With the release of their fifth studio album less than a month away, New Found Glory are finding themselves in a rather unfamiliar role: (very young) elder statesmen of pop-punk.
"Because we've been a band for awhile, all these young bands are coming up to us and saying, 'You guys are our favorite band,' " guitarist Chad Gilbert laughed. "Like Pete [Wentz] from Fall Out Boy came up to me about a year before his band blew up, and he was like, 'Man, I saw you guys forever ago! You're the reason I started my band!' And it's sort of weird, because we're totally not even that old."
That's one of the perils of being in a band for nearly a decade: Even though you've barely scratched your mid-20s, you're still regarded as a longtime scene vet. But it's not like the guys in NFG are complaining. After all, people have been telling them they're awesome for years now, and that couldn't help but influence the songs they wrote for their new album, Coming Home (see "New Found Glory Find A Home For New Release — September").
"After hearing that over the past few years, it gave us the confidence to be like, 'All right, we're gonna write this new album exactly how we want to do it. We're going to record it exactly where we want to do it, and exactly how we want to do it,' " Gilbert said. "And now we've got the confidence to go out there and have people hear all these songs. Because we know it's the best thing we've ever done. And it's something that kids have never heard before. It's different from everything out there."
And he's not kidding. Home's genesis is most certainly different than the average pop/emo-punk effort: Written in a mansion in Malibu, California, recorded at folk-singer Jackson Browne's California studio, produced by Bruce Springsteen knob-twiddler Thom Panunzio (see "New Found Glory LP Gets Even Weirder: Band Working With Springsteen Associate"), and featuring Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench on a handful of tracks, it's the kind of big-budget production usually associated with arena-prowling rock dinosaurs. Which was exactly the point.
"We've all started listening to different music, and we've become steeped in the history of rock and roll. So we wanted to take that and combine it with the roots of New Found Glory," Gilbert said. "We needed to do something new and different. Kids don't want to hear the same record. There are a hundred million bands that they could listen to; you want to give them something that they've never heard before."
And with the video for Home's first single, "It's Not Your Fault," already flirting with the "TRL" countdown (see "New Found Glory Single Might Be About Love, But Video's All Action"), plus a big-ticket tour kicking off in early October (see "New Found Glory Aren't Just Coming Home — They're Coming To Your Town"), fans will soon get a chance to hear the new New Found Glory for themselves.
But will there be anything that'll shock them?
"I think our fans are going to be pretty blown away by the fact that [bassist] Ian [Grushka is] wearing a shirt and pants these days," frontman Jordan Pundik laughed. "I know we are."
Track list for New Found Glory's Coming Home, according to Geffen Records:
- "Hold My Hand"
- "It's Not Your Fault"
- "On My Mind"
- "Coming Home"
- "Make Your Move"
- "Taken Back by You"
- "Too Good to Be"
- "Love and Pain"
- "Familiar Landscapes"
- "When I Die"