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     interviewed by robby sumner  
Band Website
Label - Victory Records
MP3 - "Advanced Letter Goodbye"
       Interview with Anthony
       October 16th, 2004

Anthony Ranieri -
Vocals, Guitar
Jack O'Shea - Guitar, Vocals
Andrew Elderbaum - Bass
Jim Mitchell -
E: Bayside's music has been getting better with every release with catchy songs and inspiring lyrics. Do you think you've truly become better songwriters as you gain more and more experience?
Anthony: Yes. I think that we've definitely become better songwriters over the years. When we wrote the first EP that we put out, I was like sixteen or seventeen years old, writing that stuff... and I'm twenty-two now, so obviously there's been a big progression and a lot of maturity between when I was seventeen and now, being twenty-two. But I think I still have a lot more to go. A lot more learning to do. And also, the bigger our band gets... the more fans we have... the more confidence we have in our songwriting and the more we're willing to try to experiment with other things.
E: What strong points do you usually try to highlight in each album?
Anthony: Well, personally, I try to highlight the melodies--that's what I'm really into. We try to revolve the songs around melodies.
E: Is there any particular mood or emotion you think that music generally conveys, either sonically or lyrically?
Anthony: I think that the lyrics convey a really dark, depressed mood, but at the same time the music is very catchy and upbeat, and very melodic, and I think that that conveys a much different feeling than what the lyrics are. I think anyone just takes away something different from our band.
E: The band is on Victory Records--would you say that the label has a fairly consistent sound with its bands that you fit into?
Anthony: I don't really think that there is a sound with the label. They have their hand in so many different styles there... there's ska bands, there's pop bands, there's hardcore bands and metal bands... I mean, we don't really think that our band fits neatly anywhere, and I think that it's the perfect label for us, because that's kind of how the label is--the label doesn't really fit neatly anywhere. It's not a hardcore label or a pop label or a ska label or anything like that. So I think it's definitely perfect for us, who don't really think that we're a very specific type of band.
E: Do you think the band performs better when it shares the stage with bands with a close sound?
Anthony: It's easier to be into what you're doing when the fans are into what you're doing--the people in front of you. When we're playing with other bands that sound like us, then there are more people who are receptive to what we're doing at the shows, so it's definitely easier to put on a show and to perform in front of people who are into what we're doing, and I think that definitely comes with playing with bands that sound like us.
E: What gets brought on tour with the band aside from performing equipment?
Anthony: I bring a blanket and a pillow, and a ton of clothes... we bring a recording thing with us, because we're always writing. We write songs every day, so we bring recording gear with us. Pictures--I try to hang pictures around the van of people whose faces I'd like to see that I don't get to see very often. We all have iPods, so we bring out iPods... books.
E: How much of a struggle was involved in getting the band to where it is now?
Anthony: Yeah, it's been really hard. We've been a band for, like, five years. We were touring right away--we've been touring for about four and a half years, and we've only been signed for two years. It was really hard to tour without a label, without a booking agent, without a manager... it was really hard to get all that stuff off the ground. Nothing was really ever handed to us. We worked really, really hard for everything that we've gotten. Like I said, we toured with no management or label or anything. Our own hard work got us a manager, then we toured with no label, and all that work got us a label. Now we're just trying to gain a bigger fanbase. I mean, really, it's tough, because like I was saying, I don't really think that we fit in neatly into any genre, so it's not like we can just go on tour with a couple of big bands that are our style and win over all the kids. We have to find all the right kids who would be into what we're doing. So it's definitely a struggle--everything we've ever done has been a struggle.
E: Are the paths to success the same for each band?
Anthony: It's definitely not the same for every band. There's a lot of bands who know the right people, obviously, and they can get their feet wet right away and get their foot in the door just because of who they know. Then there are bands who I think need to develop, and who, over the years, get better and better--that's just kind of how I think a lot of bands are. We have to get better as a band before we can win over more kids. It's definitely different for everybody, whether your music has to be on another level, or your music is already there and you have to start making the right connections, or you just start out with the music and the connection, like a lot of bands do.
E: Looking at where you are now, would you say you've achieved close to the success you set out for?
Anthony: No, definitely not. We have really, really high goals, and it's going to take us a while to meet the goals that we've set for ourselves, because they are very, very high. But, I mean, we're happy just doing what we're doing--like, we're not disappointed in what success that we've had. We're definitely happy, and it's definitely come further than we could have expected it to go, realistically thinking. And it definitely got better than people have told us that we were going to go--like our family or friends or whoever doubted us. We're still not where we want to be yet, though.
E: How important are goals to a band's career?
Anthony: Goals are really important. I think that you have to have short-term goals and long-term goals. It's important to have dreams that you want to achieve because I think that if your goals are set ten feet in the air, and you're going to get eight feet, then you might as well set them a hundred feet in the air and get eighty feet in the air. It's definitely important to have goals. But, I mean, that's kind one of those things... there's probably a lot of bands who have done very well just going with the flow, and whatever happens, happens, and that's what works with them.