• October 22, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Bayside gets heavy and deep on ‘Interrobang’

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:25 pm, Thu Oct 3, 2019.

Music can often change how a person feels or sees the world — a fact Bayside frontman Anthony Raneri knows well. A musician, he adds, has a responsibility to use the power he has to be inside someone’s head and shape the listener’s outlook on all aspects of life — from love to coping with childhood difficulties.

For Raneri, he perhaps has not used that power in the best way over the past few years. “I was making music for sad people, and it would just make them even sadder,” he said in a recent interview.

With the band’s upcoming album, “Interrobang,” Raneri hopes to use that responsibility in a more positive light. “I want to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I’m sad but I can definitely work my way through this,’” he said.

Take “Walk It Off,” the album’s ninth track: It tells the story of society’s stereotypical view of boys, and how they should not show much emotion and brush off anything that bothers them (“Shake it off and shut your mouth/Suck it up, make father proud,” Raneri sings in the opening minute).

“That’s an awful way to live life,” he said, explaining the inspiration behind the song. He seems to acknowledge this in the lyrics, as well.

But there’s more that makes “Interrobang,” scheduled for release on Oct. 4, different from Bayside’s eight other studio albums. Most noticeably, the music is a lot heavier than it was previously (think metalheads headbanging heavily). Fans who have already listened to the single “Prayers,” released ahead of the album, quickly noticed the change from the punk band’s prior work.

Raneri said the band had always wanted to do something more “aggressive,” musically speaking, and it certainly shows throughout the 10-track album. “Interrobang” and “Prayers” open up heavy, while songs like “Tall” build up to their pounding guitar riffs.

The process of creating the sound was a collaborative one, in at least two ways. First the band members spent time bouncing ideas off each other. In the end, inspiration was found in three main sources: Bad Religion, early Metallica and System of a Down.

And the changes don’t just stop with the album. During its upcoming U.S. tour, Bayside will be playing much smaller venues than normal — capacity of a few hundred, rather than thousands. “We wanted to give it a more intimate feeling,” Raneri said.

Additionally, each show will be opened by a local act that will be determined by the fans in a series of online polls. Raneri hopes this will provide a band out there with their big break. “It’s a way to give back,” he said.

There are no shows set for Queens, but the band will perform in Brooklyn Nov. 13 and Huntington, LI, Nov. 17.

Like any musician, Raneri takes inspiration for his songs from many real-life situations. But while he may not sing of Queens, the Glen Oaks native said his upbringing in The World’s Borough shaped him as a person.

“I grew up trying to understand all different types of people,” he said.

Queens also gave the band its name. On their way to a New Found Glory show on Long Island, with the hopes of giving the band their demo CD, the crew had not yet given themselves one. While on an LIRR train, they passed the Bayside station and decided to write the neighborhood’s name on the CD — and it’s stuck since.

Despite being associated with Bayside, Raneri admits the neighborhood was not his usual haunt. “I never drank so I avoided Bell Boulevard like the plague,” he joked, adding that he’d frequently serve as the designated driver for his friends who did imbibe on the boulevard. He spent more of his time on Northern Boulevard and around Cardozo High School, his alma mater.

He still spends time here, though he now lives in Nashville. “I love Queens,” he said.

Welcome to the discussion.