Director / CrewI am Drew Scanlon, former Giant Bomb video producer, current purveyor of Cloth Map, and Blinking White Guy. AMA!
Mar 15th 2017 by drewscanlon • 51 Questions • 6311 Points
We are Max Bemis of Say Anything and Anthony Raneri of Bayside! We are about to head out on a co-headline tour together throughout the US, and we're bringing out our friends in Reggie and the Full Effect and Hot Rod Circuit. Come to the tour (grab your tix here - http://sayanything.shofetti.com / http://bayside.shofetti.com) and in the meantime - ask us anything you want right here!
Similar to this question that Austin was asked (in fact, exactly the same), what have been the most valuable lessons you've learned whilst working at Giant Bomb?
Hey Anthony! I'm a huge Bayside fan and the mod over at the Bayside subreddit, /r/baysideisacult. You should check it out!
Is it true that everyone is Bayside is having kids so that you guys can teach them to play music and start the next rock supergroup?
Great question! My time at Giant Bomb defined a lot about my career, and my life (eight years at a place will do that do you!). Here goes!
Alex: I hope to one day be as sharp and quick-witted as Alex. Dude's jokes are always on point and his lightning-fast comments often have a poignancy I couldn't achieve with hours of soul-searching. He's also one of the genuinely nicest people I've ever met.
Brad: Brad is supremely eloquent. He has this uncanny ability to distill and convey exactly what he's thinking, using the perfect words to do so. He's also down to chat about space or physics or pretty much anything cool at a near-university level. He's a fountain of information.
Dan: Dan will constantly surprise you. His view of the world is often direct and simple, but this can cause you to challenge things you'd previously considered set in stone. I can't thank him enough for introducing me to mindfulness meditation, something that has vastly improved my life.
Jason: Coming into a new environment and gelling with a team that has been together for as long as we had is an extremely difficult task, but not only did Jason pull it off, he did so with his characteristic unwavering positivity. Jason injected new, outside-the-box ideas while also taking to heart the lessons the rest of us had learned over the years, and has grown immeasurably since he arrived, both behind the camera and in front of it.
Jeff: Jeff is a walking encyclopedia of video games, a trait that never ceased to amaze me. But what’s most amazing about Jeff is how much he respects games and the industry. You can’t build what Giant Bomb is without people that care--that have a reverence for the material--the way Jeff does. It’s inspiring.
Rorie: There are tasks involved with operating a website that are tedious, unglamorous, largely invisible to the audience, and vastly important. Rorie does most of these things, and does so tirelessly. Personally, Rorie is extraordinarily genuine, and probably smarter than all of us combined.
David: You guys may not know Dave Nillasca, but he keeps the lights on. Knowing that someone is looking out for you while you make dumb Internet videos is extremely comforting, especially when it’s someone as smart and capable as Dave.
Austin: I hardly spent any time with Austin during his brief tenure at Giant Bomb, but whenever I did, it felt like we had known each other for years. Austin can talk about the things you think you know well, but in a way that makes them seem brand new and makes you appreciate them even more. The fact that he was able to create a website and community with that ability in Waypoint has been amazing to watch.
Patrick: If you need proof that Patrick is always up for anything, look no further than the end of this video (where Patrick eats a boiled sheep’s head). Professional, personable, and just fun to be around, I would travel anywhere in the world with Patrick again in a heartbeat.
Ryan: Man, I miss Ryan. If you want to know what Ryan was like in person, just watch this video. Imagine working with a guy like that every day, how that would give you energy, lift your mood, and make you want to make great things.
Vinny: What do you say about the person who shaped your career? Who taught you almost everything you know about video production, from the technical to the interpersonal? Who stayed just as late (and usually later) than you when you were both working on edits? Who taught you, through his own actions, to care about the craft of the work in addition to its content? And who did all of that while making you laugh every single day? You say thank you. Thank you, Vinny.
and yes, I do think our kids will all be forming a ripping band in the near future
Will you be attending Eurovision? Seems like you should document Eurovision.
