Interview with Broadside; Lead Vocalist Ollie Baxxter on Songwriting and Debut Album ‘Old Bones’

We caught up via email with Ollie Baxxter, lead vocalist of the Richmond, Virginia-based pop-punk quintet Broadside, to learn more about this budding band.



Active since 2010, Richmond, Virginia’s pop-punk quintet, Broadside, have amassed a loyal underground following and, as such, recently signed with Victory Records to release their debut, Old Bones. Due out on May 19th, 2015 (pre-order here), the group’s eleven track, Kyle Black-produced effort is full of pop-punk meets hardcore-styled anthemic tunes that will have hoards of fans going nuts when they see Broadside live. We caught up via email with lead vocalist Ollie Baxxter to learn more about this budding band.

For those not familiar with your band can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Baxxter: We’re like a buffet, but like a little more classy – we have a variety, is what I’m saying. We have the awkward neon Jello, the sushi bar, and even like 1 vegan option. We are the guys you can count on for any sort of emotional need. We’ll cry with you, some of us will get blacked out with you, and mosh to Hatebreed with you. Some of us like space exploration and some like throwing a ball across a field for hours.

What is your writing process like?
Baxxter: Usually Dorian or Niles will come up with some cool lead or rhythm part on guitar and then Andrew will lay some drums underneath that followed by Josh adding the bottom with the bass. With this process I’m able to sit in on the whole song creation, so when it’s time to add vocals I’m able to have a complete vibe of the song and write lyrics in reflection of that. I like to take the storybook approach when writing and create a beginning, middle and end. To me, the best songs leave you in a self reflective state or at least inspire evaluation of the world around you.

You guys are a heavy band, how does it make you feel when that power and energy you channeled in the studio comes to life in front of a crowd?
Baxxter: I will say this, and I say it with confidence, we are definitely NOT a studio band. Meaning that we are at our best when we are on a stage, in front of people. The best part of being a band in this genre is that it allows us to go fucking nuts on stage and kids feel that energy and do the same. The more stage dives and people jumping on top of me screaming lyrics that mean so much to me, THE BETTER.

When you write do you do so with the live setting in mind, or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
Baxxter: Luckily, I’m in a band where, if I feel like a certain part of the song needs to have overlapping lyrics or one person sings while another screams, I can. Dorian has a higher register than I do and both Josh, Andrew and Niles have a beastly yell so we can explore a lot of different elements vocally. I absolutely took advantage of that on the record. All that being said, I write what’s in my head and we make it work live.

Along those same lines do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth, or do you get together in a room in a more traditional sense and write together?
Baxxter: Well, the past few years we had a studio and scheduled practice but now that Andrew lives in San Francisco, we will write and demo things out and send them to him. Then he’ll program drums and give feedback on the other aspects. I would say that we’re about 50/50 between technologically writing and just physically vibing songs out.

Check out the song “Coffee Talk” here.

What’s the story behind the name of the band?
Baxxter: Well we really liked the idea of the one word band name, and Broadside is honestly just what we all agreed on.

What is the story behind the name of the new record?
Baxxter: We named the record Old Bones in reflection of the theme of the album, I wrote each song about a different experience in my life that I just couldn’t grasp as a naive teenager or even a dream chasing young adult. Old Bones is about understanding things as they are, with life and self experience.

You have toured the world extensively. Is there anywhere you would like to go that you have not been?
Baxxter: We really are looking forward to touring overseas, just out of the country in general. Niles and I would lose our mind if we ever get the opportunity to tour Japan.

What do you think of the current state of the rock/metal world?
Baxxter: Honestly, I’m excited! A lot of my favorite bands are having their 10 year anniversary tours and to us that’s just an opportunity to relive the songs and shows that got us here in the first place.

Do you receive a lot of support from your local scene and fans in general?
Baxxter: Yes, we have played with pretty much every band in our city and respect each one of them.

Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage? If so, what are they?
Baxxter: I always take like 10 minutes before we set up to go and do some cardio, jump rope, paced sprinting, etc.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Baxxter: There is a fan of Broadside that has my lyrics from “Storyteller” tattooed on her body and honestly, that is most humbling thing that can happen to any vocalist. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and for your interest in Broadside!


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