Recently, I got the chance to sit down with Portland, Maine's favorite export The Bay State just after their CD release show in Cambridge and we talked about a million things be it who they ran into at Bamboozle to who they would love to play with at the festival itself to their amazing street team and their experience writing and recording the theme song for the popular clothing company Glamour Kills.
The Bay State started back in 2004 when an acoustic project started by Tom Tash became the quartet that it is today with Drew, Suzanne and Evan. Over the last six or so years, they have grown an incredible fan base that they are incredibly close to and have really made a name for themselves. They have recently finished some dates with The Bamboo Shoots and will be back out on the road with The Status and Kids of Survival this month. Catch them on their return date to Boston on February 21st and hopefully I'll be able to too!
Due to all the great things we talked about in our interview, more like a conversation, I'll be doing a three part series on this extremely talented group so come back every Monday for the next part with the last one being posted February 22nd! This week, learn about the band's awesome fans and street team, the meaning behind the title track on their album and their musical influences!
You just came off of two CD release shows, one in Portland and one here in Cambridge. How did those shows go?
Tom: They've been awesome. The one we played on Friday was at our hometown venue and generally it's a pretty excited awesome home crowd. Family and friends and then a whole bunch of really great kids and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a packed house and the energy was awesome and actually we sold half of our cd's.
Drew: Yeah, we sold about half our cd's and a whole bunch more today.
Suzanne: A lot of people came up before the show even started and made sure to pick it up right away.
Tom: It's the kind of thing where like over five years we haven't necessarily gotten to the point where we're selling out like the House of Blues but the fans that we do have are so rock solid. It's like, we know most of them by name first and last. We've hung out with a lot of them and we've been invited to play their birthday parties and stuff like that. It's been really great.
Drew: They're really great street teamers. They're awesome.
Tom: Yeah, a lot of them are on the street team and I mean I'll send out stickers and fliers, and then the next day people will be emailing me that I don't even know yet saying "I got a sticker or a flier from a friend".
Drew: "My friend", who we know and "I checked out your music, I love it." The street team is awesome.
Suzanne: We just answered a question without her even asking about our street team!
I know you have a song called "Haunted" on your new Ep. Did you just use it as your title track or was there another reason behind it?
Evan: Yeah, it was kind of just a short little cd for us.
Suzanne: We thought about going on a different direction but it's simple and it's our title track so I mean it just worked out nicely. With bells and whistles!
Tom: The two full band songs on the ep are about kind of having to live in a place where you used to be with somebody else and then just they're no longer there and it's like having to deal with all those things..walking down the same streets, walking past the same restaurants and stuff like that. So, that's really what the whole cd is about besides the Glamour Kills song.
Drew: So much fun to write.
How did the come about? I think it was kind of a contest?
Tom: Yeah! Back in the spring, Glamour Kills was looking for a theme song and we were already wearing their clothes and were big fans of all the bands on their roster and knew pretty much everything going on there and it was just kind of perfect timing and everything. We were kind of just laying low for a bit, playing shows, and we just got together and wrote the song in a week.
Drew: We all did a bit. Like a verse, or a hook, or the chorus. The first few lines of the song we were repeating over and over and we were like whoah, what's the next step for this.
Tom: The cd has being doing great though. The response online has been cool. We got to play it for the Glamour Kills guys like before everyone else heard it and they were really positive.
Drew: Yeah we did it in New York. Those guys are so much fun. I kind of we wish we could just set up shop there for a week.
Evan: I know like go up and be like "Hey can we come work for you guys?' 'Have a sleepover?"
Tom: They were really great people. The amount that they've done for us without us even knowing is unreal. Like just saying "check out this band" has like doubled everything for us. It's been really really cool.
Drew: Like one of the things, when you have music that you've worked hard on, or are really proud of, the next step is getting people to hear it so they can decide whether or not they are going to be excited about it and you get the word out and they've helped so much. It's been really great support.
Suzanne: We absolutely couldn't do it with out them. The fans that we have are die hard.
Evan: It's kind of like let's go on stage and play our show so we can hang out with our fans!
Suzanne: I just want to put them on the stage with us!
Who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences, maybe personally or as a band?
Suzanne: That's kind of an interesting question because they're all really, really different. I'm way more kind of old school like the sixties and seventies as far as what I grew up on. More acoustic. James Taylor is the love of my life. Um, Nick Drake, like of course the Beatles and stuff that my parents listened to like Simon and Garfunkel and then that's still what I listen to.
Drew: I was really really big into drum and bass and electric. A few of my favorite artists right now are like Pendelum and Justice. They're two of my favorites. Rocking out in my car.
Tom: Evan and I are kind of similar. Growing up, my dad listened to a lot of Bad Company and The Outfield. He was really into eighties rock which I mean, if you listen to a lot of Outfield, there's really not too big of a difference between that and like modern pop punk and my mom was really into like Mark Cohen and those two were huge on completely different ends of the spectrum but I think the Get Up Kids were probably the band that changed my life.
I caught them the day before Halloween in New Haven. I did an interview with Silverstein the night after them but Shane said Get Up Kids made his life as well.
Suzanne: The Get Up Kids are Evan's life.
Evan: I remember the first time I heard it I was just listening to some Eminem CD and then I found the Get Up Kids and was like "I just betrayed everything I've ever listened to".
Suzanne: What's funny is that you didn't know them then all of a sudden, you discovered that kind of music and it changed you're life. Like really it did.
Evan: Get Up Kids, The Starting Line, Cheshire Cat. I'm really into like Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie. I've played classical since I was in like fourth grade so all that stuff like Beethoven and Brahms. Romantic classical stuff.
Come back next week for their musical inspirations, their goals for their next album and how close they truly are to their awesome fan base. Thanks again to Evan, Suzanne, Tom and Drew for doing this interview and looking forward to you swinging through town once again! Check out their music on their myspace here.