Article by Jason Setnyk | Photo by Acacia Evans.
Coral Springs, Florida – The Godfathers of pop-punk, New Found Glory have a new album titled “Forever + Ever x Infinity” coming out June 19th, 2020, via Hopeless Records.
New Found Glory is Jordan Pundik (lead vocalist), Chad Gilbert (guitarist), Ian Grushka (bassist), and Cyrus Bolooki (drummer). The band has many accolades, including over 200 million streams on Spotify, and over 70 million views on YouTube.
New Found Glory rose to fame in the early 2000s alongside Blink 182 and Sum 41. After 20+ years of being a band, ten studio albums, one live album, two EPs, and four cover albums, New Found Glory’s ethos has never wavered
They have also toured with bands such as Green Day, Good Charlotte, MxPx, Simple Plan, Bayside, The Ataris, Yellowcard, and more. They have played internationally acclaimed festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, the Slam Dunk Festival, and Riot Fest. Their song “Hit or Miss” was also featured in the blockbuster movie American Pie 2. Also, the band has several gold albums and has charted near the top of the Billboard 200 and at the top of the U.S. Heatseekers.
With Forever + Ever x Infinity, the band created an album that is 100% New Found Glory; it’s album chock-full of incredible riffs and sing-a-longs. Drummer Cyrus Bolooki explains the catalyst for New Found Glory’s tenth studio album.
“I think we knew, even as we were recording our previous album (the cover album From The Screen To Your Stereo Part 3), that it was time for us to write and record another full-length shortly after touring for that record. By the time this album is released, it would have been over 3 years since our last full-length (Makes Me Sick) had come out, and it just seemed like the right time for us to have a new album to promote. Plus, it’s our tenth full-length album, which is a pretty big deal, so we were very excited to get in the studio and get working on it. The fact that we’ve had such a long career now and we’re still putting out new records feels like a full circle. We feel sonically it leans a little more towards our “original” sound, meaning it’s a bunch of energetic guitar riffs surrounded by catchy vocals and in-your-face upbeat rhythms, just like our first few records,” Bolooki explains.
The new album Forever + Ever x Infinity was produced by Steve Evetts and recorded just outside of Nashville.
“The recording process for this album was fairly straightforward. We recorded the album just outside Nashville, with Steve Evetts producing. He mixed FTSTYS Part 3, so he was very familiar and excited to work with us on this project. We always spend some time before entering the studio doing pre-production. We play through the material over and over to hone all of the parts. We make sure that structurally the songs are there and that none of the basic elements are fighting with or conflicting with one another. After about two weeks of that, we started tracking as we usually do, drums first, then rhythm guitar tracks, followed by bass guitar, then finish up with vocals and guitar leads and anything else we need to add to the songs. There’s not a lot of extra things on this album, again, like I said, sonically, it’s more of a return to our older material, so there’s no keys or tons of extra vocal tracks or anything like that, just a straight-up pop-punk album. The entire album recording process took about six weeks from start to finish, and we ended up with 15 songs recorded and ready for release,” Bolooki replied.
The new music video for the song “Himalaya” has imagery of a carnival and rides mixed with live music. Does it feel like you’ve been metaphorically on a roller coaster ride with the band? Where has this ride taken you? Are you in a different place today, and if so, how?
“I guess in some ways it has been like that, although I certainly wouldn’t feel as so, because it’s exciting every day to wake up, especially while on tour, and wonder what the city/show is going to be like that day. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs, but fortunately for us, we’ve always persevered and came through on top. We’ve been able to have a pretty constant touring career over 20+ years, which is something an overwhelming majority of bands never accomplish. We’re definitely in a different place today, both in the sense that we’ve grown so much as a band and amassed millions of sales, thousands of people coming to our shows, and thankfully a long-lasting career to show for it. Still, we’re also in a different place because I think the bond between us is stronger now than it has ever been. We’re so tight as a unit — both onstage and off — and I think it shows not only in our playing but also in just the way that we carry ourselves, as there’s confidence yet humility surrounding us at all times. I think we really do try to engage with and be accessible to our fanbase as much as possible, to constantly remind both them and ourselves that we’re just ordinary people that got the chance of a lifetime to play music for a living. We couldn’t be happier doing so,” Bolooki replied.
In addition to over 200 million streams, New Found Glory also has 1.5 million monthly listeners. Their new song “Himalaya” has already cracked their top 5 singles on Spotify.
“Personally, for me, that’s not surprising. But, that’s because I think “Himalaya” is one of the best songs off of our new album. I called it from the beginning and said that song would be a sleeper hit, and although it would never be a radio single, it would end up being one of the most loved songs off of Forever + Ever x Infinity! But, honestly, it’s pretty amazing to think of not only the number of streams but more importantly, where the streams come from. I just checked, and in just the last month alone, we’ve had almost 6 million streams from 79 different countries. I mean, that’s insane, especially when we all can remember what it felt like to pool our money together to get enough to press 1000 CD copies of our first demo, and then how daunting it seemed to try and distribute those copies around. It still blows my mind to think about not only how amazing it is with the reach that our music has. Also, to think about how important technology and the internet has been in bringing our music to places like Honduras, Cyprus, and Egypt, just a few of the countries where people have listened to us on Spotify but I highly doubt we’ll ever make it out to,” Bolooki went on.