I'd just like to say that being a kid from Long Island in the early 2000's, listening to Bayside and being able to connect with people through your music, got me through some of the toughest times of my life. How does it feel knowing you've influenced so many lives?
it's a pretty heavy thing. it's kind of a lot of responsibility but I just think about the bands that have influenced me and it's cool to think that I am that to someone else -anthony
Huge fan, duder. Super excited for your new project, can't wait to see what you come up with!
I have 2 questions: Firstly, over the years you've gotten tons of rad stuff from the Giant Bomb community through mailbags. What were some of your personal favorites?
Secondly, what does Matt Rorie smell like? Does he smell like puppy breath?
I'd love to hear the answers to this!!
Oh man, there's so much! I love historical artifacts, like the Russian naval hat and the Olympic pins, but I think my favorites are ones that people actually made, like the Puyo Puyo Tetris-themed baseball cards, the MGS-themed alpaca Amiibo, drawings, knitting projects, the list goes on!
that's a good question! i've always been a fan of Bayside and we have the same friends and booking agent. There are bands that are basically brothers of ours that we haven't toured with yet and bands that i hardly know that we've toured with, so often the most obvious thing crops up kind of randomly in your head when you've got so much going on as a musician. I will say I did have a "duh" moment when the tour was suggested because it's such a perfect fit.
So I'm curious about your tastes in tabletop gaming. Over the years I don't recall you talking much about it since, well, you were busy talking about video games.
Any games really stick out to you? Are you into pen&paper RPGs? Do dice have the same sultry appeal to you as a new HOTAS?
Max, any chance you'll take on some recent political issues via song? Your bluntness is refreshing.
Board games are DEEPLY ingrained in my family. We play them almost every time we get together.
Family favorites: Catan, 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride, Camel Cup, Colt Express, Hanabi, The Resistance/Avalon
Personal additions to that list: Carcassonne, Ascension
our next record isn't political but it's socio-political in nature and is about one aspect, a direct product of the kind of society that could actually elect Donald Trump - mb
One of the most difficult parts of travel for me (especially when it's w/a baby and a dog) is the luggage. How much gear do you think you'll be taking on your trips and do you use any special packing techniques to keep your equipment from being damaged during transport?
To both of you: I always wonder if members of my favorite bands (especially live) go to concerts (and not just go back stage, but just attend a concert). Do you? If so, what are some of your favorite bands to see live?
I haven't ordered all my video gear yet, so it's tough to say how big THAT suitcase is going to be, but I want to stay as light as possible. That means taking minimal personal items, to maximize for equipment, which I think will be a fun challenge! When I was in Japan for New Year's this year, I tried an experiment: two sets of underwear, two pairs of socks. Wear one, wash one. Every day for two weeks. Seemed like it worked (nobody told me I smelled)!
i go pretty often. RxBandits are one of my favorite bands to see live -anthony
When Mario Party Switch comes out would you like to join in the new Mario Party Party back at Giant Bomb?
Hey Max! At the end of "A walk through hell" it sounds like you're telling a story. You say something along the lines of "And I was like stepping on it like... stomp ...but there was no damage." I was wondering if you remembered what story you were telling? I've been curious about it for years
ha!i think i almost rear ended someone, which did periodically in high school - MB
Is Cloth Map a one-man operation? Also, what equipment do you plan on carrying with you in the field?
Hi Max! Long time fan, first time caller. Thanks for doing this.
Any plans to celebrate 10 years of In Defense (my personal favorite)?
Is the Song Shop Fail thing still happening?
WHEN NEW ALBUM?!
Will you and Sherri adopt me?
It is, currently! I haven't bought most of the gear yet, but I want to stay pretty light and mobile. I was thinking of the Sony a7s II, a boom mic, maybe lavs and an audio recorder, that kind of setup.
yes, yes, 2018, yes -mb
Drew, thank you for all the memories at Giant Bomb! Why did you decide to make this a venture outside of Giant Bomb? Were they just not interested in this type of content, or would it have been too resource-intensive or another reason entirely?
Also, I would love to hear a Ryan Davis story if you have got one!
Anthony. Can we expect a solo album from you anytime soon? I absolutely love your solo work
Purely a personal decision. Absolutely nothing against Giant Bomb or CBSi, I just wanted to try doing something on my own, to challenge myself.
