On the way to a New Found Glory concert to pass out demo CDs in 2000, a nameless band from Queens, N.Y. haphazardly scrawled Bayside on the covers as they passed a sign for the eponymous train station.
The name stuck.
“At the time, we were around 18, going from band to band like you do when you are in high school,” said lead singer Anthony Raneri. “You never really expect one band to stick and become the group that you will make your career from.”
Since its inception, the rock band Bayside has been signed to two major-label record companies and released six full-length albums. 2008’s Shudder reached the No. 7 spot in Billboard’s top Independent Albums and the band’s latest effort, Killing Time, peaked on the US Billboard 200 chart at No. 35.
Bayside is currently on tour and will be performing along with Saves the Day, I Am the Avalance and Transit at the Recher Theatre in Towson on Sunday.
Despite its success, the last decade of Bayside’s work has been constant trial and error.
“When we started off, we didn’t really know what we were doing,” Raneri said. “Over the years we have been adding new elements to the music and blending them together to see what works.”
Absolute devotion to the music is essential because, as Bayside has learned from almost 11 years together, it becomes less about the excitement of the road and more about the music.
“It was not what it was when we started out,” Raneri said. “The sheer excitement of going to new cities and meeting people has worn thin. Now, the thing that keeps us going is the music.”
Bayside has performed in hundreds of smaller venues and clubs in addition to massive festivals such as Zumiez Couch Tour 2010. However, the size of the gig has little effect on the performance of the band.
“The energy is within the songs and nothing else matters,” Raneri said. “We have played in both basements and big festivals, and some of the basement shows have been more wild and energetic than the shows with big lights and crowds.”
On this leg of the tour, Bayside will be playing songs from its most recent, commercially successful album as well as older ones.
Bayside is a band that lives, eats and breathes its music. While the band has grown and changed over the years, and its priorities have shifted, Bayside has never lost sight of why it was initially created.
“We learned very early on to focus on just the music, our fans and things that are real,” Raneri said. “The final product speaks for itself.”
Bayside will play at the Recher Theatre on Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $16 in advance and $19 at the door.