Bayside has been going strong in the punk rock scene ever since it emerged from Queens 14 years ago. The band has just released its new album Cult and kicked off its headlining tour.
Staff writer Marcela Guimaraes talks to bassist Nick Ghanbarian about the new album, what it’s like being a band for this long, and his DJing.
DIVERSIONS: So let’s talk about Cult , the latest album. What kind of things were you guys inspired by in this album and how does it differ from Bayside’s previous stuff?
NICK GHANBARIAN: I don’t think that we necessarily have any musical inspiration. I think that we keep doing what we’ve done before. We’re always going to sound like we do. We’re never going to take any left turns musically or lyrically or anything like that. So I don’t know, inspiration wise we just kind of wanted to be ourselves and give our fans another album of songs to listen to and for us to play a bunch of it live, that’s really it. We’re just so happy with how our 14 years of being a band has gone and we just want to keep it going.
There’s not necessarily any different musical inspiration or motivation. Things are going well and we just want to keep moving forward have our fans always be happy with the music we put out.
DIVE: You guys just kicked off the Great American Cult tour. What’s it like playing these sold out shows?
NG: We’re really happy, it’s our first time headlining on our own for like, I guess it’s been at least four or five years at this point. We did a lot of co-headlining on our last album and been supporting other bands so this is our first time since 2009 that we’ve actually headlined on our own. We’re overwhelmed with positivity. More than half of the shows have been sold out and even the ones that haven’t there’s still a couple hundred people. For instance, Denver sold like 900 people out of 1,100 people. So it’s still a ton of people, which is great. The positivity for older songs and newer songs, it’s just really great and we’re in really high spirits.
It’s such a great feeling to be a band for this long and still feel like you’re growing and all the work that we put in, whether it’s touring or writing or whatever it is, it just seems like all the hard work pays off and it just seems like we’re as successful as ever.
DIVE: I’ve read that you DJ as well, is that right?
NG: I try to, I’m very stubborn with it. I don’t do like dance music or anything. I’m very stubborn that I just want to play like punk rock, alternative and indie, which isn’t the most popular form of music to try to DJ. I wasn’t able to do anything on this tour but when I’m home in Long Island, I basically just throw a party where I play music.
I wish there were something else to call it besides DJing because I don’t want to offend any actual DJs out there. It’s just something fun to have a bunch of people at a bar partying to music you want to hear.
I don’t know a lot of people who go to bars where hip hop or dance music is playing, I know people who go to bars and put money into a jukebox and listen to rock’ n’ roll. I just kind of want that atmosphere.