A 'Cult' of their own

Alternative rock band Bayside to perform in Buffalo


Anthony Raneri of alternative band Bayside remembers when the band played shows in front of unpredictable audiences – some of which ended in police intervention.

At a show at Club Infinity in Buffalo in 2011, Raneri recalls police coming in to help a girl who was injured crowd surfing. When the police arrived, the officers requested the alternative-rock quad stop playing. They didn’t. Not until the police abruptly ended Bayside’s set by cutting the power to the concert venue.

The power was cut in the middle of a guitar solo in the final song of the set. The fans weren’t pleased.

Backstage after the show, the lead singer was worried the promoter would be upset with the band for not listening to the police and for someone getting injured. He said he was shocked when the promoter came in and said, “That was the best ending of the show I’ve ever seen.”

“We’ve had shows that have fallen apart like that, where we can’t even finish our last song and people start chanting and everyone is all riled up,” Raneri said in a phone interview with The Spectrum. “As much as it sucks someone was hurt, it was really cool to go out that way.”

The band will be performing at The Waiting Room on Oct. 8 and The Spectrum had the opportunity to speak with Raneri about Bayside’s history, future and latest album.

The lead singer of Bayside, an alternative punk band, admits the band doesn’t play “those types of venues” anymore. After more than a decade of performing, the group has learned how to feed off the crowd’s energy. He loves “people singing along, getting sweaty and moving around.”

In 2000, a young Raneri and his bandmates drove to a New Found Glory show on Long Island hoping to give the pop punk group their demo CD. While riding the Long Island Rail Road, the guys realized their CD was unlabeled. New Found Glory wouldn’t know who they were listening to. When they reached the Bayside train station, they scribbled it down.

The name stuck.

None of them knew how much success the band would achieve.

Since signing with Victory Records in 2003, the group has successfully released six albums, the latest being “Cult.” They’ve gone on to three different labels, currently working under Hopeless Records. Bayside has performed with bands like Fall Out Boy. Billy Joel makes an appearance on their latest EP.

Raneri said it’s important the band maintain the sound they’ve developed over the years. They don’t feel the need to reinvent themselves, he said.

“We’ve never made a record and said we’re going to try all kinds of new stuff, we’re going to reinvent our sound, we are getting tired of this … you’re hearing differences in ‘Killing Time’ from this newer album, it comes more from the process than the intention,” Raneri said. “We never want to sound like a different band.”

In Queens in 2000, the four-man band played for friends, family and anyone else who would listen. They moved up to playing local venues like The Paramount, pushing their sound and working toward stardom. Bayside began to tour, opening for bigger names in the industry, like Fall Out Boy in an effort to prove their worth.

“We would play a show for thousands of people who weren’t there to see us,” Raneri said. “They didn’t know our music and didn’t care, because we were just the opener … I would rather play a show for five people who know and enjoy my music than 1,000 strangers.”

Bayside has continuously generated records, putting their first three out within four years. The Walking Wounded and Shudder were written while on tour, because the band couldn’t afford to take time off to be in the studio. It wasn’t until Killing Time that the band took time to create an album in the studio and stopped touring. Raneri said Cult was written the same way as their earlier albums, completed in 14 days.

Bayside has been a band for 14 years, and its current members have been together for the past nine years. Amid writing music and touring, Raneri said the band has not lost its sense of unity. They lost two members in 2004 due to musical differences, and a third in 2005 after a tragic car accident.

“We’ve never replaced a member and felt that we weren’t as good, or thought an instrument was now lacking,” he said. “We’ve had this lineup for a while now, since 2005, 2006. [For] a pretty long time it’s been the four of us. We’ve made four records together, so we’re a pretty solid unit.”

The band will perform at The Waiting Room on Oct. 8. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com