After nearly two decades in the game, New Found Glory have come a long way from their humble beginnings in Coral Gables, Florida. They have come from playing small local shows to entertaining crowds in some of the world’s biggest stages; all while outlasting and often outshining their peers. As a band, they have seen it all when it comes to the ever-changing music industry and continue to overcome whatever obstacles come their way. Not only do they continue to champion pop-punk, but the continue to grow their fan base with each passing year. In 2014, New Found Glory find themselves exploring new territory as a four piece with their 8th studio album; leaving them ready to write the next exciting chapter in the band’s history. Their new album, ‘Resurrection,’ (released October 7th via Hopeless Records) represents a return to a heavier sound and is one of the band’s most fierce and heartfelt to date. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Chad Gilbert to discuss the creation of the album, the challenges involved and what the future holds for New Found Glory.
Music has been a huge part of your life. What are some of your first musical memories?
My older brother, in 1993, took me to see Fugazi. That was my first concert. I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I got to see Shudder To Think and Fugazi, which were two bands that I really liked. I got into indie music, the sub-genre of hardcore, punk rock, emo or whatever you want to call it, at a pretty young age because of my older brother and his high school friends. Seeing that and then seeing bands on MTV, in the early ‘90s, made me realize I liked the punk better because it was a smaller stage where people could go on and sing along, there wasn’t the whole rock star thing to it. As I kept diving deeper into music, I got into a local scene in South Florida, where I played in hardcore bands and then New Found Glory started in the early ‘90s. We would play these tiny little clubs where there was this equal as your fans attitude. We didn’t intend to be famous and, if we did get famous, we didn’t want to give off a vibe where we thought we were better than anyone else. We just got lucky, I guess you could say. It sort of happened and I think that is what we still bring to the table that is different than a lot of bands. You see us live and we are very interactive with the crowd to try and create an experience where you feel you are a part of something bigger, not just going to see your favorite band.
Absolutely! I am sure you agree it is part of your secret to success and longevity, your interaction with the fans.
I think so! I think the coolest thing about New Found Glory is that we are a gateway band. Let’s say you listen to nu-metal or metal or pop music and you discover New Found Glory, along with that comes a whole sub-genre of music. You can learn about New Found Glory and then hear about our favorite bands and discover a whole new thing. I see it all the time where people come up and say, “I saw you open up for this band back in the day … ” or “I discovered you guys and it changed my life! Now, I love this band or that band … ” I think that is really cool because I think, what is important to us with this music, there is substance, not taking anything away from other genres, but the songs are more relatable and offer real-life experiences being sung through the songs, as opposed to writing a party song about last weekend. I think that is why we are very important for new fans too because people need to hear that some of their favorite musicians go through the same things as they do.
New Found Glory just released a new album, “Resurrection.” What were your goals or expectations for the record going into the creative process?
One of the goals I wanted to achieve, and so far all the comments from fans lead me to believe it worked, was embracing the power side of just one guitar and a bass guitar. This was our first record as a four piece, so I didn’t have to write a rhythm part and a lead part. It was writing riffs, that locked in with the bass that were so catchy on their own that you don’t need tons of layers. I think a lot of classic older records were like that. I feel that newer bands have three guitar players and over produce with all the parts going on. Eventually, with all of that stuff going on, you don’t know what to focus on. What I love about “Resurrection” was being able to write guitar riffs that you can sing as soon as they come on just as much as the vocal. Being a long-time music lover, I feel that is sort of a lost art when it comes to our genre. I know my influences and what I grew up on and I feel like I had a lot of that in me that when I was writing we were able to pull it off. I have been getting a lot of tweets saying stuff like, “You’re the riff king! There are so many riffs!” [laughs] Riffs are important man! A lot of songs these days have the guitarist taking a back seat. It is like, “How can we make this simple progression so we can have a massive chorus over it?” I wanted the progression to be in the forefront, if you know what I mean.
When you look back at the process, what stands out as the biggest challenge of creating the record?
Like I said, this was our first record as a four piece and it was so easy. It would be easy for me to sit here, complain or point things out that made it easy this time around but it is pointless to do that. I think it is important to tell you that everyone got along this time, had the band’s best interests in mind and were focused on the songs. It made recording really easy because when everyone’s focus is in the right place, it is awesome! We got together, wrote and everyone was really honest with each other. We talked all the parts out, wrote and finished every song before we got in and tracked. That is a first for this band. Usually, in the past, we would still be battling it out in the studio. This time we just came together and all the songs were done! I would say it was the easiest record we have ever recorded.
Which songs resonate with you the most and have you excited to play?
