We recently had a chance to conduct a quick interview with Steve of New Found Glory. We’d like to say thank you to the band (for being a huge inspiration in the foundation of this very website) and to Steve in particular for taking time out of his day to answer a few questions for us. The band’s new album Coming Home hits stores September 19th, 2006.
First off I just want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and answer these questions for us over at Absolutepunk.net.
Well, thank you Mr. absolutepunk.net…you are so polite!
So lets start off by talking about the new album “Coming Home”. What was the inspiration behind the writing of this album?
I think every record we make we try and capture a time period…when writing the songs for “Coming Home” for some reason it was coming out more positive than negative. I felt on the last record, “Catalyst,” we were very negative lyrically. You can tell that by the titles “All Downhill From Here,” “This Disaster,” … it was a heavier record. “Coming Home” on the other hand takes you to a different place. It’s the record I feel we’ve been waiting our whole career to do… taking everything people love about NFG and bringing it to the next level.
Based off of the two songs that have been released it seems as if the band is going in a different direction with this album. Can we expect that with all the other songs and do you feel this is just another milestone in the writing of the bands music?
I don’t think you can base your opinion about the whole record by just hearing “It’s Not Your Fault” and “Hold My Hand.” Yes, they both have piano, but as a whole I think the record is more melody driven than piano or guitar. Jordan really stepped it up on this album…his voice is way more powerful now, and you can tell that right from the first listen.
Had you guys been writing for this album since the last one came out or did you take some time off to just relax and then come back to writing later?
We are always writing on tour. Chad had a whole book full of riffs and ideas for songs when we got to Malibu…I think he had like 40 different ideas and we just started from page 1. That was one of the most amazing things about this record — how relaxed the writing process was…waking up jamming songs in a huge room with the beach in the background…playing pool baseball with an inflatable Darth Vader as a green monster…dealing with this crazy creepy Albert guy who named a horse “New Found Glory.” It was the best recording experience ever.
Who did you have produce the new album?
We actually co-produced the record with Thom “Da Nunz” Panunzio, who recorded Ozzy, Tom Petty, and The Go-Go’s, just to name a few. We had a great time recording with him because he brought in a vibe we’ve never had before…if you listen closely on “Too Good To Be,” you can hear his snapping fingers and his woodoo — I mean voodoo stick.
Now NFG is about to hit the road with Cartel, The Early November, and Limbeck (and Hit The Lights). How did you go about choosing who to take out on the road?
We gave a couple of college shows to Cartel a while back and just got along with them right off the bat. The singer is so funny — he warms up by singing “Across The Night” by Silverchair…that kid is gonna break hearts I tell ya…. can you tell that we like to actually hang out with the bands we tour with!?? And we’ve known The Early November guys from the Drive-Thru family and besides, they have a Target commercial…and Steve Looker manages “Shit The Tights” so we gave them shows. and of course all of those bands rule.
What are some of your favorite things about going out on the road?
I think just playing a show in a different city every night. It’s a rough life only working an hour and a half a day, ya know? Seriously! Also, having 12 people on the same bus for 6 months straight makes for nonstop entertainment.
Do you ever bring things with you that remind you of home?
I think everybody has their own things they bring on the road that reminds them of home…Jordan brings his bunk puppet every tour, Ian brings his Spongebob Squarepants sheets…for me I just have pictures of my dog Cleveland all over my bunk.
Is it true that the album was written in the same house that Incubus wrote “Morning View” in?
Yes. And I think The Black Eyed Peas, Less Than Jake, and Alien Ant Farm also recorded there as well.
New Found Glory has been a staple in Pop Punk music for years. How does it feel to be one of the bands that has paved the road for many bands to come?
I really don’t know how to answer that to be honest. I mean I’m 26…Chad is 24…so in my eyes I still feel we are young. So when bands or people come up to us and say “man, I’ve been listening to you guys for years and now my little brother is in to you” and “you guys really paved the way for this style of music,” it’s very surreal…I was saying those same things to myself last year for months when we did that world tour with Green Day.
When you are playing music or on tour how do you guys take time and relax?
