New Found Glory: The Comeback Kids
The new and improved New Found Glory are back in the saddle, slimmer than ever and ready to set the record straight. Drummer and professional nice guy Cyrus Bolooki fills us in on the Resurrection.
Right after a successful Aussie tour on the back of the returning Warped Tour, New Found Glory sent shockwaves through our little world with the announcement that founding member, guitarist Steve Klein, was being stood down from the group. As the first member change in 17 years since original drummer Joe Marino departed after the band’s debut EP, it was big news. The public consensus was that Klein had handled the group’s lyrics and melodies; how would the group responsible for genre-defining multi platinum hits “My Friends Over You” and “Hit Or Miss” continue? Added to that were the murky reasons for his departure and talk of alleged misconduct with minors.
Fast forward nine months and things are rosy in the New Found Glory camp. While refusing to comment on Klein’s legal woes, the most important aspect of New Found Glory remains intact and primed for the future according to drummer Cyrus Bolooki. Yes, we’re talking about the music.
“The mood of the band is very optimistic, we have a stronger bond now than we ever have before,” says Bolooki. “We’ve come down to a four-piece and we were slightly nervous at first but after playing those songs the first time all our cares were erased and we’ve just gone full steam ahead since then. I think we sound better than ever live; writing and recording Resurrection we just had this unified feel that we haven’t had in a long time. Some of the themes of the record have changed from the past; we’ve definitely gotten away from every song being about a girl. A lot of the songs do tackle the issue of moving on past struggle, looking at yourself and how you’ve lived your life, stuff like that. These are songs about things close to us but they still apply to everybody out there. We’re excited and optimistic about the record and touring it.”
Addressing the “Klein as lyrical mastermind” theory, Bolooki is quick to shut it down. “In the past a lot of people have assumed, and it’s been written about, how the lyrics were written differently or contributed to by certain people, the truth is a lot of lyrical ideas were contributed to or finished by others. This time around was cool as there was a lot of collaboration going on, there were no roadblocks. There really wasn’t that much stress; it was fun writing this record. I live a short drive from Chad’s [Gilbert, guitar] house so I’d head there and he’d record guitars and structures, I’d add in drum parts and send it around to everyone where the lyric ideas were coming through. It wasn’t just Chad either, Jordan [Pundik, vocals] contributed a lot of vocal ideas. The three of us in California [bass player Ian Grushka resides in Florida] would go to Chad’s and sit around the dining room table while Jordan recorded demos on this crappy microphone. We did that over a dozen times; we’d actually written the record before we set foot in the studio.”
With 17 years experience and a multitude of releases under their collective belt, New Found Glory have been plugging away for a good while at this band caper. Basement shows, broken down vans, long summers on the Warped Tour, major label deals, gold records, arena tours – New Found Glory have been there and sure as hell done all that. The question remains, how do the ruthless refiners of pop-punk keep their edge and stay interested? Anyone who has seen the band in the last 10 years would know they pump out a 20+ song set that will invariably feature some songs they must be getting very tired of playing.
“Luckily for us, when we play shows it is amazing. Doesn’t matter if it’s 100 kids or 20,000. Speaking of Australia, it’s been an amazing place to us and a great example; we tour there and play clubs, festivals, indoors, outdoors – all sides of it. The fact that we have variety means we’re never getting bored and always looking forward to the next time we come back to Australia, or other countries like that. Even touring the US. We may take a month off here and there but it never works out as we get antsy and want to get back on the road. The longest breaks you’ll see us take are when we’re writing and recording a new record like we just did. For you guys, we were there in December last year and we’ll be back next year for Soundwave. I can’t see that really changing as we always have so much fun.”
Along with all the accolades, milestones and never ending fun times, what are Bolooki and co. looking to achieve with Resurrection after such a storied career – is there any new territory left for New Found Glory to conquer?
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, this record was going to have a lot of interest no matter what we did,” he explains. “There is a sense of having to live up to a standard, a lot of people are going to question and doubt that we can be the band we’ve always been. I definitely think some of that was in mind when we went in to write and record this album but now that it’s done there are no worries and I have no doubts. We’re stronger than we’ve ever been, and that there is a goal that I feel comfortable saying we’ve achieved. It’s a good enough start for me, the rest is just icing on the cake. If people continue to enjoy our music and enjoy our live show, that’s good enough for us. That’s what we live for.”