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A "Short" Interview With Bayside October 6th, 2013

Mary Magpie takes a selfie with the members of Bayside

I got to Toad’s Place, met up with the tour manager, and went in to the dressing room that was directly underneath the stage.  It was my second time interviewing Bayside; it was almost two years to the day since I’d spoken to Anthony and Jack in Boston.  This time I’d be talking to the whole band, and in a greenroom with both the Tour Manager and two girls who were there when I walked in.  I sat down and we all got comfortable and got started.

Chris, the drummer, Nick, the bassist, Jack, the guitarist, and Anthony, the frontman, all seemed well-rested and eager.  It was only a few nights into their latest tour, with Motion City Soundtrack, and was pretty much the only freetime they really had.

Magpie: Congratulations and how does it feel to be signed to Hopeless Records?

Anthony: It’s awesome, yeah, so far so good.  We haven’t put a record out , but so far they’re pretty cool.

Magpie: Speaking of records, you guys haven’t released much.  What’s on the horizon?  Any recording or writing?

Jack: We’ve been working on stuff for a long time now.  It’s just a matter of time of getting a record out- it’ll happen, that’s a promise.  I mean we’ve been working and we just wanted to take our time with it, for the same reason that we did with Killing Time. Coming out of our deal with Victory, which we were on for seven years, it was very much “write a record and it’ll be in the store in two months.”  With Killing Time, we really got the opportunity to take our time and make the record that we wanted to, so we’re taking our time.  It’s gonna be something we’re all stoked on.  We’re Bayside, we’re gonna stay Bayside.

Magpie: Whatever happened to the documentary you were making?  Back in 2011 I was recorded interviewing you as part of the footage!

Jack: That’s still a project that’s ongoing.  I have a friend from high school that works out of LA and he’s kinda like he’ll come and shoot footage of us whenever we’re around and whenever we’re in the same places.  We don’t even have a really soft deadline for that.  What we’re doing with him is we’re really stockpiling a lot of stuff.  We’ve all seen that Pearl Jam documentary; there are band docs that have so much material and go back for so long and we do have a good amount of material going back but we also just want to be mindful that we’re continuing to collect stuff.

Anthony: We’re waiting to win a Grammy too, so the movie has a good ending.  We’ll keep filming till that happens.

Jack: Plus, if we get the Grammy, then we’ll pitch the movie to a major studio and we work to the EGOTs.

Anthony: and Justin Timberlake plays you.

Jack: No…what’s his name…Carl Weathers is gonna play me.

Magpie: What actors would you want to play you in the movie?

Jack: Carl Weathers.  I look a lot like Carl Weathers.  I have a separate job as a Carl Weathers impersonator.

Nick: That’s your oldest joke.  I think that when I joined the band, you had that joke.

Chris: Sting.  Like Sting and Doon.

Anthony: Everyone tells me I look like Vinnie DelPino from Doogie Howser.  So he can do it.

Jack: I can get Michael J Fox circa “Family Time”

Nick: I would get a guy who looks nothing like me, like the guy who played PeeWee Herman at the end of PeeWee’s Big Adventure.  Just like, a handsome bearded guy.

Magpie: How did the fundraiser go with the “I (Shudderbird) NY” shirts after Hurricane Sandy?

The band laughed.  Oh dear.

Anthony: There’s a funny ending to that story.  So we ended up donating the money from the sales of the shirts to a kid who had been on the news for how much money he raised for the Hurricane Sandy charity he started.  So we gave the money to him and that was cool.  But then five months later the state of New York sent us a cease and desist  letter for using the “I heart NY” trademark.  And then that dragged on for like nine months.  They just kept sending more and more paperwork to sign.  Like for one, it’s a charity for the state of New York so we’re giving you the money kind of anyway, and two, we desisted like, we ceased and desisted, like, nine months ago.  No good deed goes unpunished.

Jack: We woulda been better off sitting at home eating video games eatin’ Girl Scout Cookies…which is what I’m gonna do once I get off this tour.

Magpie: “Devotion and Desire” and “Sick, Sick, Sick”- they have similar themes.  Did they share an inspiration?