I really love the riff in “Selfless.” I love playing the riff because it is so fun. I love playing the lead in “Ready and Willing.” I feel like all the songs lyrically hit home with us all. which makes playing the songs that much more of an emotional experience. Even on “Ready and Willing,” we made a fun video for it, but the meaning of the song is pretty deep. It is about starting this band in South Florida, not being afraid of failure even though the chances of a little band in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale making it are slim, us doing it and taking the risk. Then the second verse is sort of about where we were later, after so many years had gone by and keeping our drive. It is hard, ya know? It was like looking at the band, seeing where everything is and feeling discouraged but then going back to the old records and getting a reminder of why you love what you do. The bridge is about why you do it and why you will always do it. That is what I really love about “Ready and Willing,” the message of, “It’s OK to get discouraged and figure out where you are at.” I love that song and think it has a very awesome, happy ending.
What is the biggest lesson to be learned from New Found Glory?
I think a big thing about us is that if you have the drive and passion, you can get through anything. One thing about our band is that some people have seen us play in front of 300 people, some in front of 3,000 people and others in front of 30,000 people. I think we have the same energy and drive no matter what size crowd we are playing in front of. I think people can see, since we wear our hearts on our sleeves, that if we can do it, so can they, whether it is playing music or whatever their passion is. We put it all out there and make ourselves examples for every generation, if you know what I mean.
Absolutely. Looking back on your career, how have you evolved as a musician?
I think songwriting is the biggest thing overall. I think, when it comes to playing, I am a way better guitarist than I was when we started and I was 17 years old. That’s for sure! [laughs] There is also a little bit of wisdom that comes with being older. I think that is a big difference. We are still a young band compared to a lot of bands. I turn 33 years old this year. Most bands that have been around for 17 years are 40 years old. We are younger than a lot of our peers but I feel we are wiser in some ways and everything we do holds a little more worth because of our experiences, how we have handled them and how are still able to sell out venues. Just being wiser speaks to everything from how we live on tour to writing songs. I feel I know how to challenge myself more today than I did when I was younger and more stubborn or thought I knew it all. When you know that you don’t know it all, you open yourself up and free yourself in many ways. When it comes to writing music that is the best way to be.
It seems the band is in a very upbeat and positive place creatively. What do you foresee when it comes to the future of New Found Glory?
Man, we know what we are doing until next Christmas! [laughs] We have three tours already lined up, just in the United States and overseas stuff as well. We are so inspired. I think before, as far as when a record comes out, we would shut down as a band. Now, we are so inspired by the reaction, I think we will keep writing and staying creative on the road. We really believe in “Resurrection” and so do our fans. I think there will be even more growth with our band with this album, as far as a fan base and winning over new people. I have been getting a lot of tweets saying, “I was never a fan of New Found Glory and I can’t believe I am saying this but this record is awesome!” We have had a lot of great stuff like that, so I think it is just the beginning for us!
That is terrific to hear, Chad! Thanks for your time today and we look forward to spreading the word on the album!
Thanks so much, Jason!
For all the latest updates on New Found Glory, visit these official locations:
Official Website: www.newfoundglory.com
NEW FOUND GLORY TOUR DATES:
Oct 22 – Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 23 – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH
Oct 24 – Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
Oct 26 – The Ready Room – St Louis, MO
Oct 28 – Bourbon Theater – Lincoln, NE
Oct 30 – Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
Oct 31 – Hard Rock Live – Las Vegas, NV
Nov 1 – House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
Nov 2 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Nov 4 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
Nov 5 – Hawthrone Theater – Portland, OR
Nov 7 – Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
Nov 8 – The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA
Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour UK
*w/ The Story So Far, State Champs, Candy Hearts & Only Rivals
Nov 12 – Academy – Dublin
Nov 13 – Limelight – Belfast
*Nov 15 – Institute – Birmingham
*Nov 16 – O2 Academy – Newcastle
*Nov 17 – ABC – Glasgow
*Nov 18 – Rock City – Nottingham
*Nov 20 – O2 Academy – Liverpool
*Nov 21 – Academy 1 – Manchester
*Nov 22 – O2 Academy – Leeds
*Nov 23 – Solus – Cardiff
*Nov 25 – O2 Academy 1 – Bristol
*Nov 26 – Pyramid – Portsmouth
*Nov 28 – Forum – London
*Nov 29 – Forum – London
Nov 30 – Divan du Monde – Paris
Dec 1 – Trix Hall – Belgium
Dec 2 – Tivoli – Utrecht, Holland
Dec 3 – Knust – Hamburg, Germany
Dec 4 – Luxor – Cologne, Germany
Dec 6 – Magazzini Generali – Milan
Dec. 8 – Razz2 – Barcelona, Spain
Dec. 10 – Penelope – Madrid, Spain