INTERVIEW: New Found Glory (20/09/2017)

Pop-punk mainstays New Found Glory have been around for twenty years. That’s right, twenty years. Let that sink in for a second. Twenty years. They’re a band that have influenced almost every angst-filled teenager that are now in their mid to late 20s, and even now nine records deep following the release of ‘Makes Me Sick’ earlier this year, they’re still sparking inspiration for many both in and outside of their genre.

The band are now at the beginning of their 20-year anniversary tour, and to get the lowdown on a band still going strong two decades down in their career, we sat down with lead singer Jordan Pundik to have a chat about their new record, pineapple on pizza, McFly, and his fear of flying.

DP!: Hi, Jordan. Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk to DEAD PRESS!
J: Not a problem. Thanks for having me.

DP!: So, you guys are right at the start of your 20th anniversary UK tour right now. Are you looking forward to getting another string of UK headline shows under your belt?

J: Yeah! Whenever we come here it’s always awesome. When we’re not here in the UK for a really long time, I always have daydreams about walking around and sitting in coffee shops, wearing my jacket and the weather just fucking raining or something, y’know?

DP!: Obviously, as part of this tour you’re playing two albums a night. How did you decided what records to play at the respective shows?

J: I think it just depends on how we know where the crowd will react and where each album will fit, y’know? Unfortunately we could only do one show in Cardiff because these first few shows were added last.

DP!: Your new album ‘Makes Me Sick’ was released at the end of April. How do you feel the reception for the record has been?
J: It’s been awesome, and if it wasn’t I’d probably be like “Awwh, yeah, it’s been okay”, haha. Honestly though, it has been really great. I tend to have my ear to the ground on social media, and people have been saying good stuff both on there and when they tend to stop me in the street and stuff, so it’s good. It’s nice because we worked on it for a while.

DP!: When I listened to the album for the first time, the big thing that jumped out at me was the use synthesisers. I found myself saying “I never thought that I’d hear synths in a New Found Glory record”, but it works and it really compliments the record. Did synthesisers just kind of fall into the album through trial and error, or was it already a pre-conceived idea to use them?
J: Yeah, it was trial and error really. I mean, we’ve used synthesisers on other records before, but not as prominently in the foreground, more in the background really. On this album, though, some songs just called for it, like on ‘Barbed Wire’. When we were writing the riff it just reminded me of like Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, and I just thought, “wouldn’t it be great to have a cool 80s synth sound to it?” Our producer knew exactly what we were talking about, so he played a little bit of it. It was sick, so we kept it.

DP!: With you guys having been around for twenty years now, you’ve influenced just about every band around the scene. So, what are you listening to right now? Are there any bands or artists that I should be listening to that I’m not?
J: Yes! Of course, now that I’m on the spot I can’t think of any, haha. There’s a band that I’m listening to at the moment called Teenage Wrist that I really love, and they’re really cool. It’s just really good rock stuff, and super 90s sounding.

DP!: The last time that you toured the UK was supporting A Day To Remember on their arena tour alongside Moose Blood and Neck Deep. What I found amazing about that show was the fact that as a band, you’d been together for pretty much the same amount of time as all the other bands on that tour collectively, and yet you didn’t seem out of place on that tour. You came out and gave arguably the performance of the night and won over a lot of people in the crowd who might not have known you. Was there ever any hesitation to not take the slot on that tour, or was it an easy decision?
J: Yeah, it was super easy. I mean, we know all the bands and we’re friends with pretty much everyone on that tour. Chad (Gilbert, guitarist) produced a few of the A Day To Remember albums and stuff. When they said that they were going to be playing the likes of the Wembley Arena and stuff, we were like “Fuck yeah!”

DP!: Back to your new record, ‘Makes Me Sick’. With every release that you guys put out, you always seem to keep the basis of a typical New Found Glory record, but you always have different elements to keep it interesting. Is that a conscious decision, or something that just tends to happen?
J: I’d say that it’s a little bit of both. We just start writing, and if something sounds too similar to the last record then we’ll scrap it and start again. I don’t want to give the people that listen to our band the same shit over and over again, y’know? But, I still want it sound like New Found Glory, and I think it will sound like New Found Glory when I’m singing on it.

DP!: I put a few feelers out online for questions from fans and the response was huge, so here’s a few that I just picked out for you. Would you guys every consider a return for International Superheroes Of Hardcore?
J: No! Haha. That was like a one-time thing. I don’t like saying “never”, but probably never.

DP!: What is your favourite part about touring?
J: Just meeting new people, hanging out with the other bands that are opening the shows, hanging out in new coffee shops and stuff, y’know?

DP!: Pineapple on pizza; yes or no?
J: Yes. Pineapple and jalapeño.

DP!: What’s your favourite country to tour, and is there anywhere that you haven’t toured yet that you would like to?
J: I think that we’ve already been everywhere, haha. We haven’t done a lot of Eastern Europe. We’ve only done Hungary and Russia really. We haven’t done Poland either yet, and I’d love to go there.

DP!: When the self-titled record came out in the UK, it was pretty much a pinpoint moment for the UK pop-punk scene explosion. Were you guys aware of the impact that record had, and do you guys still feel that impact?
J: When we released the album, no. When we released the album it was around the same time as Rival Schools, and The Rasmus, and stuff like that. I’m trying to think of UK bands that were around at that time. Busted and McFly? Haha. They would actually come and hang out at our shows and stuff. But, back to the question, we never really noticed it until we started coming back to tour the UK at later dates and saw the shows getting bigger and bigger.

DP!: Your last two records were released through Hopeless Records, who have a pretty incredible artist roster right now. Was it an easy decision to go with Hopeless Records after being with Drive-Thru and Epitaph?
J: We just liked how they took care of the bands, and we liked a load of bands on the label. We also grew up listening to Hopeless bands. Back when I was a kid, it was more of a pop-punk record label, but I like the diversity that they have. With Epitaph, for example, we had to commit to a two album deal, but with Hopeless we record one and they’re like, “Do you wanna do another one?” We have more freedom on Hopeless too, because we’re not tied to anything.

DP!: This is a personal question from me. Is there any chance that ‘Catalyst’ will be getting a record pressing at all? I’m dying to own that record.
J: Hopefully soon, because publishing is all done and we don’t owe any money for the record or anything, so it’s all ours. I think it would be sick to do a boxset of all the vinyl. I think we’re going to try and do something soon though.

DP!: Final question – what is the future holding for New Found Glory? Nine records in twenty years is a pretty phenomenal achievement. Can we be expecting a tenth?
J: Hopefully! It’s the twentieth year this year, so everything that we’re doing is based around that. We’re touring pretty much for the rest of the year, and then we have to go away for a while because we’re just touring so much that there needs to be a break. I mean, we were in Australia literally last week.

DP!: You must be so jetlagged. I’m scared of flying, so I don’t envy you at all.
J: Yeah, man. I’m fucked up. I’m scared of flying too. I just get the doctor to prescribe me some pills to help me on the flight. Not that I recommend that, of course.

The band’s new album, ‘Makes Me Sick’, is out now through Hopeless Records.

You can purchase it online now via MerchNow (here), iTunes (here), Amazon (here), and Google Play (here).

You can keep up-to-date with the band online by following them on Facebook (here), Twitter (here), and Instagram (here).

Interview by Jacob Eynon (@itsjustjake93)