Another single released by the band is titled “Greatest of All Time.” The imagery evokes memories of youth, going to concerts, and growing up in the music scene.
“You pretty much nailed it there. The video was a total throwback to punk shows that we all went to and played as we were first starting, but not looking old, just the same vibe as old school shows. We thought it was a perfect theme to go along with the first music released from this record, especially with a song as fast and energetic as “Greatest of All Time.” We wanted our fans to immediately think of classic NFG when they heard this song and then saw the video,” Bolooki noted.
New Found Glory has toured all over the world and has shared the stage with some truly amazing bands. What are your fondest memories touring?
“There are plenty of amazing memories throughout the 20+ years, but definite highlights include the tours with Green Day and Blink-182. Also, the Honda Civic Tour in 2003 Good Charlotte where we were headlining in front of 15,000-20,000 people each night, playing Main Stage at festivals like Reading and Leeds in the UK, Rock Am Ring and Rock im Park in Germany, headlining Warped Tour multiple times, and the list could go on and on! I have a few memories where I’ve been sitting on my drums in front of 25, 30, even 45,000 people and have tried to take a mental picture of what it looks like. There aren’t many people in the world that will ever have that chance, and to know that you were actually doing it and not just watching someone else do it is mind-blowing to me,” Bolooki reminisced.
Touring has halted to a stop because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When you start touring again, and when you play that first show after the pandemic, how do you imagine you will feel?
“I think there will be a lot of emotion, but also some hesitation as well. There’s definitely going to be a transition period, and in that time shows will probably be way different than they used to. For a while, it’s going to take some getting used to, whether it’s with less people in a venue, more space in between them, or both, and we’re all going to have to just get through it until stuff is figured out enough that we can return to what we love most — a bunch of people crammed into a sweaty venue going off to our music,” Bolooki reflected.
What songs off the new album do you want to play live first, and why?
“I think the songs we’ve released thus far — “Greatest of All Time,” “Nothing To Say,” “Shook By Your Shaved Head,” and “Himalaya.” If I had to pick one, it would be “Himalaya,” but in general, I think it’ll be fun for us to play these songs to an audience, even if it’s virtual at first, to get a feel for how the energy is when we’re all playing together. It’s been a few months since we’ve done that at all, and in this case, with these songs we’ve only had a few weeks at most with playing them together so it’ll be nice to get out there and be able to fine-tune them in a live show setting,” Bolooki disclosed.
Bolooki explains how the band has adapted to the pandemic.
“We’re definitely not Zoom pros or anything, and in general I think we’d be those people that are distracted if we were on Zoom calls by doing things like changing our background, wearing stupid costumes, etc. So, we haven’t done much of that. We did do a “virtual game night,” which was pretty fun, where we all played a game online together and broadcast it on YouTube. We’re staying as active as possible on Instagram and other social media as well, and trying to come up with unique ways to engage with our audience,” Bolooki responded.
The band will also be doing a Livestream this Friday to raise money for the charity “Color of Change.”
“Another way we will engage with our audince is the livestream that we’re doing on our release date, playing in a room with no audience but live-streaming the entire performance on the internet, while also trying to raise awareness and donations for the charity Color of Change. It’s a win-win in our minds, because it’s the only way for fans to see us “live” right now, and given the state of this world today, it’s also a way to use our platform and influence to hopefully do some good for society,” Bolooki reflected.
Another single off the new album is titled “Shook By Your Shaved Head.” Bolooki explains the meaning of the song.
“I think it’s basically an optimistic look at a relationship, one where the listener might have felt like they would never meet anyone or have a relationship amount to anything, but even when times get tough you just gotta push through, because, when it’s meant to be, it’s just “meant to be.” The shaved head element in this song, I think, is more referencing a girl with a shaved head, something that wouldn’t be too out of place in today’s world and especially in our scene,” Bolooki added.
The new album is coming out on Hopeless Records. Bolooki has been a fan of the label for a long time.
“We love being a Hopeless artist. Even before we signed with them, we were obviously familiar with their label throughout the years. But I think what really turned us onto them was seeing how they worked with bands like Yellowcard, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, and other bands that weren’t newer artists. Hopeless Records definitely understands and respects bands like us and what we’ve done with our career, and so it feels more like a partnership and less like a classic label where they tell you what to say, play, how to dress, act, and so on,” Bolooki explained.
What would you like to say to fans in advance of your release of Forever + Ever x Infinity?
“Just that we’re forever grateful to everyone for the continued support throughout the years and that we’re even more surprised and appreciative of how our fans continue to help spread the word to others and introduce their friends and families to our music. Every tour we see new faces, both young and old, and it’s things like this that make us want to continue doing what we’re doing for as long as we can. If you’ve never seen us in person, you’ve got to make it out to a show sometime, because we absolutely love what we do, and I think it’s hard not to notice that when we’re on stage. Lastly, even though we’re an unprecedented time right now, where there’s so much uncertainty, just know that our music and the industry in general will find a way to make live shows happen again, because it’s something that is innately in every person, the desire to hear music and experience live performance. So, it might take a while, but we will be back on stage as soon as we can, and in the meantime, grab a copy of our album or stream it on your favorite service, and check your socials because we’ll be trying to stay active there as well, and we’ll see everyone real soon,” Bolooki concluded.
For more information on where to stream or buy the new album “Forever + Ever x Infinity” coming out June 19th, check out this link: http://smarturl.it/NFGForeverAndEver