UTG INTERVIEW: New Found Glory @ Riot Fest Chicago 2014

New Found Glory 2014

Rock bottom.

That’s the best way to describe where New Found Glory sat in their career earlier this year. Accusations surrounding the abrupt departure of a former member whirled around the band — causing chaos like nothing any artist wants to see in a tenured career. It would have been so easy for our favorite pop-punk forefathers to call it quits, to run into the shadows and hide. To fade away and fall off the face of the Earth.

But what would that prove? For a band that built a career on music that captures the essence of never giving up — it would prove nothing. No, New Found Glory are not giving up. New Found Glory have taken the turmoil they’ve faced over the last year and turned into a monumental record, Resurrection. The band proves yet again that you can do anything you put your mind toward and you can overcome any obstacle. And that’s why Resurrection is the cornerstone record from a band that has had one of the most impressive careers in punk rock music.

“I wanna tell you something,” said Chad Gilbert, New Found Glory guitarist, when addressing the Riot Fest Chicago crowd earlier this month. “Our record, I want you to look at our record. Whether you buy, or don’t buy it; hate it or love it. It’s a sign of something, where you can be at the fucking bottom and have people dumping on you and rise to the fucking top and continue to do what you want to do in your life and still try to inspire people and be up here on the stage. Don’t let anyone take away something so precious to you.”

New Found Glory will not let anything take away the music the band has worked so hard to spread across the globe in almost two decades. Some argue it’s when artists are at the bottom that they create the best music of their career — and this could be the case with Resurrection. It’s a token showcasing the ups and downs of life and the perseverance it takes to overcome obstacles…and it very well may be the most important record released this year.

Under The Gun Review had the pleasure to chat with Gilbert and New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik about the band’s new record. Follow us below to read the exclusive conversation.

Under The Gun: Thanks for the time today. How would you define the new record, Resurrection?

Chad Gilbert: Awesome.

Jordan Pudnik: Strong.

CG: New Found Glory. No, just kidding. I feel like I’m in the scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray’s testing Rick Moranis and he’s like holding up symbols saying, “How does this make you feel?” [laughs]. Resurrection, for real.

UTG: Is that the way to say it?

CG: I guess, man.

JP: New birth. New beginning.

CG: New beginning, that’s a good thing. I like that. It’s hard. I feel like we’re a band that when we started writing music we had no direction in the sense that, “Hey, I like hardcore. You like punk rock. You like emo, like Promise Ring and stuff.” We all had our own thing and we came together and New Found Glory came out. When the music is sort of your creation, you know what I mean? It’s hard to say what your new record sounds like. We kind of are our own thing. It’s really hard to be like, “Oh, it sounds like this,” because it sounds like New Found Glory.

UTG: But this idea of ‘resurrection’ is still linear across the album?

CG: For sure. One thousand percent.

NEw Found Glory Resurrection Cover Art

UTG: You self-produced the record, which can be a challenge for artists. What was that like for you?

CG: I would say Coming Home felt really self-produced, if you’ve got our Coming Home album. When we went into Coming Home, we spent so much time on a pre-production — putting the songs together — that when we went into the studio everything was already finished. And that’s what happened with this record. There really wasn’t even a place for a producer besides ourselves because everything was so completed that when we went into the studio it was just copying over everything we had already wrote on demo.

UTG: Did you still find you were able to push yourself musically in that process?

CG: I don’t think I’ve ever been this inspired before an album before. I don’t think any of us have loved or cared about our band any more than we have recently. We’re so inspired that writing was very easy. We had a lot to sing about, a lot to talk about. Just to be safe — if you listen to New Found Glory’s albums, you know we have four albums produced by Neal Avron. Neal actually lives across the street from me. So I was like, “Neal, we have practice tomorrow. Check out our new songs? We want to hear what an outside opinion thinks.” Every time we’ve done a record for him, he’s always had notes. He came in and heard every song and was like, “Wow, that was a good song.” We played him another one and he was like, “Wow, that was a really good song.” Literally, he had one note for one word. And literally that’s it. And the note was for “Selfless” in the bridge — the original line was “If you never stood for the good, you’re just dust in the breeze,” and he changed it to “anything.” He said, “You know what? Instead of ‘good,’ say ‘anything.'” So when you hear the line “anything” it used to say “good.”

JP: With writing this record, Chad would call me every other day like, “Dude, listen to this lyric idea! Listen to this melody.”

CG: It was awesome, man.

UTG: That is awesome. What do you think the biggest challenge was adjusting to being a four-piece?

CG: Dude, I really don’t think it was a challenge. I think really it’s more one of those ‘speak for itself’ scenarios. When the change happened a lot of fans and a lot of outside opinions think they knew the way our inner band working went. They thought they knew how we worked and when the change happened we weren’t scared one bit. We were like, “We can’t wait for fans to hear our new songs because people will see this band is actually better and this record is better than the last few records and it hasn’t hurt them one bit.” I think the challenge was in the scene of individual challenges. We know now that we can kill it but let’s just not kill it. Let’s make it even better. So when writing riffs, instead of just bustling out stuff we knew would work, we were like, “No, let’s take it up a notch.” Like the riff to “Selfless.” So that’s the deal with the record. Every song was like, “Hey, man…man down.” Well…let’s show that a man down actually means we’re better.

UTG: That’s great to hear. What song on the record are you most excited to bring into the live show?

CG: “Worst Person.”

JP: Yeah, “Worst Person.”

UTG: What’s going on in that one?

CG: It’s just a catchy song. It will be a fun live song. I think “Ready & Willing” will be fun to play live. We haven’t been able to practice so we won’t be playing it live today. What’s another fun one to play live?

JP: I think “Angel” will be awesome live.

CG: Yes, that will be a fun one live. “Stories of a Different Kind,” too. Dude, honestly; I think that was a good focus on the new album — making songs we know we will play live. Where in the past we recorded songs where we were like, “Yeah, we’ll never play this, but this is a good song.” Now it’s like we wanted every song to translate live.

UTG: You’ve been speaking very passionately about the new record. Do you think it ranks as your best release to date?

CG: Yeah, I think. For me, you’re never going to be able to convince someone that this record’s better than their first album. Even me, the first record of a band I hear is usually, a lot of time, my favorite. Not because I think it’s the best one but because of what it means to me. With Resurrection, people are going to love it in a whole new way. It really says a lot. We got into a routine over the last three albums, which is hard not to get into. The last few records — there were good lyrics, good melodies. But I think they were just catchy songs. These are catchy songs that mean something . You know? I think they mean a lot. I’m not discrediting our last records — they all had meaning. But these just cut a little deeper. These are way more of an open book. It’s so funny because people always say, “You guys are the older guys.” Well, we’re not old compared to most bands. Compared to a lot of bands in age, we’re probably one of the youngest bands at [Riot Fest]. What I can tell you, what I think they’re saying and what I think you’ll get out of this album is that we’ve been a band for so long that now I feel our word has value. And because we’ve been through a lot and our word has value. In the past when we were 18, singing about a relationship, it was like, “What do these 18-year-old kids know? They haven’t been through anything.” Which is true. Now we’re like an open book and there’s value in what we’re saying in this album and our fans need it.

Interview written and conducted by Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
Pre-order Resurrection today via Hopeless Records.

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