Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New Found Glory - Interview

I got to interview Ian the topless bassist from New Found Glory when they came to town, and heres what he had to say

Everyone has heard of New Found Glory as you've had 6 hit albums, many top charting singles and have toured everywhere over your 15 year history, but what can you tell us about the band that people might not already know?
Ian: I don’t really know what people know and what they don’t but one thing people may not know is that we don’t live near each other at all. Three of the guys live in California and the other two of us live in Florida. The guys who live in California are spread out and me and Cyrus are spread out in Florida. That’s the only thing I can think of because we don’t really have any secrets; everybody already knows pretty much everything about us.

You’ve done loads of gigs over the years, playing the world over from the U.S to Japan and your currently on a headline UK tour building up to the Leeds and Reading Festivals with all these gigs have you grown used to being on the road or do you still find it hard especially since most of you now have wives and children.
Ian: I think you get used to it by this point but you still get a little bit homesick. You get so use to being on the road that when you get home you want to leave and then when you go out on tour you want to be back home again. I think we’re content and we like what we do and we like being in a band so it kind of goes with it. No matter what your job is there is always going to be good and bad points about it, nobody really likes everything about their job.
Do your families come out and join you?
Ian: No, not for me at least. Usually when we’re overseas people don’t come and join us but in when we’re in the states sometimes the guys wives and girlfriends will come out. I think its better that way because otherwise it’s too hard; you end up having to babysit them in a way because it gets pretty boring being on the road

Your newest single "Radiosurgery" from your latest album of the same title has just been released; it’s a great track and we’re curious to know what we can expect with the rest of the album.
Ian: Before we did this record we were listening to a lot of older Green Day and Ramones records because we were doing the show with Marky Ramone. I think a lot of the songs don’t really have much thought behind them, it’s more a case of less is more. They’re just basic four chord songs with our melodies and Jordan singing on top. I don’t think there’s much more to it than that but it is a rock n roll record and I think people will like it

Over the years you've made some great music videos, what would you say was your best and worst videos to make over your career?
Ian: My least favourite video to do was it’s not your fault; it was one of those videos where they had people attempt to pick out clothes for us. I can’t fucking stand that because I just like wearing the same ratty shit that I’ve had for years. My favourite video would have to be listen to your friends because it was fun and easy. When you get into the treatment for the video your about to do it becomes a lot more fun. Sometimes when you get a treatment and you’re like this could be cool but who knows what it’ll look like till you’re done, those ones give me anxiety. Videos are like a 50/50 thing, you go in there not knowing how they’ll come out and some days you don’t really feel like making videos especially since nobody really plays them anymore except youtube.
Have you done a video for Radiosurgery?
Ian: We filmed a video for radiosurgery about two weeks ago but we haven’t seen it yet so we have no idea how it’ll come out

Now you've done two amazing movie song cover albums over the years, even though your just about to release your new album, have you any plans or discussed doing another one in the future?
Ian: Hopefully not for a while but they’re fun though. It’s an easy record to do because the songs are already written by other people so you just have to go in and record them. The first one we did to tide people over between records and the second one we did because people were asking for one but I don’t know what songs we would pick if we were to do another one. I think if we did another one I probably wouldn’t want it to be movie songs

You've come to the UK quite a lot over the years, so you know it pretty well. I have a list of a few things that I’d like you to tell me what are your favourites from the UK
Ian: Nandos even though I don’t like the chicken that much. I like the Halloumi cheese, the garlic bread and the peri-peri chips
Ian: I really like the coke in the glass bottles you can get over here, everything is better in glass
Ian: Hundred Reasons. They’re my favourite and I’m sticking to it (laughter)
Ian: I’d probably have to say Reading and Leeds because we’ve played there quite a lot
Football team
Ian: I don’t have one but Cyrus would. I’m a big American football fan but not really a fan of soccer. My favourite American football team would have to be the St Louis Rams. My buddy works for the Rams so he sends me lots of signed stuff and my brother works for the dolphins and he sends me nothing (laughter)
Ian: I’d probably say London because that’s the first place we went overseas

You’re doing this headline tour along with Leeds and reading then it’s off back to the states to do an amazing 37 date tour, called punks not dead with some amazing bands! Have you got any plans to return to the UK soon for some more gigs?
Ian: We’re already discussing it but I kind of stay in the background and don’t really get involved in those kinds of things because when you know your whole schedule ahead of time it kind of makes you a bit bonkers

Throughout the 15 years of being in the band what would you say your main highs and lows have been?
Ian: The highs of our band would probably be our gold records and getting to tour with Green Day and Blink 182. The only lows of our band would be dealing with label drama but every band has to deal with the bullshit behind them. The best thing for us was that when we started out we were already on a major label before we had management so we’re used to doing everything ourselves. When we put out a record and the label is kind of doing nothing we’re like fuck it we’ll do it ourselves. The bottom line is now a days with the way record sales are you don’t really need a record label because how many people actually buy the actual hard copy of the record.