Most of my best memories of Ryan are thankfully on camera, like the video where he hears Buckner & Garcia's Found Me the Bomb for the first time. I do remember, though, when I was tasked with doing my first teleprompter shoot (I think for GOTY 2009), I was really nervous, so I watched a whole bunch of Ryan's stuff. Dude was really good at speaking written words like was just thinking of them.
i hope that I can get the time to again. Bayside keeps me pretty busy and I always said that I would never take time away from the band to work on the solo stuff. Whenever there is a gap in Bayside's schedule again, i'd love to -anthony
You wrote me a song once and I loved it. What inspired you to start doing Song Shop?
Edit: Also, the Say Anthing/Saves The Day 10/15 Year Anniversary Show at the OC Observatory was honestly the best show I ever went to in my life. Thank you so much.
Also, Anthony, I fucking love Bayside. I'm sad I'm missing your tour this time around.
why are you missing it? hope you have a good excuse -Anthony
Did you still do Crossfit? Will there be a miniseries called Clothfit covering the Crossfit Games?
Hahaha, I appreciate the pun! With work and flying and stuff, CrossFit has taken a back seat for the past few months, but I'd love to see if I could reintegrate it into my schedule. I really enjoyed feeling like a superhero.
i'm pretty sure ant grew up going to punk and hardcore shows in new york whereas i grew up playing with Maroon 5 on the fucking sunset strip - MB
Any views from the inside on how video game websites have evolved over the years to compete with new platforms of game coverage, like Twitch and Youtube?
Also please keep showing up for Bombcasts, you're the best dude.
For both: How do you like your eggs?
Thanks duder!! The game-coverage landscape is constantly evolving, and I think the reason Giant Bomb has been around as long as it has is because it is also good at evolving and being flexible. As difficult as it is to have such a small team, we were able to adjust to things like moving from Sausalito to San Francisco, starting a premium service, moving to CBS, the loss of Ryan, starting Giant Bomb East, and the throes of the Internet. It's a remarkable organization, and I can't wait to see what they do next! It's going to be fun being a fan this time ;D
sunny side up -anthony
How is your Final Fantasy VI play through coming along? I really love that game and I think you chose the perfect one to play through as your first.
Congrats on the Patreon. How many trips do you think you'll pull off with that large of a backing in the first 6 months? I can't wait to see where you go and what stories you tell. Good luck with Cloth Map!
Hey Max! I want a song so bad from song shop but I'm so confused about what I want it to be about. What topics do you really love writing about for song shop songs?
I just recently got back to it! Which is not an easy thing to do, by the way. I spent about an hour wandering around trying to remember what I was doing and where to go before I gave up and visited GameFAQs. Turns out Terra is missing and I have to find her!
The exact number of trips is tough to say at such an early stage, but I'd love to do at least three in the first six months, with lots of video to go along with each one. I think I'll learn a LOT with the first one, and fully expect the project to evolve over time as I get better at doing it!
personally, anything i great but i confess i enjoy the slightly "deeper" songs more whether they're positive or negative. feelings, bro - mb
Hi there Drew, first time caller long time listener. Few questions here for you.
1) When did you get the idea for Cloth Map and for how long did you consider leaving GB to start it before you actually went ahead with it?
2) What is your plan for if you go to a country to do a video, get there, record it all, and then decide the content you got was bad? For example, any interview or tour you go on to get content just isn't very forthcoming and informative as you had hoped. You are investing a lot into each individual trip, so quality control has to be a concern for you.
3) Obviously on the go you will be doing a bit of a point and shoot setup with you handling the camera. However for anything like interview shots or shots with you speaking into the camera, will you have a dedicated cameraman/woman?
4) What was your favourite thing about each of your previous coworkers at GB? It can be a moment, a personal quality, anything really. (e: I see you since answered something similar to this so skip it if you want because the answer up there works.)
5) Did you see yourself working at GB for as long as you did when you first started working for the site full time?
6) How do you explain your new career to friends and family? I am sure when you proposed it to them some of them gave you weird looks and threw questions about it at you, especially if they already didn't understand the idea of "dude who works for videogame site." I am sure "dude who goes globetrekking to look at game related stuff to make a travel diary about it on his own" is an even more puzzling thing for them to comprehend.
this is for both anthony and max, but out of every song either of you have ever written, which is your favorite to play live?
