New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert wants to clear something up: Despite what he's said in recent interviews, the upcoming NFG album will not mark some sort of mature departure for the band. He just got a little carried away with himself.
"When I was talking about the Decemberists and bands like that being influences, I meant that they were influences on me," he said. "There are four other people in this band, too, and their influences are going to be heard on the record just as much as mine. So if I said our new album was going to be more mature, I meant that each of us is getting more mature. Trust me — the new album sounds like a New Found Glory album. It sounds like the best album we've ever made."
Gilbert's October interview with MTV News raised some eyebrows among NFG fans: He dropped names like the Decemberists, Nigel Godrich and Björk and said that the new songs his band has been writing in Malibu's Morning View Studios are "mature" and "complex" (see "New Found Glory Guitarist Promises Less Whiny Vocals, Relaxes With Darth Vader"). But now, as the band's time in the mansion/studio comes to a close — they're out on November 28 — he sees the album taking shape, and he guarantees that fans will like what they hear.
"This is the best stuff I've ever been a part of, and I love everything this band has ever done, even [the 1997 EP] It's All About the Girls, where [lead singer Jordan Pundik] sounds like a little girl," Gilbert laughed. "But this new stuff is honestly amazing. We've all had quite a year — lots of ups and a whole lot of downs — and all that shows up in the new songs. It's pretty much a relationship record."
While there are plenty of songs about love (Pundik's marriage and the birth of bassist Ian Grushka's son are apparently major sources of inspiration), it's not all romantic. Gilbert points to failed relationships and the death of his own father last year as influences on the music he was writing. Still, he and the rest of NFG tried their best to steer the new songs away from the melancholy.
"We've been writing the most uplifting music, which was really difficult," he said. "I think a lot of bands would just make a dark, bleak album, which is why we wanted to do the opposite. We wanted to let people know that there's hope out there, and that no matter how tough things get, they will always get better. I'm really proud of that."
Fans will soon be able to have a listen for themselves, because while they continue to search for a producer to helm the recording process for the new album, the band is getting ready to debut one of its new songs. At the end of the month, they'll post a demo of a new track on NewFoundGlory.com. And while Gilbert still isn't sure which of the 15 songs they've demoed will make the bow (most of them don't have names anyway), he does know that it will instantly open the band up to more scrutiny. But again, he urges fans to be patient, promising that they'll be very happy with the end result.
"The way it's looking now, the new album should be out sometime in June, and honestly, I can't wait to have people hear it," Gilbert said. "For our old fans, it's going to be their favorite NFG album. And for people who hated us in the past, it'll probably be their favorite, too."