Social network sites seems to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a Social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?
Ian: I think that pages like that are great for bands because it enables people to communicate with each other back and forth but I do think there are some negatives as well. Not everyone likes what you have to say, like with Twitter. Some people think you’re a certain way but they don’t really know you as a person, they don’t really know when you’re joking or they take things way to seriously. I already deal with a lot of that kind of stuff now which I why I set all of my stuff to private. I think it’s fun to talk shit sometimes if it’s warranted and if I see a band that I think are dicks and they’re doing shitty things then I’ll want to tell people about it. They shouldn’t be assholes if they don’t want people to know about it.

One last question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra and a giraffe which would you be and why?
Ian: I’d be a giraffe because they have longer necks so they could reach things which were higher up

Thanks for your time; do you have a message for your fans reading this?
Ian: Thank you so much for supporting our band, we appreciate it and hopefully we’ll see you next time we come through

New Found Glory – 21/08/11 – Birmingham Academy 2

Tonight I get to see a band that I’ve always wanted to see, but have never gotten round too. You know how it goes, you like the songs, you check out the tour dates but you never actually get a ticket, and if you do something comes up. This was that band for me, they’ve been around for over 12 years and they’ve played Reading and Leeds Festivals on numerous occasions and yet they still managed to evade me. Well tonight is different, I’m outside the Academy and I’m ready for some pop punk, the thing is, it’s not at the Academy, it’s at the Academy 2. Luckily it’s the same building so I head inside and check out the first support Save Your Breath

These Welsh punkers play a good set of fast old school punk, and by old shook I don't mean oi oi punk, I mean old school Greenday and Offspring with a twist of heavy breakdowns to make it sound more new and fresh. The are 5 members, and unfortunately the sound isn't great in the mix, but I’m sure they sound good on CD but at least the backing vocals are great, which add to the poppy New Found Glory style main vocals! The band goes down well and NFG’s Jordan watches a few songs from the side of the stage, I say the crowd are getting pretty warmed up and are ready for more of the same, but the next band isn’t going to do that.

Fight Like Apes
Are and Irish Electro punk band, you could say very Yeah Yeah Yeahs in style but allot more experimental. They start off with a weird and wonderful collection of noise, with random hits of the keyboard and the occasional shout that is definitely punk in its nature but it takes the crowd by surprise. They play a small set of songs, in which the lyrics are all over the place, and don’t tend to make the most sense, but they convey themselves through the music and stage presence with hair and body's going everywhere. I'm not sure the crowd gets it, but I do and I love it! It's different and reminds me of the Epoxies who are signed to Fat Wreck Chords. There's definitely a gap in the market for this style but maybe not supporting New Found Glory. On a plus note there set is short and so leaves allot of time for the main act!
New Found Glory
The Florida pop punkers kick straight into a 23 song set covering all 7 albums including a few covers! They start off the set with the amazing Understatement and the pace for the next hour and a half is set, fast punk songs that get the crowd and the band moving! They sound great, the mix is good and at one point in the set bassist Ian plays that hard that he messes up his bass and has to switch it out. I was confused when I arrived, why are New Found Glory, one of the best pop punk bands ever, playing the Academy 2? And half way into the set guitarist and Paramore lover, Chad Gilbert, tells us “We wanted to play some smaller venues as we miss playing to rooms with an atmosphere, we love big stages but you just don’t get the same feeling you do when you play to a smaller crowd of dedicated fans”. It makes sense, this band has played the world over, and to play to a smaller crowd than the norm, it makes the fans that are there feel special too, as they’re part of only a few hundred who get to see such a great gig. They play all the classics to perfection, including; All Downhill From Here, Kiss Me, Failures Not Flattering, Dressed To Kill Hit or Miss and ending with My Friends Over You. They even play the newest single Radiosurgery and give the Birmingham fans a treat when they play Boy Crazy due to chants instead of Better Off Dead. This band love they’re fans and they love they’re music, Chad tells the audience “I’m sick of people hating on pop punk, they think it’s a bad name to have, but we love it, it’s what we do and we know you love it to! So here’s to all the pop punkers out there!”.
Overall tonight’s been a great! With some interesting support bands and a long set of classic New Found Glory songs no-one is walking away disappointed. I’m happy that I’ve seen New Found Glory, but at the same time I’m annoyed, annoyed due to the fact I never checked them out live before!

New Found Glory 4.5/5
Fight Like Apes 2.5/5
Save Your Breath 3/5