With seven studio albums, two EPs, and two cover albums, New Found Glory has continued to deliver its distinct raucous sound for more than 15 years.
Having formed in 1997, the band served as one of punk-pop’s favorite purveyors, especially as the genre took prevalence in the early 2000s. Unlike most bands these days, NFG has managed to keep its original members.
Jordan Pundik, Chad Gilbert, Steve Klein, Ian Grushka, and Cyrus Bolooki comprise the quintet, which has put out chart-topping hits like “Hit or Miss” and “My Friends Over You.” Most recently, the band embarked on the Sticks and Stones anniversary tour to celebrate the 10 years that have passed since the album’s release.
Gilbert, lead guitarist, took some time to phone in from California and talk to AC Weekly about the band that has become family, before its current tour hits the House of Blues at Showboat in Atlantic City Friday, Feb. 22.
New Found Glory has been together now for more than 15 years, and you’ve managed to keep all the original members of the band together.
Yeah, I think that at times we all don’t like each other, and then other times we do. ... But the one thing we all have in common is that we love this band more than anything else. We know all of the amazing things that have happened to us in our lives, whether it be our loved ones, our friends, places we’ve seen across the world — it’s only been because of this band. It’s sort of opened up all these amazing things for us throughout the years, so we all are able to drop our personal differences to be able to continue seeing where this band takes us in our lives. ... I’m at the point where I’ve lived with them longer than I’ve lived with my own brother!
One of the things that New Found Glory is often praised for and that your fans love about you is the lyric writing. How do you continue to find inspiration to keep your music and message so genuine?
I feel like it’s all where your head is at with writing music. There are people who write music as sort of a business thing. They want to get big and famous and popular, and sort of do whatever it takes, or adapt, and want to write a hit song. I’m not saying that New Found Glory has never written a song that has been popular, and I’m not saying that if we happen to write a song that gets played all over the radio again and is a huge hit, I’d hate it, no, I’m completely fine with that. But, with us, how we continue to be inspired and everything is we write music that strictly comes from what we’re going through. Our music is a reflection of our personality, things that go on in our lives.
You have such a loyal fan base, many of whom have been there since the beginning, so as you continue on the current tour, how has it been a different experience than previous tours?
It’s been amazing; it’s been crazy. We can really see the impact this record had on people. They’re singing these songs louder than [it’s been on tour for] a long time. Even back when the record was out, which is saying a lot because when this record was out we were playing arenas and amphitheaters.
There must be, for both you and the fans, a sense of nostalgia at these shows.
Yeah, totally. And the cool thing about it is it’s almost like a celebration for everybody. It’s about our fans, and they’re able to hear that record, which [may be] their favorite. And in our encore we play songs from all of our records. And that’s what’s really cool about NFG — we’ve done a 10 year [celebration] of our self-titled record, which was insanely crazy, and now we’re on the 10-year tour of this record. We were never a band that had one album that people liked, and the others are just like eh.
There were rumors circulating about a hiatus, but you have dismissed that term. So how would you describe NFG’s future plans?
Busy! We’re doing a tour at the end of May. When we first booked the Sticks and Stones tour we did it at the end of last year and it was only 20 or less shows, it was a very short tour. So that’s why Jersey wasn’t on it [initially, but we eventually] decided to bring it there. And then at the end of May we’re doing a tour across the northern part of America and Canada. And then we have time off over the summer. Then in the fall we’ll be doing another hopefully package tour, teaming up with another band within a similar genre. It’s going to be busy as far as new music, too. We wrote three new songs and we’ll be releasing a live album with the three new songs that will come out around the time of that tour in the fall. We have a lot going on. As far as writing a whole new album, that wouldn’t be until around 2014. We’re releasing a lot of fun things this year that our fans are going to be psyched about. They’re going to love these three new songs — it’s going to hold them over until there’s a new album.
House of Blues at Showboat, Atlantic City
Friday, Feb. 22, 8pm