Hey there! Most of these have been answered, but I'll bat cleanup as best I can.
The actual ins-and-outs of production are something I can only really speculate on until I actually get OUT there, but in regards to quality control my goal is to create pieces of value, not a stream of throwaway video selfies. People have enough stuff like that in their lives, and more to the point it's not really how I work. If I'm going to invest time and energy in something, I want it to be something I and my Patrons are proud of!
Much like working at Giant Bomb, the way I characterize my job differs depending on who I'm talking to. For example, if I say I work at a "video game website" to the wrong person, they'll think I make FarmVille. The best I came up with while working at Giant Bomb was "I work at a website that covers the video game industry." If they wanted more information, I'd say "I do video work for them, video reviews, that sort of thing." (GB hasn't done video reviews in years, but it's a good shorthand.) I'm sure the way I say it for Cloth Map will change over time, but for now, if I'm talking to someone I just met, I'll probably say "I make travel documentaries," which is frustratingly reductive but gets the point across.
as of right now i really like playing "so numb" - MB
Sup duder! Thanks for all the amazing memories with Giant Bomb and I can't wait to see what you do with Cloth Map! Just wondering, what was your favorite moment from the entire Metal Gear Scanlon run? And what are the odds of you and /u/DanRyckert prowling the Russian wilderness, MGS3 style?
Also, did you ever get around to watching The Patriot?
Does he have his license to officiate too?
Thank you!! Haha, no, still have never seen The Patriot, but I want to! It's probably terrible!
So many good moments in Metal Gear Scanlon, but I think the one I'm most proud of is my fight with The End. For that brief frame of time, MGS clicked with me, and it felt amazing. The rest of the time, it was, well...
i have a license to kvetch - mb
Hey Drew, Brewmaster Andy here! Do you anticipate this project leading you mostly into international waters, or are you planning some stateside travel as well?
Two random questions for the both of you 1) Favorite city to play in Texas? 2) Favorite shows on Netflix currently?
Hey Andy! Not ruling anything out, but probably focusing on international stuff at the outset. I really want to get outside my own comfort zone!
i think the shows are the best in either Austin or San Antonio but i really like being in West Texas
And I just finished Downton Abbey on Amazon -anthony
Do you anticipate buying a lot of games for Switch going forward since you're going to be traveling a lot and Switch seems really good for that?
Hey Guys, I understand you're Musicians but when your not touring or writing music, Do you have day jobs?
I'm loving the Switch so far! Seems like it'd be a good travel device. I'm not one to play games for hours-long stretches, so the battery life doesn't really bother me. It'd probably become my "get back to the hotel and chill" device. Just wish there were more games for it!
Hey Drew! Congrats on the new project! What are your big challenges transitioning from the Giant Bomb team to working for yourself? Do you have people that will be helping you out regularly?
Anthony, I just moved to NYC what are some must check out bars etc?
Right away the biggest challenge was working from home, not because I get distracted, but because, when there's no separation from the place you work and the place you sleep, you can work all the time. As such, I use timers to force me to stop working. Good work doesn't come without good rest, and vice versa.
Right now Cloth Map is just me, though I occasionally go to members of my family for financial/business advice.
I don't really go to bars but you have to eat at the Parkside in Corona -Anthony
Hi drew, 2 questions!
1) will you keep living in SF? As you're travelling a lot and SF is so crazy expensive, wouldn't it be easyier to live somewhere else?
2) How will you deel with people calling this kind of travel funding wrong? Specifically for people looking to fund their travelling. Do you think sharing the costs/salary of your expenses would help for transperancy?
Max, would you ever consider just playing guitar for a side-project band?
Yep, still living in SF! Thankfully, I'm fortunate and pay less than average rent around here. Plus, pretty much my entire network of business and personal contacts is here, which I guess is unquantifiable, but it certainly helps.
I think if I were just taking the money and going to Hawaii, drinking mojitos all day and filming a single one-minute video saying "sup," that would probably be uncool. I also totally understand if people are skeptical at this super early stage.
