Call them the new poster boys of pop punk. Dub them bearers of a torch once carried by Green Day and Rancid. Pronounce them the best thing to happen to the genre since the invention of the pogo. Just don't call New Found Glory the next big thing.
"I'd hate to be the next big thing," singer Jordan Pundik said. Rather than ride a rocket to the top, Pundik and bandmates Cyrus Bolooki (drums), Chad Gilbert (guitar), Ian Grushka (bass) and Steve Klein (guitar) adopt a policy of slow and steady, careful not to suffer from overexposure.
"Our videos aren't on every second," he explained. "It's just the right amount where it's really helped our career, and if it gets more play, that's awesome. But certain bands come out, and they're huge and then the only way to go is down. We still are nowhere near reaching our peak. We just keep on climbing and that's what's fun."
While 2002 was a banner year for the Florida quintet, the group is hoping to trump the high-water mark left by its latest album, Sticks & Stones, by employing the slow-burn work ethic that fostered its dependable fanbase. Sticks & Stones has sold more than 572,000 copies since its release in June, according to SoundScan. That's 100,000 more copies than 2000's self-titled, major-label debut, and 400,000 more than 1999's Nothing Gold Can Stay.
The new year looks to further NFG's success, with a handful of shows in Japan beginning January 8, a co-headlining tour with Good Charlotte in the works for a mid-March kickoff, and time to polish off a new album, which Pundik expects to be more aggressive than previous ventures while still maintaining the band's trademark catchiness.
"Heavier music with poppy vocals," is how Pundik described the new material. "The music's getting a lot heavier and even more aggressive, but the vocals are just still the same. It's going to have a good mix, — heavy guitar sounds with melodic vocals."