I have been a fan of The Bay State for about five years and they have never disappointed me. The pop rock band was born from lead singer Tom Tash’s acoustic project with viola player, Evan James.
Like any fan, it is incredible to watch your favorite band develop from a small project into something great. They Bay State’s music has grown from just having an acoustic guitar and vocals, to a solid upbeat pop rock sound that infiltrates the music scene.
Once fans listen to their newest album, “The Haunted EP,” they will realize how versatile this band really is.
“We’ve always tried very hard to reinvent our sound in some way,” Tash said in an interview with FanBolt. “We’ve tried pop, electronica, punk, rock, hip hop, folk and acoustic music and plan to continue trying new stuff all the time. Music should be interesting and different all the time.”
Susanne Gerry is the bassist and other vocalist you will hear on their albums. Having been a vocalist for most of her life, she joined the band about a year and a half ago with no knowledge of playing the bass. Tash remembered that Gerry was quite nervous when she first started.
“We sat down one day and I taught her two or three of the easier songs to build her confidence,” Tash said. “She was immediately hooked and she would practice for hours everyday. If it was hard for her [to learn], she didn’t really show it.”
Drew Hooke is the band’s foundation as the drummer and programmer. Tash says that the best part of being a band is playing shows for their fans.
“It’s when we have the most fun,” Tash said. “There’s less business stuff to worry about.”
The band must also worry about the obstacles they have to overcome. The Bay State is an unsigned band and they must work twice as hard on a small budget. But their tenacity has paid off. They had the opportunity to play on the 2009 Warped Tour and they have been named one of PureVolume’s Top 20 Unsigned Bands of 2009.
“To stand out you [must] have, merchandise, CD’s, websites, equipment, a tour van, a publicist and a million dollars to cover all of the expenses,” Tash said. “It can be really tough to do all of those things as an unsigned band. We’ve always found ways to scrap together what we needed, but with more success comes more needs. We’ve all had to keep outside jobs when we’re not on the road. But, it’s totally worth it. This is what we live for.”
Another barrier they have had to break through is booking their own shows and tours, which can be very hard without the support of a record company.
“Business people want to know what they’re getting,” Tash said, “and without something like a label pushing you, it can be hard to convince them that you’re worth the risk. We’ve got a strong base though. Venues can’t deny it when they see our great fans pouring into shows.”
Even though they struggle, The Bay State always has a positive attitude and it reflects in their music.
“I like to take negative subjects and find positive ways of looking at them,” Tash said. “To counter act the [negative] lyrical content, I try to write upbeat happy music. It’s not always easy, but I don’t want to be a bummer to listen to.”
According to Tash, The Bay State will be “hitting the road hard in 2010.”
“We’re already putting together three tours in the first three months of the year,” Tash said, “and plan to cover the entire country by 2011. We’re also working on some new songs and plan to release them over the course of the New Year.”
Fans can buy their music from iTunes, Amazon and most online music stores. Physical CD’s can also be purchased at one of their shows.
Be sure to be on the look-out for The Bay State. They’re the best thing to come out of Maine since lobsters.
Article By: Kimberly Gallagher