But there are also people that simply will never understand how production works, and that's fine! Most of the videos will be available for free on the Cloth Map YouTube channel. But for the people that like what I do and want to see more of it, there's Patreon.
have always wanted to - mb
I am massively terrified for my future. I am nineteen and do not have a clue what I want to do with my life. I did well in school, went to university for two years and decided to drop out for a multitude of reasons.
How did you figure out what you wanted to do at my age? What led you to where you are today?
P.S If you ever visit Scotland for whatever reason, I'd love to take you to some of our finest drinking establishments.
All for Anthony (Sorry Max!) -First of all -- your music has absolutely changed my life - but.....Do you check your Instagram DM's?
1) Will you have Vinyls available on this tour? I've been trying to get one for years (I want my purchase to yield you the MOST money - so I'd rather buy stuff directly from the band)
2) Can I somehow play guitar on a song at the DENVER stop of this upcoming tour? I know that kind of interaction with fans is typically not Bayside's thing.. but hey, worth a shot.
3) Would it be possible to do a quick 5 minute interview with you in person for an upcoming project?
Please don't stop.
"Figuring out what you want to do" often implicitly comes with "for the rest of your life" at the end. This I reject. It's such a huge, difficult question. It's like a snake trying to swallow a Volkswagen Beetle. Instead, do what interests you right now. If you're always doing something you like, you'll always be doing something you like!
Something else I reject: the notion of "finding your passion." Passion isn't something that hits you like a bolt of lightning, after which you say "I know what I want to do with my life!" Instead, passion comes from feeling good about what you're doing and reaching a certain level of mastery with it. It comes AFTER you've been doing something for a while that you think is cool.
Hope that helps!
I am very bad with social media. I try and at least read comments but i never really check messages
are you better than jack?
you are interviewing me now
What's your opinion on Force India's pink livery?
Yes, I am asking the big questions.
Hey! Been a fan for about 10 years! (Almost 27 now :))
Max, in your song Alive With the Glory of Love, is it true it is after your grandparents in Auschwitz? Can you tell me any background?
Love, a fellow Jew!
Approve, especially since McLaren is going in the orange direction.
yup, my grandparents (who i actually was never close with) fell in love with each other with the backdrop of WW2 and my grandma was in Auschwitz right before they met
Hi Drew, thanks for doing this AMA and I'm gonna support Cloth Map through Patreon later today.
Actually I'm gonna sign up for Patreon just so I can support this awesome thing. Best of luck and I'm looking forward to all the content. Being an starting editor myself, here's my question:
What is the most important thing about editing you've learned in the past 8 years?
Ant - I've posed this notion to you a couple times before in person, but I absolutely loved when you and Nick did Gumshoe Radio... one day, it would be so sweet if you guys would throw a podcast of sorts together if you can find time in your schedule; any interest?
Thanks so much! I'd be grateful to have you!!
Editing tip: Let the shots linger as long as they need to. Don't try to cram them in so that you can't tell what's happening. I tend to trim clips with that in mind, add them all to the timeline, pick a song that encapsulates the tone I'm going for, and then massage it all into a piece.
i would love to. we had a lot of fun with Gumshoe. We're all so busy these days though, I'm not sure we'd be able to. I wish I could just put a show together whenever I had time but i think that those things come with expectations of consistency that I can't commit to -anthony
As someone who likes to travel, can you speak any languages other than english/do you plan to learn any?
Hey guys. This one's for Max. Over Say Anything's history you've had an awesome amount of guest vocalists on the albums. Who's your favorite or the one person you would've never guessed you'd have featured on one of your tracks?
I can do the most basic of high school Spanish and a little bit of German. Given infinite time, I would love to learn Japanese, Russian, Arabic... man, everything?
anthony, obviously -mb
For Max, who're you're biggest inspirations lyrically? Some of your lyrics are so profound and/or poetic I'm just curious if there are any particular lyricists, poets, writers or any other type of person who've inspired your style and how those influences have changed with the years and records.
