Anthony Raneri – Vocals, Guitar
Jack O’Shea – Lead Guitar
Nick Ghanbarian – Bass
Chris Guglielmo – Drums

Bayside fans don’t call their relationship with the band a “Cult” for nothing. After a string of much-adored releases, Bayside has one of the most dedicated fan bases in rock, and the group steadfastly rewards those devotees with the musical salvation they seek. Six albums and more than a decade later, Bayside has never lost touch with that mission and, in fact, they’ve only grown bigger. While veteran bands take breaks and regroup, Bayside haven’t taken that route and instead, soldiered on, building up and growing more and more into themselves… to the point in which they are the most “Bayside” that they have ever been. The fact that their audience has grown is testament to that.

Now continuing that legacy is the band’s latest creation, an explosive 11-track collection that captures Bayside in prime form, combining classic elements from throughout their career. Guaranteed to rock the faithful, the new release is appropriately entitled Cult.

“When we were done with the record we were like, ‘This is every Bayside record,’” explains singer/guitarist Anthony Raneri. “It has the honesty and rawness that we’ve had since Sirens And Condolences, and those risks: those weird key and time signature changes, and the different styles of music we explore. The Bayside ‘Cult’ is something our fans have been talking about for a long time, and it seemed like a good name for a greatest hits album, which is kind of what this is: a Bayside discography. On the cover, there are even little symbols to signify each album.”

That’s a lot of history for an album cover. The band—which also includes lead guitarist Jack O’Shea, bassist Nick Ghanbarian and drummer Chris Guglielmo—formed in the winter of 2000 in Queens, NY, undergoing numerous lineup changes in the early years. At first through Raneri’s sheer persistence and dedication Bayside progressed, eventually cutting two embryonic EPs with Dying Wish Records. Those efforts bore fruit, leading to a contract with Victory Records in 2003, resulting in the band’s 2004 full-length debut, Sirens & Condolences. But it was just the beginning, and the group released three more quintessential LPs with Victory, cementing their place as one of the most important bands in the modern underground music scene—Self-Titled (2005), The Walking Wounded (2007) and Shudder (2008)—then briefly moved on to Wind-Up Records in 2010 for Killing Time (2011), their most widely visible album to date. After that record cycle Bayside opened another exciting new chapter in their career, signing with punk powerhouse Hopeless Records in 2013. Cult marks the band’s first Hopeless release.

For latest effort Cult, Bayside spent roughly two years writing new material, then returned to producer Shep Goodman (who’d previously helmed two of Bayside’s most beloved releases, Self-Titled and Walking Wounded), as well as Goodman’s production partner, Aaron Accetta. Raneri says Goodman was a catalyst for the band’s obvious progression from debut Sirens to sophomore album Self-Titled, and this latest collaboration sought to rekindle that spark.

“Shep was very instrumental in teaching me about songwriting. He taught me a lot about drawing a listener in and getting inside the mind of the listener, and not just sitting down with a guitar and playing whatever comes to mind,” says Raneri. “He’s sort of my mentor as far as songwriting goes. I loved working with Gil Norton on the last record [Killing Time]—he’s a legend, and it was an amazing process—but with this record, I really wanted to get back and hone in, try to get better at my songwriting again. I knew that working with Shep has always done that for me.”

Sonically, Cult is perhaps the band’s most confident and resonant work to date, featuring turbocharged rhythms and the consistently blistering guitar work of six-string whiz O’Shea. But as much as the album is a return to the band’s musical sweet spot, on the other hand Cult’s lyrical content breaks new thematic ground, showcasing Raneri’s ongoing personal growth as both the man and the songwriter. Instead of dwelling on past romantic failings, this time the lyricist points his pen at the hard matters of life and death, having recently lost his grandfather, stepfather and stepbrother.

“[Cult] is pretty different because it’s not about broken relationships as much as other records; on a personal level, my relationship has been great, my marriage is good and I’ve started a family. Instead a lot of this record deals with mortality, without it being morbid,” says Raneri. “I lost a lot of people who were close to me, and it really just started making me think a lot about what my legacy was going to be. What am I going to leave behind and what is my entire generation going to leave behind? What are they going to be saying at funerals 40 years from now? It’s wondering if life is about leaving a legacy. Is that what we’re all here for: living a life worth remembering?”

Raneri channels these universal existential questions into personal inspiration on tracks like first single “Time Has Come,” which finds the singer challenging himself to rise to the occasion over intricately interwoven guitar lines. “It’s meant to be more of an uplifting thing,” says Raneri. “If I want to make something of myself, build a legacy, accomplish something, then I’ve got to just go do it. The time is now to do something if you ever plan on it.”

Other tracks like “Stuttering” and “Bear With Me” put the music business under the microscope, as well as Bayside’s place within it. “[“Bear”] has a lot to do with my career and my legacy as a musician. You look at bands like mine, and it’s hard to ignore that a lot of pop-punk or mid-2000s emo bands just sort of disappeared,” says Raneri, who’s instead had the good fortune of seeing Bayside’s popularity continually grow. “Fortunately for us our band has been able to make it through a lot of that. There are definitely days when I feel like I’m a novelty, but like the line in the song, I think I’m twice the man I used to be.”

Even when Raneri does return to issues of the heart, he does so with a newfound perspective. A prime example is the song “Transitive Property,” which Raneri wrote during Warped Tour 2012 for his girlfriend—now his wife—as a heartfelt apology, as the couple was on the verge of a breakup. Although never intended for public ears, when bandmates heard the song they insisted it be included on the new album.

