Bayway: NJHC Band Calls Back to 90's Beatdown Heavyweights With "World of Bayway: Volume 2"

(Photo credit: Carl Gunhouse)

Regardless of what’s trending, ignorant hardcore will always have my heart. Maybe that’s the Chicago in me talking, but give me a band that makes me feel remotely like I did the first time I heard The Final Beatdown, and I’m putting that shit on repeat.

Bayway combine two of my great loves from my earliest days in the scene - knuckledragging beatdown and New Jersey hardcore - and they do it well. The band shows an true commitment to honoring the classic bands that came before them, such as E-Town Concrete, NJ Bloodline, and Fury of Five, while still adding their own unique spin. Still, all the pieces are there - that gunshot snare, hulking riffs, and Jay and Chris’s candid and authentic lyrics, which focus on the dark moments of someone who’s experienced the loss and pain of living in the real world. 

Naturally, Bayway has linked up with DAZE Records, releasing their second EP, The Newport Sessions, through the label. The tape opens with a recording of Jay’s daily corner store run that leads into three ferocious tracks. Shortly after this interview was completed, the band released their debut full-length, World of Bayway: Volume 2, which consists of all the tracks from The Newport Sessions and their first demo, as well as a handful of new tracks. Typical to New Jersey Hardcore, both releases lean into the band’s hip-hop influences, featuring more rapping from Jay. Aside from that, listeners can expect even more mosh parts, heavier grooves, and a feature from NJHC legend Stikman. Perfect hardcore.

Jay and I talked about how Bayway got started, writing as a form of therapy, The Newport Sessions, having Stikman at the band’s first show, and more.

(Photo credit: Carl Gunhouse)

AA: Introduce yourself with your name, what you do in Bayway, and a fact about yourself. 

JW: What up! I’m Jay and I sing for the band. I am in fact an idiot. 

AA: Who played your first hardcore show? What impact did that have on keeping you involved in hardcore? 

JW: My first hardcore show literally included all the bands that influenced Bayway. I saw E-Town Concrete, One4One, NJ Bloodline, Shattered Realm and Agents of Man. I was invited to the show by the late Wreak Havoc, who sang for NJ Bloodline, and it was the most insane experience I had ever had at the time. I was blown away and immediately started writing hardcore music and trying to get into hardcore bands after the show. It gave me an outlet and place to call home when I desperately needed it and for sure got me hooked and kept me coming back. The show was nuts. The acceptance I got from the scene was instantaneous. It's still that way. You know when someone is there for the right reasons. 

AA: What made you want to start a band like Bayway? 

JW: Bayway began because we wanted to get back to our roots. We had all been doing other stuff musically. Some of us were touring, some of us were writing music with friends, so when we got together to start writing, we just really wanted to have fun with it. Coming out of a pandemic, it really puts shit into perspective. Life is short. Why do anything that you don’t absolutely love doing?

(Photo credit: Carl Gunhouse)

AA: Where do you take inspiration from, both musically and lyrically, when writing for Bayway? 

JW: We are heavily inspired by late 90’s hardcore. Chris and I do the bulk of the writing, and I can only speak for myself, but I know I pull from the late 90’s Jersey bands that I have literally always and will always listen to and love. The lyrics are inspired by things that I have gone through in my life. I have experienced a great deal of loss in my life, and I try to channel that and get it out through the music. It’s not always easy to discuss topics like domestic

violence, death, addiction, or just pain in general, so I use Bayway as an outlet for the things I have gone through. 

AA: On Bayway’s most recent EP, The Newport Sessions, you guys featured Stikman - an obvious NJHC legend - on “God Forgive Me.” How did he end up getting on the track? 

JW: Believe it or not, Stikman was at our first show. I don’t know how that happened, but I do know that everything happens for a reason. He is an obvious legend. The dude is responsible for not only putting New Jersey on the map, but for putting on many bands, which he still does to this day. You will not find someone more dedicated to their craft, still out there supporting the music he loves, and putting on the new bands. He is one of a kind. 

We spoke outside the show and I introduced myself. Bayway went to a Fury of Five video shoot, and we started to discuss him being on a track. We wrote lyrics separately, but they matched up perfectly, and the song was born. He named the track, and the best part about it has been the friendship that came from it and the ability to get on stage and perform that song with him whenever we can! 

Album art

AA: The cover art for The Newport Sessions is dope - and, in my opinion, sets the tone for the EP pretty well. Did you have any involvement in coming up with ideas for the artwork? 

JW: When we were discussing what the artwork would look like, we wanted something that would represent the band and the rugged sound that the EP had. I was discussing it with Pat from RTF, and he had the idea for packaging a tape like cigarettes. After a couple of brainstorm sessions, he got to work designing it, and he fucking killed it. Dude is in many ways like a mad scientist. If you could see our text message threads when we start cooking up ideas, it's beyond ridiculous. 

AA: What’s your favorite song off The Newport Sessions and why?

JW: My favorite song on the EP is “World of Suffering.” It’s just a deeply personal song, and whenever we play it, I feel like I’m working to heal my personal trauma. It’s a super aggressive, in-your-face type of track, and people lose their shit when we drop it live. 

AA: How do you feel about the current state of New Jersey hardcore? 

JW: I am not sure I could be happier with the current state of New Jersey Hardcore. There are so many people working behind the scenes to put on incredible shows and so many young bands that are coming up that it just seems to be on fire right now. Show attendance is way up, and the shows coming to the area are getting better and better. 

(Photo credit: Carl Gunhouse)

AA: Any upcoming plans you’d like to talk about? 

JW: At the end of September, we have a new single coming out featuring Ant Money from E-Town Concrete. The song is called “Stretchin Tha Truth” - the record comes out about a month later. It’s coming out on vinyl through DAZE and RTF, and we couldn’t be more excited about releasing new music. We have a ton of killer shows lined up for the remainder of the year, so get out to one and come say what's up. 

AA: Anything else you’d like to add? 

JW: I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. 


Thank you again to Jay for doing this interview with me! You can stay up-to-date with Bayway via their social media:

Instagram | TwitterBandcamp

Listen to World of Bayway: Vol. 2 via Spotify below:


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