(Sorry if this is badly worded)
EDIT: I'm gonna see you guys in Richmond and I'm so hype
Jewish comedians have always been the biggest inspiration fort my writing.. Robert Klein, Woody Allen, Larry David. In terms of lyricists, hip hop was big for me growing up so Tupac and Biggie are a big influence. My friend Chris Conley as well. -MB
Any hints on what material we can expect to hear on the upcoming tour?
all kinds of stuff. and we always try to play a lot of old stuff as well as stuff we've never played.
To Anthony, what do you think about St. Louis, Missouri? Rumor round here is that Bayside hates playing here
it's not my favorite city in the world - anthony
Max, what is Rum and The Stephen Hawking about? They're my two favorite songs but I can't figure them out! Can't wait to see you guys on May 6th!
rum is just a song about feeling confident and happy and alive being in a less than credible punk band. stephen hawking is about an immature spat i was in at the time, but it kind of links to the idea of anger and how to manage it, being a free spirit as well as maintaining self respect - mb
dear max, i can't tell you how much you have helped me over the years through your music. i have to be honest and say i love you and never give up on music :D
my question for you max is, while you wrote the song "tradewaiter" for Polarity, what did you mean you wrote "just wait til you see what comes next, you wont know,what hit you"
second question, do you plan on writing anymore Polarity song? or comic books?
third question, are you working on any new albums for SA right now?! can we get a sneak peak of it?
fourth question, when are you coming to Rochester New york next? i know your going to buffalo NY but i dont have the money to travel there or for the tickets :C so next time you tour please come to Rochester NY
Hi! That was an allusion to Tim's life post-story, which I would love to return to in some form, especially as a sequel comic.
Hi Max! I'm a longtime megafan that has been to every one of your shows in Orlando since 2005, and some in other states also. Happy 11th birthday to the ... is a Real Boy album! Just a few questions:
1) Why did you choose to write the song "Less Cute" from a female perspective? Was it difficult writing from the perspective of the opposite gender?
2) What is your favorite SA song with Sherri? (mine is Six Six Six)
3) How are your girls doing on the road so far? I hope mini-Max (aka Coraline) isn't throwing too many tantrums!
Bonus question: At your HOB show summer 2015 in Orlando, I crowd surfed to Ahhh... Men and when I got to the front you held out the mic so I could sing a couple lyrics. I also touched your chest. Do you remember me? Probably not, but it was top 3 best moments of my life and I didn't shut up about it for weeks after.
1) The song is about someone's reaction to misogyny so the story and the character appeared in my mind as female. But I've been there myself in certain ways.
2) I like "So Good" and "Cemetery" since they're so blatantly about her. Actually my favorite is probably "The Shape of Love to Come" for the same reason.
I love both of your lyrical styles. Where/When/How do you write lyrics to get such a great final product?
I'm constantly fine tuning mine. I start by writing things before there is any music. I just write it as stream of consciousness with no meter or rhyme. Then I put it to music and turn it into lyrics. I keep tweaking it all the way until the record is recorded. -anthony
Anthony! Seriously long time fan. Since Sirens and Condolences. I have a two part question. Going through the number of members you've gone through with the band, how would you describe in your own words the evolution you've gone through in regards to who youre making music with? How much of an influence do your bandmates have on your music writing? Thanks for doing this AMA!
we went through a bunch of members early on but it mainly had to do with people not wanting to make this a full time career. When you start a band with your friend in a basement and then all of a sudden you're on tour for 10 months a year and running a business, it might feel like it isn't what you signed up for - anthony
Hey Anthony, Huge fan of your music, seen you guys (full band+solo) at least 15 times around the Philly area.
What's the song writing / album process like now compared to when you guys were a younger band? I imagine it's got to be a lot different since you are all living further away/out of town. Is the excitement still there, is it easy to get the guys together? Vancancy is my favorite Bayside album now, just ahead of Walking Wounded, <3
it's not that easy to get everyone in the same room but we just do all of our writing remotely now. We spend a long time in the studio with vacancy just working out things that we would have worked out in rehearsal if we lived in the same state -anthony
Ant, first SA song that got your attention? Max, first Bayside song to get your attention?
i saw Say Anything play at the Bowery Ballroom opening for Straylight Run and I distinctly remember as a writer being really inspired and intimidated by Belt. -anthony