Since 1999, New Found Glory has pioneered the pop-punk genre, setting themselves apart with the constant quality of the product they released and the high energy shows they performed for thousands of fans. From the release of their iconic debut album Nothing Gold Can Stay, through the golden years of Drive Thru Records, to the recent resurgence of pop punk, New Found Glory has been through it all and has always come out on top.
The band from Coral Springs is preparing for a mammoth North American tour with Yellowcard and Tigers Jaw, and gearing up for the re-release of their 8th studio album Resurrection, both of which are happening on October 8th. New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki was kind enough to sit down for a moment and answer a few questions on both subjects.
Radiosurgery came out four years ago, and brought on a sort of renaissance in the same genre that made you popular in the early 2000s. Three years later, you released Ressurection, the band’s first album as a quartet. It was the perfect follow-up to Radiosurgery, with heavier undertones but the same signature New Found Glory sound. Is that heavier, a bit more serious sound something that you planned on going back to after Radiosurgery, or did it just happen when you guys sat down to write the album?
As with all of our albums, Resurrection was influenced both musically and lyrically by the things that we as a band had been experiencing in the time leading up to it. So, around the time that we were getting ready to write for the record, we had just gone through a big change in our band, going from five members to four. Most people would have probably thought at the time that we would have just decided to stop and give up as a band, but we took the change as a way of proving to ourselves and the rest of the world that we can push onward, even when faced with a tough situation.
So the heavier undertones are probably a result of us really focusing on what made us popular in the first place, which was heavy guitar riffs mixed with catchy melodies. We didn’t want to rely on layers and layers of guitar tracks to make the album sound full, so we instead just recorded a few guitar tracks and let the “heaviness” of the riffs carry the weight of the sound. And then lyrically this album might be deemed a little more serious because we wanted to reflect on what we were experiencing at the time, and so there are some more serious topics mentioned…instead of only songs about breakups and the girl that got away, we talk about things like getting through rough patches, and really focusing on what it is that is important in your life.
On October 8th you’ll be releasing a reworked version of Resurrection called Resurrection: Ascension with new songs and previously unreleased acoustic tracks. What can you tell us about the new songs? Are they songs that were written recently, or are they songs that were written years ago and were dusted off and recorded for the occasion?
The new songs were written well after Resurrection was released, actually being finished up while we were on a tour in the US this past spring. We then entered a studio in Nashville the day after finishing that tour and recorded the two tracks. I think the songs are great; we found a way to fit them in with the rest of Resurrection, but without the same pressures that come with trying to write an entire album. The two songs are both pretty different from one another musically, but I think that with Jordan’s voice on top of them they both definitely fit the description of that “signature New Found Glory sound.”
What about the acoustic tracks? Can we expect old material to be revived, or did you use newer songs?
The acoustic tracks are versions of a few of the tracks off of Resurrection reworked acoustically. It’s something that we’ve done in the past, and a lot of times it’s cool because you can find ways to slightly alter the songs to make them a little more presentable on an acoustic guitar.
On October 8th, you’ll also be starting a North American tour with Yellowcard and Tigers Jaw. What does New Found Glory have in store for this tour?
Well, first off, we are super excited for this tour because we’ve been friends with Yellowcard for a long time, and besides a few festivals and Warped Tour, we’ve never actually been on tour together with them. They’re all awesome guys, and in many ways our careers have paralleled each other, so it’s cool to be on tour with a band that you know understands and respects this industry the same as you. Tigers Jaw are also a great band, and we know that their shows are always insane, especially with crowd interaction, so we’re really excited to have them on the bill as well. I think with this tour people can expect the usual from NFG — high-energy performances with songs spanning our entire catalog — and I think that anyone whether young or old, new fan or old school fan, will be able to enjoy not just us, but all of the bands on the bill!
New Found Glory is renowned for its energetic and unparalleled live performances, which is great for fans who have never seen you because they know they are in for a great evening. However, you guys have been touring for a long time. How do you make sure to keep things fresh and entertaining for the people who have been following you since the beginning?
