Bands You Should Know: Baywood (Exclusive Interview)

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Let’s kick off 2014 with our newest installment of Bands You Should Know. This time around we are featuring a folk rock duo we’ve been following for some time now called Baywood. About a year and a half ago we were covering a warehouse show for Zak Waters in downtown LA. To my surprise, the opening act grabbed my attention in a big way. I have never seen two guys genuinely enjoy performing together more. In between songs they would even shoot the shit like best friends hanging out, doing what they loved most. In my opinion, that’s what music is all about. On top of having a stellar stage presence, they were actually really good. This brought about the question, Why are they not famous yet? This very question was the reason we created our Bands You Should Know section and Baywood is most definitely a band you should know! This duo is comprised of Joe Ginsberg and Jarrad Kritzstein. They are currently based out of Silverlake, California, which is one of the independent music capitals of the world. Beards, flannels and thick-rimmed glasses as far as the eye can see.. Not to mention a whole heap of musical talent. They have been together since late 2010 and are showing no signs of slowing down. We got a chance to meet the guys a while back, but we figured it was time you meet them too, so we asked them a few questions for your viewing pleasure… Enjoy!

The Eargazm: So how did you guys meet?

Baywood: We met in 2011 playing in The Almighty Sound, Audra Mae’s backing band. We knew each other from shows and band/friend hang outs, but never had a one on one really, until I heard some of Joe’s music and wanted to write with him. The first day we hung out just the two of us, he came over to my studio in Atwater Village, and we wrote I Can Breathe Again. We took an instrumental that he had done in Denver and wrote and recorded over it, adding a bunch of elements to finish it up. (horns, percussion, bells and whistles, and vocals of course) We’ve been best buds ever since!

The Eargazm: Baywood is an interesting band name. How did you come up with it?

Baywood: When ICBA went into rotation on 93.3 (Denver’s Modern Rock station), we had to quickly come up with a band name. I lived on Baywood St at the time, which was where we wrote/recorded everything. It just made sense!

The Eargazm: With Silverlake (LA) being one of the most musically talented cities in the US, is it hard to stand out on a local level?

Baywood: Yes! Our focus has always been self-self-fullfilment i think. It was never about impressing the locals. The records are written because we love to write together, and have a lot of stories to get off our chests. The live show has turned into what it is because, frankly, with our busy schedules, we actually have a very limited window of time to actually hang out… hence why our live show is mostly just Joe and I having a conversation on stage… playing some songs and messing around is what we’d do if we were in our living rooms.

The Eargazm: Since folk rock has made it’s way into the mainstream over the past few years, have you seen a change in your audience?

Baywood: It’s an interesting point… I do think the nu-folk movement of the last few years has definitely provided a platform for ‘big-folk’ artists to get on stage and have a party with large sold out crowds. In my opinion, however, I’m not so sure we fall under that category. We, unlike most new folk bands, don’t have anybody else. Its just us. Most of the time, its just two guitars and a banjo, some jokes, and some beards. Our Denver audience comes from mostly radio play and word of mouth, I think. Our LA audience is mostly friends and word of mouth.

The Eargazm: After catching your warehouse show in downtown LA last year, it was obvious you have a real passion for music. Your soulful upbeat stage presence was infectious. Starting out did you ever imagine you would touring around the US for an album release? Or was it more of a passion project that snowballed?

Baywood: I don’t think we ever had our sights on anything but fun hangs. It started as a passion project that took a detour over the last year or so, but we’re back on track. We’re doing the album release ourselves, with release shows in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and LA. We couldn’t be more excited!

The Eargazm: Where do you hope to see Baywood in the next 5 years? (Pipe dream answers are realistic at The Eargazm. After all if you aren’t pursuing your dreams, you might as well be dead..)

Baywood: Ever since I saw the backstage of Red Rocks, I’ve wanted to perform there. So, yea. That would make my life complete 🙂 Id like to continue making rule-free records with my best friend Joe. I’d like to earn the ears of more listeners, adding them one by one to our family. I’d like to continue to have a blast on the road and in the studio.

The Eargazm: If you could perform with any artist or band, dead or alive, who would it be?

Baywood: Aww man thats a hard one. this list would be over a thousand names long… Where do we fit? What show would YOU like to see? We talk about this a lot. I think sometimes the hang-up is “we’re too close in sound, the show wouldn’t be as dynamic as it could be.” (something i think about a lot!) Alive though, I think touring with Jenny Lewis, She & Him, Coconut Records (if he ever puts out another record to support), DCFC, Lucius, Punch Brothers…. could be cool.

The Eargazm: Would you rather drop acid with Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead or The Beatles? And why?

Baywood: hmmm…. my instinct is to say the Beatles, but i fear John would be silently judging me. Paul would be nice. Ringo would make faces at me. George would ask about my family. Dropping acid with the Beatles would be nice, but i feel like i’d want to impress them the whole time. If i went the Jerry route, it would be more than just acid. It’d be a lifetime of stories.

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