If you’re expecting some huge sob story from New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert about his band’s recent departure from Geffen Records, well, you can pretty much stop reading right here.
Because, as he told MTV News late Wednesday, NFG’s split with the label — the break was announced via a press release earlier this week — was completely mutual, completely painless and, well, completely expected.
“It wasn’t a shock to us, because it’s been in the back of our minds for a while. And we were all sort of thinking, ’What’s going to be our next move?’ ” Gilbert said.
Get out your spool of thread: NFG put out their first album, Nothing Gold Can Stay, through Drive-Thru Records in 1999. After that, the band signed to MCA — which distributed Drive-Thru — and the major label re-released the band’s debut that same year. In early 2003, MCA was absorbed into Geffen, with the Drive-Thru moniker carrying over as well. NFG’s 2006 release, Coming Home, came out via the combined Geffen, Drive-Thru and Suretone, a label founded by Geffen President Jordan Schur and Interscope Records. Phew.
“We’ve released five albums [through that family of labels], but it’s been, like, two albums on MCA, one album under Geffen under Suretone, one album on Geffen under [label president] Ron Fair. … There’s been so many regime changes that the original people who released [2000’s] self-titled record and released Sticks and Stones have been long gone.”
There was no bad blood, no “they screwed us” sentiments, and the band says it’s looking at the break as a good thing. Many NFG fans have been filling message boards with speculation that the less-than-stellar sales of the band’s recent Coming Home album — which has moved just 126,000 copies since its September release — were either a) Geffen’s fault; or b) a misstep that got the band dropped. Gilbert sees things a little differently.
“I think some of our fans weren’t into the last record, but the ones that were into it were really, really into it, and they loved it so much that they were personally offended that it wasn’t all over everywhere,” he said. “I read comments where our fans say Geffen screwed up Coming Home, they screwed New Found Glory, but that’s not really true. Maybe Geffen didn’t have the right tools or whatever to get it to the kids, and internally, there were a bunch of changes going on at the label when our record came out, so I don’t know if it’s anyone’s fault.
“I think it’s probably a bunch of reasons that no one could do anything about. Was it because the songs weren’t good enough? No — some radio stations played the single [’It’s Not Your Fault’] a lot, some didn’t. And we have friends at MTV and some of them loved the video, but it didn’t get a lot of play,” Gilbert continued. “It was some other things behind the scenes that were out of anyone’s hands. And I don’t really know what those things are. You can’t really know and you can’t really say. All in all, we’re leaving the label on good terms, and we’re really excited and our fans are really excited.”
NFG aren’t sitting idly by, either. They’ve already hatched a plan to release From the Screen to Your Stereo, Part 2 — a sequel to 2000’s EP of movie-score covers — on Drive-Thru. They’ll record the album in May — when they return from a spate of tour dates in Japan, Australia and Europe — and hope to have the album out in the fall, when NFG wrap their stint on the Warped Tour (see “Warped Tour Unveils 45-Show Run With New Found Glory, Coheed, Bad Religion” ).
And then they’ll turn their attention to finding a new home, a process Gilbert said has already begun in earnest in the few days since the Geffen split became public knowledge. And unlike the past — when they were “upstreamed” from Drive-Thru to MCA — this time, the ball is in NFG’s court. And they intend to take their sweet old time making a decision.
“The amazing thing is that we’re free to do whatever we want,” Gilbert said. “If we meet some people that are in love with NFG that are a major label, then we’ll sign with them. If we meet people that are in love with NFG that are an independent label — and they have a plan — well, then we’ll sign to them. It’s completely up to us.”