I think the main thing for us is that we enjoy playing every night ourselves…if we weren’t having fun, then I think the people in the audience would pick up on it as well. In addition, we try to always vary our sets from tour to tour. It’s getting tough nowadays with so many records and sometimes not having a super long set time; we always try to cover the bases and play a lot of the hits, but sprinkle in a few random songs here and there, whether newer album songs or old gems that we don’t often play. Again, we want it to be fresh and entertaining for ourselves, too, in addition to the people who come out to see us!
What are you looking most forward to on this coming North American tour?
Besides the fact that we are playing some places we don’t always come to (Toronto!), I think I’m looking most forward to the hangs with the other bands. Like I said before, it’s real exciting for us to be going out on the road with a band that we’ve known a long time and that we know gets this industry just like we do. I think we all will share a lot in common, and probably spend a fair amount of time in each other’s dressing rooms, buses, and out on excursions together, and that’s part of what makes traveling all around the world not so monotonous — being able to find things to do, and hang with your friends while doing it!
Do you guys have any tour habits, traditions, or any places that you always make a point to visit , anywhere that you try to avoid, or any rituals that you have that you would like to share with our readers?
Most of us in the band are big coffee drinkers, so we usually find a coffee place to venture to each day. Besides that, we’re always down for good food, or for trying to discover new things in each city we’re in. It’s surprising that we have been to some of these cities literally dozens of times, yet there’s still new things to discover each time we visit! Of course all of this depends on our daily schedule (and weather and other factors like that). But again, we try to do things to make the road less monotonous, and to keep things interesting each and every day!
What is New Found Glory’s best tour story?
That is a super open-ended question, and it’s really hard to point to one thing as “best,” but I can definitely remember back when we were asked to open up for Green Day while they were on tour promoting American Idiot, and just having some of the most fun times ever at those shows. As a whole, Green Day were probably some of the coolest guys we’ve ever met, and to have some of your idols around you each and every day, and also to have them be so open and welcoming to you, is just beyond anything we could have ever imagined. I remember when, the night before the tour, Green Day rented out a movie theater for just us, them, and Sugarcult, and we all got to watch a movie (I think it was Team America) while hanging with friends in this empty theater. It was things like that which made Green Day even cooler in my book, making sure that we didn’t feel like they were on some pedestal or untouchable or anything like that.
Surely, being in a bus with a bunch of people for months on end must get old. What are New Found Glory’s tips to survive a tour without wanting to rip each other’s heads off?
I think we have all done this long enough to know how to not get on each other’s nerves (the opposite is also true however). So, I think everyone knows how to co-exist, and still feel like they have the freedom to do what they want. For me that means taking a walk around town by myself if I want, or inviting some of the guys to go on a food adventure together. Sometimes I just like hanging in the venue helping our crew with setup and teardown, because I value the job they do for us as well, and I’m always someone who wants to know what’s going on around me. I think every tour can have its’ ups and downs, but again, we’ve been doing this long enough to know how to make it through.
New Found Glory, Yellowcard, and Tigers Jaw is a great line up, but if you could make your own tour and take any band you want (disbanded or not) and go anywhere (real place or fictional), who would you tour with and where would you go?
Another open-ended question, and another one with no real right answer. Honestly, I’d love to recreate the Pop Disaster tour from a while back, sharing the bill with both Green Day and Blink-182. We’re lucky enough to have been on tour with both of those bands, and those are two tours that I will never forget.
After this behemoth tour across North America and the release of Resurrection: Ascension, what is coming up for New Found Glory? What can your fans expect from you in the next year or so?
Well, after this tour (which will take us through the end of November), we’ll spend the end of the year at home. We’re well into planning things for next year though, so I know that there will be much more touring for us, at least through next summer. Then I think that we might start to think about a new record towards the end of next year…and then the cycle repeats as always!
Written and compiled by Kai Robidas
Header photo by Lisa Johnson
*edited by Kate Erickson