INTERVIEW: The Front Bottoms (19/02/2016)

Now on to their fifth full length album, New Jersey rockers The Front Bottoms are soaring in success and hitting their best form to date. An acoustic folk yet punk fuelled sound gives them a friendly cross appeal and a boost above other bands in this new emo revival. The band have just finished their biggest ever UK headline tour in support of 2015’s ‘Back On Top’, and we managed to grab frontman Brian Sella for a few words about major label life and how they’ve grown into the band they are today.

DP!: Your huge tour is essentially all sold out, you’re headlining venues bigger than ever before over here and your success is increasing exponentially – yet your brand new album is called ‘Back On Top’!?! Can you tell us more about the title?
The Front Bottoms:We thought it was cheeky because we never were on top and we aren’t even on top now. It’s also the complete opposite of the name of the band, which is neat.

DP!: You’re now signed to major label Fueled By Ramen – how did you make this decision? How different was the recording process and do you think it made a big difference to the sound of the record?
TFB:We just wanted to be with a record label that we felt comfortable with. And FBR was that label for us. Recording ‘Back On Top’ wasn’t much different than when we did ‘Talon Of The Hawk’, but this time around we just had more time in the studio. In the past whenever we did anything there had to be a discussion as it was smaller label, I mean don’t get me wrong we love our last label but FBR are just like “What do you want to do?” and they just let us do it, which is awesome.

DP!: You released a split EP last year with rapper GDP, and had him feature on ‘Historic Cemetery’. ‘Y2L’ also features a horn section – do you think it’s important to embrace different genres into your own style of music?
TFB:That’s always been one of our favorite parts about recording. Totally think it’s important to incorporate different genres and styles into the music. Gotta keep it fresh.

DP!: Do you think a varied sound helps you appeal to a larger audience? You seem to have a comfortable place within the punk rock, and the indie rock community?
TFB:I think so, but that thought never crosses our minds, we’re just making the music that we want to make, you know….and yes, we have a very punk rock ethos when it comes to our approach on how we operate.

DP!: I always associate The Front Bottoms with ridiculously brilliant sing-a-longs – which songs off the new album are getting sang back at you the loudest at gigs? Which is your favourite to play?
TFB:It’s hard to say what songs are being sung back the loudest. My favorite song to play seems to change every night. ‘Historic Cemetery’ is a blast to play and seems to go down really well at the shows we’ve played so far. Also ‘The Beers’ has been a lot of fun, Kevin (from Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band) has been coming on stage and singing the song with me so it’s a part of the show that I really enjoy. LO RES

The band’s latest album, ‘Back On Top’, is available now and you can follow The Front Bottoms online via Facebook, and Twitter.

Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)