Giving props to my man Jordan here. At the end of the original version of “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel sings [imitates hair-metal singer/leg-trapped animal screech] “Let the storm rage oooooooooon!” [Laughing followed by coughing fit.] I can’t even do it! It’s an insanely high note! So Jordan’s tracking vocals, and he gets up to the note, and everyone and Jordan knows that note is about to come. And we ask him, “Are you ready?” and he says [deadpan tone] “No.” [Laughs.] Dude, we know it’s high. Just think about Nothing Gold Can Stay days. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just rip it. Go for it. He’s like, “I don’t knooooow…” We hit “record,” and he hits it in one take. When you hear the record, remember, that’s one take.
Music Forum: What’s your favorite New Found Glory album?
When New Found Glory broke into the mainstream in the early 2000s, it certainly wasn’t amongst a shortage of pop-punk bands. The post-Blink boom meant that for a few years, every bunch of spiky-haired kids in Dickies was getting picked up by a major and amassing radio and MTV coverage. But what always set New Found Glory apart from their Warped Tour ilk was their genuine connection to heavy music. A teenaged Chad Gilbert was the vocalist for metalcore legends Shai Hulud before he was New Found Glory’s guitarist, and where other pop-punk bands of the time were taking influence from the likes of Descendents and Screeching Weasel, NFG were drawing more from East Coast hardcore like Madball and Snapcase. They positioned NYHC guitar tones as the backdrop to sickly-sweet pop vocals, and mastered both elements better than any of their peers could.
This distinction set New Found Glory up for longevity that outlasted pop punk’s commercial day in the sun, and such longevity makes inevitable – and perhaps relies on – a change in course. So in 2006, while bands like Midtown and Fenix TX had dissolved around them, New Found Glory released their fifth album Coming Home. It swapped the crunchy riffs for mid-tempo soft rock more comparable to, say, Journey than to their heavy early influences. It was a smart move, with pop-punk by now commercially dead in the water as emo-pop took its place, and one that paid off too; it was likely better received critically than any of their records prior.