Anthony: They come from the same place.  They were written like, eight years apart, but there are some songs that we have that are kind of like, you’re looking at yourself at the end of a relationship or a difficult situation and you look inward and you write about what you might’ve done wrong.  And then there are the songs where you just say “no, it wasn’t me, it was the other person.  Fuck them.”  So they were both those kinds of songs.

Magpie: How did you go about choosing what to cover on your cover album?

Chris: It was difficult.  I’d say it was harder than writing a Bayside album, personally.  Trying to figure out what songs would sound good as Bayside songs.  There were two or three that we tried and were cool, but didn’t come off how we wanted them to come off.  It was hard, but it was fun.  it was definitely a challenge.

Jack:  A lot of the songs were more songs that we were exposed to growing up, not so much that were contemporary influences.  It was kind of neat to be able to play songs that I had in the car when I was a little kid with my parents driving around.

Anthony: It was definitely hard to reimagine them.  They’re such good songs so it’s hard to take a song that’s sorta perfect and like, what do you do with it.

Magpie: Anthony, will we hear any more solo stuff out of you?

Anthony: I write a lot of songs that don’t work for Bayside so that’s just my outlet to get stuff out so I never really have a goal with it it’s pretty much something if Bayside has some time off, that’s when I get around to it.

Magpie: Do any of you plan to do anything solo?

Nick: (playfully) Nobody wants to hear a bass solo.

Jack: I do.  It’ll just be called Nicky Plays The Bass and it’ll be you sitting on a park bench.

Chris: I wouldn’t mind doing something, it’s just hard to find the time.

Magpie: If you could collab with any bamd, still around or not, who would it be?

Nick: The Cardigans, right?

Here, Nick and Chris fist-bump and Jack says: ooh, you just got duped.  You got sucked into Nick’s imaginary side project.

Jack: I’d want to do something with Walter Shackles.  Do a Quicksand- post hardcore type thing.  A bit proggier.  Wilt Wakeman and Walter Ryfles.

Anthony: It’d be cool to write a song with Ben Folds.  Or Randy Newman.  Randy Newman is quickly becoming one of my favorite songwriters.

Magpie: Your guys’ favorite tattoos?

Chris: I think my favorite ones are my shittiest ones.  Jack tattooed me in Texas.  I wouldn’t even say it’s a tattoo.  I will never forget that.

Jack: I did.  I forgot completely..I’ve never tattooed anyone sober.  I’ve done three tattoos, and all of them I’ve been blind drunk.

Nick: My favorite tattoo is Chris’ owl on his chest.

Anthony: For a while, when we did signings, I’d draw a little hand puppet on my hand and I finally just got it tattooed.

Jack: I have a wooly willy on my leg…I only have joke tattoos.  I have a lego spaceman tattoo, Monty Python, Big Lebowski, Mars Attacks Alien.  All my tattoos are inside jokes.

Magpie: How do you feel about the government shutdown?

Anthony: We don’t really talk about politics.

Magpie: Any favorite jokes?

Chris: Yesterday we spent about three hours playing the “ruin a movie with one word” game.  It’s a new thing.

Magpie: Can you describe yourselves with just three words?

Jack: Short, sweaty, short.

Chris: Short could work for all of us.

Nick: Short, hairy, quiet.

Jack: Short, sweaty, and not as quiet as Nick.

Chris: Short life disaster.

Jack: That’s my side project band.  I’m in a band called Short Life Disaster.

Here’s when Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack walks in, and though he was concerned about interrupting, we’d already finished.  The friendship between them all was clear and though I was a bit starstruck, I managed to keep my cool, grab a pic with the band, and thank them for their time.  However, I didn’t keep my cool too well, because I left my notebook with questions in it on the table.  Later in the evening, Ryan their Tour Manager texted me and I went back to the dressing room to grab it.  I was greeted by the band saying “We looked through it and now we know all your secrets.  We took pictures and posted them online.”  It was adorable.  They’re some of the humblest, funniest, sweetest guys I’ve ever met.

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