A lot of the time we’ll sit in the bus, playing Xbox against each other. We love talking trash, linking the front and back TVs in the bus together and having 8 person shootouts on Halo. We also watch a lot of movies and DVD box sets, and truck stop late night adventures, too…
Have you seen any good movies or read any good books lately?
I’m really into horror movies, and the show Nip Tuck.
The Hills Have Eyes was really fucked up…Shaun Of The Dead, Hostel, and the Nightmare on Elm Street box set, too. And for the rest of the band, Jordan is weird…he likes to watch midget porn…
If the band was to play their last show ever, what song do you think you would play last and why?
Wow, I’ve never really thought about this till now. But I guess if I had to pick it would have to be “Hit Or Miss”…I mean, come on, that’s the song that originally got people into our band. We played it last for the past 9 years every damn night…so to close it out, say it with me now…”have I waited too long to seeeee yooouuu.”
What are some old time favorite bands that have been an inspiration to the band?
Well I can’t speak for the rest of the band, but for me personally (this is Steve by the way) my old time favorite bands in no particular order are: Mineral, Texas Is The Reason, Jawbreaker, Cursive, Sunny Day, Promise Ring, Lifetime, Chamberlain, Jimmy Eat World, Samiam, Knapsack…I can go on and on and on and on…
Are there any new bands that have come out in the last few years that really stick out and think are going to go far?
None of these bands are necessarily new, but I love Say Anything, Mew, Mashlin, Tilly and the Wall, Trespassers William, Imogen Heap, Owen, Cartel, and Lovedrug.
I know a few of you are married and does that ever seem to effect the band or marriage with having to be out on the road all the time or do the wives come along?
The wives/girlfriends come out once in a while. It’s not too fun for them though…I think the whole not showering for days, no poopin’ in the bus, eating truck stop cuisine stuff gets old pretty quick for them.
If there was one thing or one person that you could hold responsible for where you are today and what your doing with your life. Who would that person be and why?
It would probably have to be Billie Joe Armstrong for writing “Welcome To Paradise.” That was the first song I ever learned how to play on guitar. Thinking about it now I must have been so awkward when we were on tour with them…I was that guy –“Hey man, I’ve got a Green Day tattoo (I have the flower from Kerplunk on my arm). Hey man, let me make you feel old and say I’ve been into your band for 12 years.” Yeah, I still get star-struck.
Does the band have any songs that you absolutely love to play live and any that you really hate playing?
I love playing all the fast songs like “Truth Of My Youth,” “Something I Call Personality,” “Better Off Dead,” and I can’t say I really hate playing any of our songs, but I can say I hate it when someone will call out a song from the crowd that we haven’t practiced in years and Chad wants to play it so the kid can leave happy and we just murder the song…its all for the kids man I tell ya.
If there was any album out of all the albums that the band has put out, is there a certain one that sticks out or really holds a place in the bands heart?
I think Nothing Gold Can Stay definitely. When I have my iPod on shuffle and those songs come on it just brings me back to when I was the only kid with bleached hair and an eyebrow piercing in my school…when the scene had no boundaries…hardcore bands played with ska bands, emo bands with metal, jazz fusion with folk, man I miss those days.
Do you all keep in touch with any of the bands or people that work or used to be on Drive-Thru Records?
Of course! Richard and Stefanie are the coolest, raddest people. Whenever we are in California we try to go to their hobbit house and play cards. What’s funny is that the first time Richard and Stefanie saw us play it was at a pool party. After that, they of course signed us, bought us a van, told us to tour, and we’ve been going ever since. So when you see them pat them on the back and say “Thank You” for discovering NFG.
Well that’s about all the questions I have for the band. Is there anything you would like to say to all the readers and fans out there in absolutepunk.net land?
First, I would like to say that I appreciate all of the people who defend our band on this site! And no matter if you love or hate our new record I still love you and your mom’s kid…no…but on the real tip, thank you for reading my blabber for the past 15 minutes, and go buy our record September19th!
P.S. This site is my homepage.
P.P.S. I will read the comments about this interview and if you talk crap I will find you and make you eat meatloaf as I push you off a cliff.