the sky at 2:30 it would get crazy right before we went on. You would hear people on the radio like “Bayside goes on at 2:40, be prepared.”
Nick: They were joking, but it was based in reality. I remember one day in Miami we were playing and there was a low glimmer of a tornado happening. I remember being in Denver with a super chaotic flash storm that blew the roof off of our stage. Cleveland there was a hail storm that punctured the inflatable roof of our stage. This was all in one year too. Those were the most dangerous, and they were all in one year.
Eric: That’s insane! Well, you guys survived your crazy weather encounters. Are you guys headed back to Riot Fest this year?
Nick: We’d love to. It’s a little too early, but we would love to. I think we have a good relationship with them. They just booked our Chicago show at Concord music hall, and that went extremely well. Hopefully we are in their good graces, and would love to do the whole circuit. Last year there was five or six of them so we would love to be involved with all of them. It was a really great experience for us.
Eric: If you could pick the perfect Riot Fest lineup who would be on it?
Nick: I would love to see Frank Turner. I would love to see, if I’m really wishful thinking right now, a Cardigans reunion would be good. Jenny Lewis, The Killers… stuff like that.
Eric: Can you tell us anything about your Record Sore Day Release?
Nick: It’s our first one specifically for Record Store Day. It has an extra track called Indiana on it. I’m not sure why it didn’t make the album, but I think we just wanted to have an eleven song album. The artwork was done by the same guy who does our tour artwork, our album artwork, and it has our single Time Has Come on it. We’re excited that we finally planned accordingly, and early enough to have an actual release. We somehow miss the boat every year so we finally did it this year and met all the deadlines.
Eric: How do you guys celebrate Record Store Day?
Nick: There is one record store on Long Island near me called Looney Toons. We always play it every release day.
Eric: The Bayside Social Club was there to right?
Nick: Ya! I’ll head down there sometimes. I’ll look at a list and see if there are any releases I want, but I know they are hard to get my hands on. A couple of months ago I did wind up not getting my hands on the Best Coast record Store Day 7’’, and I wound up spending like $30 on it on Ebay. I really wanted it, and couldn’t find it anywhere for a normal price so I just had to buy it on Ebay because it was something I really wanted. Unfortunately that happens a lot. The Record Store Day stuff is such limited press that if you really want something… Unfortunately there are people out there who will buy them to make a profit off of it.
Eric: Anything else that you want to say to the readers?
Nick: I’m obsessed with social media so please follow me on twitter and Instagram @Nickbayside, and if you could check out Born and Bred. The website is www.Iambornandbred.com. We will be on Warped Tour this summer selling all of our stuff if you can’t go to the website. So check it out.