“That’s the most personal song I’ve ever written. It’s like sharing a letter to the world; sharing my actual diary that I didn’t think anybody would see,” Raneri says. “I always write a song with the intention of sharing it, but that lyrically was the first song I wrote that was so personal because I thought nobody would ever hear it. I think it’s a great song; one of the best songs I ever wrote.”

Bayside has already toured the world many times over, sharing stages with a virtual “who’s who” of like-minded artists and enjoying regular main-stage spots at major festivals like Warped Tour, but the band’s plans for the coming year are no less ambitious. After Cult drops in February, Bayside will head out on a U.S. headlining tour, then travel to Europe with Alkaline Trio in the spring. From there Bayside will likely play still more high-profile North American dates during the summer of 2014.

“I’m excited about the tour, because it’s sort of a combination of underplayed and big shows,” says Raneri. “We’re in certain cities playing bigger venues than we’ve ever played, and in some cities we’re playing in smaller venues.”

Now six full-lengths into their career, making the setlist each night gets tougher than ever. Raneri says the band is cautious of including too much new material live, for risking of disappointing fans awaiting the classics, but once listeners have Cult in their hands it’ll be easier to gauge which new tracks to perform. Inevitably though, Cult will stand up well next to past material. If there’s one thing immediately clear, it’s that Cult is as classic Bayside as it comes.

“We don’t play anything we don’t want, but at the same time, we listen to our fans, and we know what makes Bayside, Bayside. We try to grab all those things that we all love about Bayside and try to do more of them,” says Raneri. “People’s lives change. You go from high school to college to adulthood to parenthood, and everything in your life changes, except there’s always going to be a new Bayside record, and you can always go home.”

Four Year Strong

Worcester, Massachusetts. 8 pm. Those who have their hearts set on a Sunday night bingo game or knitting circle at the Quinsigamond Village Community Center will walk away sorely disappointed. Instead, nearly 600 kids spanning all ages and tastes have excitedly packed themselves into the tiny venue. The room is plunged into darkness and the wild shouting echoes in the air; this is the moment they've been waiting for. The first strains of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" filter through the speakers as Four Year Strong take their hometown stage, fully prepared to shred faces, blow minds, and take no prisoners.

Alan Day (Vocals/Guitar), Dan O'Conner (Vocals/Guitar), Joe Weiss (Bass), Josh Lyford (Synth), and Jake Massucco (Drums) are Four Year Strong. At first, this may not raise eyebrows or drop jaws, but it is only a matter of time. Bringing a unique blend of brutal breakdowns and soaring choruses, Four Year Strong have cut their teeth into the Worcester hardcore scene and thirst for more. Their music incites a riot like nothing seen before, leaving live crowds and CD listeners alike simultaneously blown away, and fired up.

Their influences range from Lifetime to Saves the Day, Gorilla Biscuits to New Found Glory. "We just play exactly what we want to hear," describes Dan, explaining their combination of hardcore and pop-punk. Sharing an average age of 20 years old, the five guys of Four Year Strong have already self-released an EP, making themselves known on the Smartpunk Top 100 sales and Purevolume's "most played" charts. The band built their own stage sets, booked their own tours, and made music the way they want it to be made.

With this do-it-yourself determination, Four Year Strong do not pretend to be anyone but themselves. The band does not sugarcoat their image, avoiding the pretty-boy front that smothers the scene. Behind the numerous tattoos and grizzly beards, Four Year Strong are the kind of guys you would want to bring home to Mom and Dad. The band does not bother with egos or attitude, determined to connect with every fan on a personal level.

Their debut full-length, Rise or Die Trying, premieres September 18th on I Surrender Records. Already, the album has generated an excited buzz across the web, featured on social networking and music websites such as Absolutepunk.net and FriendsorEnemies.com. The band has over 450,00 plays on each Purevolume and Myspace with nothing more than a taste of what Rise or Die Trying will bring. Unrelenting spirit, gut-wrenchingly good music, and no flashy gimmicks, Four Year Strong are building themselves to the top with an indestructible foundation.

Four Year Strong combine equal parts melody and mayhem; however, their true talent lies in the ability to use these parts to create one exciting, infectious whole. "We wanted to put out a great record and not just a bunch of great songs." They fully embrace their album title, Rise or Die Trying, and Four Year Strong refuse to stop until they've taken the world by storm. Be sure to check them out on tour throughout August (along side Alesana, As Cities Burn, Just Surrender, and I Am the Avalanche) and September (with east coast pop-punk icons The Starting Line) 2007 and beyond!

Brace yourself, let's start the takeover.

The Difference In Good And Bad Dreams is Daylight's third proper EP in as many years and a precursor building up to next year's much anticipated debut full-length. These four new songs mark the Doylestown, PA quintet's most focused and diverse record yet. Twinkling leads and Cobain-esque foreground whisper-singing add space and dimension atop of walls of grungy gained-out guitars. The tempo of the music harkens to brooding, patient mid-90s post-hardcore a la Fugazi or Quicksand, lending to a desperate undercurrent running beneath the songs. The thick rhythm section and spacious, huge drum parts are perfectly written to support some of the bands catchiest and biggest vocal hooks to date. Daylight's signature unrelenting lyrical depression continues yet with a more melodic and dynamic vocal approach, fitting perfectly with the music. With this EP, the band has effectively carved out it's own notch alongside contemporary post-hardcore heavyweights like Title Fight, Balance & Composure and Make Do And Mend paving the way for a breathtaking debut LP in 2012.

Mixtapes is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio. They are mostly influenced by 90's power pop and indie rock bands, some Replacements and midwestern gritty punk bands.

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Bayside *SOLD OUT* with Four Year Strong, Daylight, Mixtapes

Thursday, April 3 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM at Trocadero Theatre

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