Nick Ghanbarian joined the popular Queens based punk-core band Bayside in 2004 and has added his disctinctively heary bottom on 4 of their 8 albums. Most recently Killing Time an energetic and heartfelt work that is right at home in the Bayside canon. Mary and Wyatt ask Nick about his inspiration, Bayside’s sound, and more…
On Killing Time, there really are no filler tracks. Each has its own
specific little story to tell and a point to convey. Is there a story
to the album as a whole?
-Not really a specific story as far as the whole album goes, but as a
band we have always recognized the downside and negativity in life,
but put a positive spin on those aspects. we know that bad stuff
happens to everyone, no one has it easy, and of course we relate to
that, but there’s a fork in the road in everyone’s life where they
become either an apathetic or depressed person or they embrace the
trials of life, learn and move on. we want to show people that there
is an option. we wouldn’t be the people or band we are unless other
bands have paved the way in doing the same thing.
“On Love, On Life” is something new for Bayside. Can you talk about
your inspiration for doing an acoustic song of that nature?
-this is the first bayside song that was written on piano, tha’ts
really the biggest difference in this track. we have an entire
acoustic album and a few acoustic songs like "don’t call me peanut"
where we have taken our songs down a few notches. all of our songs
start out quiet and acoustic, before the rest of the band gets their
hands on them. sometimes the lyrics of a song determine what kind of
instrumentation the song needs, i think that’s the case here, it’s a
moving on from a relationship type of song, the end of a relationship
is something that can drag on for a while, it’s always a hard thing to
go through, and sometimes you’re not even angry anymore, you just want
it to end. this song conveys that feeling through and through.
In "Landing Feet First" there is strong imagery and a beautiful
message. Anthony said that it's the first and probably last love song
he's ever written. Why won't you write more love songs when this one
is absolutely stunningly perfect?
– well, who knows what will happen in the future, to be honest love
songs just aren’t fun to play. It’s more fun to be angry with an
instrument in your hand than happy with an instrument in your hand.
There is a lot of angst in your music, particularly teen and growing
angst. Are there any particular personal experiences that inform your
-every song we have is very particular to our lives, we are constantly
inspired by our own lives. we have grown up(and still are growing up)
listening to a lot of energetic and angry punk, hardcore and metal
bands, we absolutely think that music should be played with emotion,
and i think our live shows are indicative of that. we don’t go out
there and stand still and play our instruments perfectly. we go out
there and throw as much energy as we possibly can at the crowd and
hope it comes back our way. we want every show to be special for us
and for the crowd. america is an expensive place to live in right now,
people spend their hard earned money to come and see us every night,
we want to make sure they are happy in a cathartic way at the end of
Over the course of your discography, you’ve developed a cleaner
sound—a sound that doesn’t necessarily abandon the vigor that is
present in your music, but has evolved to be less raw, more refined.
Is this just a natural evolution, or have you consciously “cleaned up”
your sound? For example, “Masterpiece” compared with “Sick, Sick,
Sick” illustrates the evolution that I’m trying to get at.
-well that mostly just has to do with the recording process and
recording budget. I’m not sure any band strives to go out and sound
sloppy or bad, Masterpiece sounds the way it does because that was as
perfect as we could get it at the time, and that goes for every song
on every album. we have always tried to write songs that were perfect
and record albums that were perfect. its not an easy thing to do or
every band in the world would be great. this newest album presented
the best opportunities for us to sound the best, but we have always
strived for that, no matter what it sounds like in the end.
Generally people attack bands and call them sellouts at every
opportunity they get. Your song "The Walking Wounded" is on the NHL
08 soundtrack. Were you called sellouts for this?
-no, i don’t think anyone has ever called us sellouts, i think people
get confused with what that term even means anymore. if your band
sounds one way on monday, and the following monday sounds completely
different because another style of music becomes popular and you are
trying to get financial success out of that transformation, then that
would be a sellout. if your band has always sounded the same, but you
grow as people and as musicians and remain true to what you stand for,
then no success in the world is too much. being a sellout has more to
do with a bands moral compass than it does financial success.
furthermore, i love hockey more than almost anything, so it was our
honor to be a part of that, and we received virtually no money for
Is there a song on your iPod that's embarrassing or no one would expect?
Yeah, some early bayside demos are pretty embarrassing.
Bayside is touring right now and this is a great opportunity for you to catch them live.
The power and energy is mindblowing and contagious:
UCONN-aroo Storrs CT Saturday April 3
Cheap Date Tour
April 21The Met Pawtucket, RI – 7:00 PM
Take Action Tour
Paradise Rock Club
April 22 Boston, MA – 6:30 PM
May 28 Best Buy Theater NY NY
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!